Oilman T. Boone Pickens is launching an ambitious energy initiative called the Pickens Plan whereby we’re going to build lots of wind power for electricity, allowing us to take natural gas out of the electricity business and use it as a transportation fuel. Joseph Romm calls the plan half brilliant and and half dumb, citing the visionary leadership on winding power but expressing serious doubts about the natural gas element.
Read Romm for full details, but the crux of the matter is that burning gas in a power plant is a lot more efficient than burning it in an internal combustion engine. Natural gas, meanwhile, is so-so on the cleanliness front. Put those two things together and an electric car getting its juice from a natural gas power plant is much cleaner than a car burning natural gas. And since our current infrastructure is already geared to using gas in power plants there’s no really good reason to switch things up.