Global warming and the need for energy conservation are upon us.
OK, so they have been for some time, but after former vice president and 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore reheated the public’s awareness of environmental responsibility with the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” it is the most convenient time to take action, even at ACU.
Beyond the simple methods of recycling bins and picking up litter around campus, ACU can prove it is empathetic towards environmental issues by choosing to power its campus through a practical and environmentally safe method: wind turbines.
President of the Outdoor Club Beth McElwein, senior education major from Farmersville, has been gathering signatures for a petition calling ACU to switch from its environmentally damaging method of burning coal to the renewable source of wind through the use of turbines. The Optimist supports this solution and so do more than 200 students that have already signed the petition.
Though initially turbines are expensive they pay for themselves by providing a renewable resource – a resource that isn’t scarce in Texas.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, Texas is No. 2 in the nation behind North Dakota in the list of the nation’s top 20 states with wind energy potential. Although California was the first state to harness wind energy potential, Texas and 15 other states have greater resources to use wind as an energy source.
Texans are taking advantage of that potential – Texas leads the nation with 2,768 wind power projects – even here in Abilene.
Dyess Air Force Base, located on the south side of Abilene, receives energy from the world’s largest wind farm. According to the Energy Intelligence Group Inc. the wind farm became operational in Oct. 2006 and now fulfills 100 perecent of Dyess’ energy needs.
Baylor University, another Christian campus, recently signed a 10-year deal to use wind power to help provide the 735-acre campus’ electricity needs.
In conjunction the Wisconsin-based energy company, WPS Energy Services, Baylor officials estimate that the university will shave $2 million off its usual $13.5 million energy bill.
These nearby examples prove that wind source is a feasible and practical option to powering a community like ACU. If the wind of West Texas can power a university larger than ACU and an one of the largest Air Force bases in the nation, why not us?
As a Christian university, ACU is called to take care of the earth God has given us. And this is the best opportunity to do so.