Sunday, February 24, 2008

What's Next for Texas?

As my wife and I took in the exhibits at the Bob Bullock Museum today, I found myself amazed, as a non-native, how Texas continues to manage to live up to its own legend, building itself up from desert over and over again in different ways. Whether as frontier settlers trying to carve out their own destinies in a territory claimed by Mexico, trying to decide whether to join the Union or form an empire of their own, and discovering both the oil in its backyard and innovative ways to bring it up... Texas seems determined to always stake out its own path.

Oil in Texas particularly resonated with me, because we're standing at an energy crossroads now as much as we were at the turn of the previous century. Oil was on the verge of being used more and more, as renewables are poised now for greater market penetration. Wildcatters and workers came to Texas looking for oil because it represented the best opportunity in a fairly new economy, and the renewable energy entrepreneurs of today are looking for their own opportunities in Texas for establishing solar installations and wind farms, algae bioreactors and sites for CO2 injection/sequestration. This time, however, the potential for change seems even greater, because the resources we're seeking to tap -- solar, wind, algae -- aren't as exhaustible as oil.

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