|T. Boone Pickens: A Man with an Energy Plan|
Green Tech - CNET News
July 8, 2008
Posted by Martin LaMonica Font size Print E-mail Share 75 commentsYahoo! Buzz
Oil mogul and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens launched an energy plan and
social-networking campaign on Tuesday that calls for replacing Middle Eastern
oil with Midwestern wind.
The so-called Pickens Plan would exploit the country's "wind corridor" from the
Canadian border to West Texas to produce 20 percent of the country's electricity.
Transmission lines would be built to transport the power to places in the U.S.
where the demand is. The natural gas, now used to fuel power plants, would
instead be used as a transportation fuel, which burns cleaner than gasoline and is domestic.
He proposed that the private sector finance the investment, which would result
in a one-third reduction, equal to $230 billion, in the U.S.' yearly payments to
Pickens has already invested heavily in wind, notably a planned 4,000-megawatt
wind farm in his native Texas.
In his public statement, he said that any large-scale conversion off of oil
would need a dramatic change in policy.
"I am calling on the next President and Congress to take immediate action in
the first 100 days of the new Administration to do whatever is necessary to
make this plan a reality. We are asking the American public to get behind this
plan and to help us reduce our dangerous dependency on foreign oil. This has
to be the number one priority in the country starting today and that's what
this campaign is all about. I am also calling for a monthly report on the
reduction in foreign oil imports and a monthly report on progress in the
development of natural gas vehicles in this country.
In the video accompanying the PickensPlan.com Web site, Pickens said that
getting 20 percent of the U.S.' electricity from wind and diverting natural gas
to transportation could be done in 10 years "if there is the right leadership."
On the face of it, the Pickens Plan is not at all radical.
The U.S. Department of Energy earlier this year said that the U.S. could get 20
percent of its electricity from wind in roughly the same time period and has
called for the creation of a transmission network to the coasts.
But the conversion of a famed and politically conservative oil prospector to a
proponent of wind power will no doubt be eye-opening to people who still
associate renewable energy with fringe environmentalists.
He's also adding some social-networking savvy. The Pickens Plan site has a way
for groups and individuals to join the group or to carry the Pickens Plan badge
on their site.
And to further solidify his social-networking cred, Pickens has a Facebook page
for his plan.