As I understand it, this Pickens guy has bet billions on wind and natural gas, and he's pushing it with a huge ad campaign that advertises during just about any political show or high-profile show or event coverage. Since advertising equals awareness, we might as well discuss what the guy has to say.
In short, he wants this country to swap out one non-renewable for another and then replace the lost electrical production with wind power. Part of me thinks it's better than any other plan out there. The other part of me wonders how long we could even use natural gas as a transportation fuel. We're essentially delaying our energy timeline by X years where X is the amount of natural gas we can produce, which doesn't seem like much when you read the sentence highlight below. And let's not forget that natural gas is produced by the same biological process as oil. It just occurs under more pressure, which means it's deeper in the earth.
So here are the highlights of the plan from his site:
PickensPlan.com wrote:Summary In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil. Today it's nearly 70% and growing.
As imports grow and world prices rise, the amount of money we send to foreign nations every year is soaring. At current oil prices, we will send $700 billion dollars out of the country this year alone — that's four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.
Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion — it will be the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.
Wind Power Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains States are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world — by far.
The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country.
Natural Gas Natural gas and bio-fuels are the only domestic energy sources used for transportation.
Natural gas is the cleanest transportation fuel available today.
According to the California Energy Commission, critical greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas are 23% lower than diesel and 30% lower than gasoline.
Natural gas vehicles (NGV) are already available and combine top performance with low emissions. The natural gas Honda Civic GX is rated as the cleanest production vehicle in the world. ... Natural gas is significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel. In places like Utah and Oklahoma, prices are less than $1 a gallon. To see fueling stations and costs in your area, check out cngprices.com. ... Natural gas is our country's second largest energy resource and a vital component of our energy supply. 98% of the natural gas used in the United States is from North America. But 70% of our oil is purchased from foreign nations.
Natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest and most useful forms of energy — residentially, commercially and industrially. The natural gas industry has existed in the United States for over 100 years and continues to grow.
Domestic natural gas reserves are twice that of petroleum. And new discoveries of natural gas and ongoing development of renewable biogas are continually adding to existing reserves.
While it is a cheap, effective and versatile fuel, less than 1% of natural gas is currently used for transportation.
We currently use natural gas to produce 22% of our electricity. Harnessing the power of wind to generate electricity will give us the flexibility to shift natural gas away from electricity generation and put it to use as a transportation fuel — reducing our dependence on foreign oil by more than one-third.
THE PICKENS PLAN....So T. Boone Pickens has an energy plan he wants to sell us. The basic idea is simple: Build a bunch of windmills in Texas to generate electricity, and then use the electricity to power electric cars. Voila! Energy independence!
No, wait. That's not it at all. What Pickens actually wants to do is use the windmills to replace the electricity from existing power plants that run on natural gas. Then we can use the natural gas to run our cars.
Hmmm. That's a bit of a kludge, isn't it? Why do it that way? Is it really easier to build a massive infrastructure for fueling NG cars than it is to build an infrastructure for electric cars? And who's going to force all those gas-fired power plants to shut down anyway?
Well, as near as I can tell, here's the story. Pickens wants to build his electricity transmission facilities on a strip of land 250 feet wide and 250 miles long that starts at his farm in Roberts County, Texas, and terminates in Dallas. Why that particular strip? Because Pickens has been buying up massive water rights from the Ogallala Aquifer and he wants to pipe that water to Dallas at huge profit...
T. Boone Pickens' 'clean' secret Proposition 10 would put California taxpayers on the hook for his natural gas plan. By Anthony Rubenstein July 29, 2008 Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is pushing a national campaign to make the U.S. "energy independent" through wind power and vehicles that run on natural gas. His blitz of TV ads featuring his own down-home voice has picked up a lot of admiring news coverage. To date, Pickens has yet to explain whose dime will pay for this.
Well, Californians can clarify exactly whose dime it will be: Ours. Along with being the country's biggest wind power developer, Pickens owns Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a natural gas fueling station company that is the sole backerof the stealthy Proposition 10 on California's November ballot. This measure would authorize the sale of $5 billion in general fund bonds to provide alternative energy rebates and incentives -- but by the time the principal and the interest is paid off, it would squander at least $9.8 billion in taxpayer money on Pickens' self-serving natural gas agenda.
As I understand it, this Pickens guy has bet billions on wind and natural gas...
I figured it went without saying that this guy would profit greatly from this. I know he's trying to baby step us off oil and make money in the process, but I agree that going to an all-electric fleet just makes more sense.
T. Boone has already invested millions in wind farms and NG. Yet, he claims he's an "oil man".
So he wants us to back his plan, which just happens to be what he's invested his money in already. Also, if he's such an oil man as he claims, he would know how much oil we have domestically in ANWR, the Gulf coast, off FL and CA, in the Bakken region (Wyoming, Colorado, Dakotas) and he'd also be interested in developing shale. Sounds like he's an oil man who's had bad luck and run dry and is trying to keep his bank accounts full.
I'm sick of hearing this man on every commercial break on the radio and TV.
Wind is proven to be an unreliable source of energy, just as solar. It's been tried since the 80s and has never had success. He's right that we need off foreign oil, but we could supply our own for centuries if the environmentalists who boss Pelosi and crew around would open their eyes and shut their mouths. We can do it in an environmentally-friendly way and the caribou can still mate in the snow all they want. In the Bakken region ALONE, we have an estimated FOUR TIMES more oil there than the current largest oil field in the world, owned by the Saudis. ANWR would supply us for years also, as would the other countless oil supplies we have. It's sad, China and Cuba can drill off the coast of Florida, but WE CAN'T thanks to selfish tree-huggers and OK, I'll say it...Democrats.
I'd be willing to bet there are plenty more undiscovered sources of oil under our own soil as well, but we're not "allowed' to do exploration and even if we could, environmental restrictions have not allowed us to build a new refinery in nearly 30 years and the ones we do have are outdated and in need of repair. When a single storm can knock out 20-30% of our refining capacity and raise gas prices nationwide, there is a serious issue with our ability to refine.
Also, Nuclear energy is VERY efficient and clean. Many European nations, even France have begun producing energy by nuclear plants and supply up to 80% of their power that way without sending a dime outside of their borders. BUT, guess who's been holding us back from doing THAT too. The Jackasses.
There is no reason we should be handcuffed from becoming energy dependence. Politics and single-issue voters have taken over though. It need to be fixed ASAP.
As much as I would like to push for drilling of domestic oil, the only wells that would matter are the ones that are already tapped. If the reservoir hasn't been tapped yet, then you're looking at quite a few years to get it running and producing oil. And even after you've done that, you still can't avoid the fact that our domestic reserves will only last for 15 years - at best.
Compound the fact that oil is used for much more valuable things than transportation, like medicine, and I think that oil is just not something we should be leaning on anymore. I'm a conservative, and I was all for drilling domestically years and years ago when it would have mattered now, but where we are at this time... we need to be thinking long term.
Now, I'm not saying this Pickens guy is the answer, but I wouldn't doubt that at least some of his suggestions have worth.