Posted by: George | July 7, 2010

Energy Issues on I-80

July 6, 2010 (evening)

I spent most of the day on I-80 before turning north on Hwy 191.

On many of the entrance ramps to I-80, you see gates with signs “Road Closed.” As you drive down I-80, you see fences that are about 18 feet high to block snow drifts. When you hear on the news about roads being closed during blizzards, I-80 is often among them. In this part of Wyoming, the wind will almost knock your car off the road.

The last time I drive this road was 1996. I didn’t see a single wind turbine. Now, you see banks of them, forty or fifty at a time.

Cows and wind turbines on I-80

In this photo, you can see a herd of cattle in the foreground. In the distance, you might be able to make out a bank of wind turbines on a hillside. Some people don’t like wind turbines. I can understand that. If you live right next to a hillside where you like to watch the sun set, you might not like wind turbines blocking your view, even if you make some money from them being there. I think they are majestic. I was also pleased to see us making some progress on clean energy. That is not to say that I would like to see wind turbines everywhere.

No wind turbines here, please.

Recently, concern has been raised about drilling for gas, the “clean” energy source. Gasland, Josh Fox’s 2010 documentary, now showing on HBO, explores the problems of hydraulic fracturing drilling. This is an approach to drilling for gas where water and chemicals are pumped into shale to break up the rock and release the gas. For some reason, this type of drilling is exempt from the Clean Water Act. In one scene from the documentary, a man, whose house is near gas drilling, turns on the water in his kitchen sink. Then he lights a match. Flames shoot up about three feet. It is a vivid illustration of how hydraulic fracturing drilling damages water sources.

Gasland right on 1-80

I prefer wind turbines.



  1. George, Beautiful photo’s—I do enjoy your travels!!


  2. Dr. Jensen,
    I agree your photo’s are breath taking. I especially appreciate the contrast between “cows and wind turbines” and “Gasland.” That says it all.


    • I am going to try to do a number of posts that are more visual rhetoric than words. Sometimes, the argument is in the pictures. Thanks for the comment.


  3. Hot,hot, hot in hotlanta—-you seem to be loving your travels!!! I know that we are.
    mae& lenny


    • I’m having a great time.


  4. These pictures and the information and story about the drilling makes me very, very sad.


    • I know. We are exceptionally blessed to live in a country that has so much natural beauty. We really need to protect these gifts.


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