Last updated: 8:46 am
August 20, 2008
Posted: 3:52 am
August 20, 2008
LAS VEGAS - Forget Chicago. New York would claim title as the genuine "Windy City" under a dramatic proposal by Mayor Bloomberg yesterday to develop wind turbines atop the Big Apple's bridges and skyscrapers.
But that's not all. The mayor also tossed out the possibility of building wind farms way out in the Atlantic Ocean, miles from shore, that he said could generate roughly twice the energy of similar land-based facilities and supply 10 percent of the city's electricity needs within a decade.
"I think it would be a thing of beauty if, when Lady Liberty looks out on the horizon, she not only welcomes new immigrants but lights their way with a torch powered by an ocean wind farm," the mayor said in the closing speech of the National Clean Energy Summit.
Bloomberg has been warning for months that Washington has its head in the sand when it comes to energy and that the nation needs a multipronged approach - everything from nuclear to geothermal initiatives - to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
"Perhaps companies will want to put wind farms atop our bridges and skyscrapers," he said.
At least one expert said the idea has merit.
"This isn't a wild idea at all," said Dale Jamieson, director of environmental studies at NYU. "Wind energy is something we know how to do."
Bloomberg's proposal was in line with the philosophy of the summit's first speaker of the day, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens.
"We are getting very close to a disaster," declared Pickens, who is spending millions to convince the nation's leaders to harness wind power.
Pickens, who had lunch with the mayor, said the United States shells out $700 billion a year on imported oil, a massive transfer of wealth to countries that are often hostile to America.
It's a theme that's been sounded frequently by Bloomberg.
At a later news conference, the mayor conceded windmills on skyscrapers is "relatively unlikely," although "I think we've got to be careful in not automatically saying things can't work."
Senate Major Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who sponsored the summit, said he's taken with Bloomberg's novel idea.
"I . . . may steal it from you," he said.
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