How Texas Became a Wind Farming Powerhouse: A Future Tense Event

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Oct. 11 2013 10:22 AM

How Texas Became a Wind Farming Powerhouse: A Future Tense Event

Clifton Brandon, 43, and his son, Teagan, 10 years, clean a water tank for their 300-head of black angus cattle on the Lone Star Wind Farm 17 miles north of Abilene, Texas June 9, 2007.
Clifton Brandon and his son Teagan clean a water tank on the Lone Star Wind Farm 17 miles north of Abilene, Texas on June 9, 2007.

Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

How did Texas—the state with the most oil rigs—end up an American leader in wind farming?

In their new book, The Great Texas Wind Rush, reporters Kate Galbraith and Asher Price tell the fascinating story behind Texas’ unlikely wind-energy boom. In the late 1990s, the small towns of Texas were being decimated by the oil crisis, and few would have thought alternative energies might be the solution. But in a state known for bristling at environmental regulation, entrepreneurs, politicians, and environmentalists—from T. Boone Pickens to George W. Bush—saw the potential and began to embrace wind farming. By 2012, Texas was generating about 9 percent of its electricity from wind, and some of those same towns are now thriving in the shadow of 300-foot-tall turbines.

What will the future hold for this important natural resource that is changing the face of Texas energy? And will other states be able to replicate Texas’ success?


Kate Galbraith will visit the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23 from 12:15-1 p.m. to discuss the book with NAF fellow Konstantin Kakaes. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America Foundation's website.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.



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