|T. Boone Pickens Launches Renewable PR Push|
By Kent Bernhard, Jr.
National Green News
July 8, 2008
Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens wants to reduce foreign oil dependency by more than
a third, and he's likely to get even more rich if his plans work.
Pickens said Tuesday he's putting his money behind a multimedia advertising and
internet education campaign to focus attention on the energy crisis and push his
proposals, dubbed "The Pickens Plan," the Dallas Business Journal reports.
"Our dependence on imported oil is killing our economy. It is the single biggest
problem facing America today," Pickens said. "As we import more and more of our
energy, we are participating in the greatest transfer of wealth in the history
of mankind, sending billions of our dollars overseas to buy oil for a commodity
that lasts 90 days until burned in our gas tanks."
Pickens proposes the following:
* Step #1: Using the United States' wind corridor, private industry will fund
the installation of thousands of wind turbines in the wind belt, generating
enough power to provide 20 percent or more of the country's electricity supply
* Step #2: Again funded by the private sector, electric power transmission
lines will be built, connecting these wind power generating sites with power
plants providing energy to the population centers in the Midwest, South and
Western regions of the country.
* Step #3: With the energy from wind now available to operate power plants
serving the large population centers in key areas of the country, the natural
gas that was historically utilized to fuel these power plants can be
redirected and used to replace imported gasoline and diesel as a fuel for
thousands of vehicles in the transportation system.
The oil baron wants the next president and Congress to act on reducing oil
dependence within the first 100 days of a new administration. The public
relations campaign follows testimony Pickens gave before Congress last month.
“Natural gas is the second-largest energy resource in the country,” Pickens told
the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “If we take the
natural gas we’re using for electrical generation and move it to transportation,
we can replace 38 percent of our foreign oil imports. And that, sports fans, is
a real number.”
If Pickens proposal becomes a reality, he stands to benefit as a business man.
That's because Pickens has bet heavily on wind power.
Pickens’ company, Mesa Power, has ordered 667 wind turbines from General
Electric for a massive wind power project in Texas.
Those turbines could generate enough power, 1,000 megawatts, to power 300,000
But that’s just the first phase of Pickens’ Pampa wind project. When it’s all in
place, he’s planning the world’s biggest wind power project — about 4,000
megawatts, five times the size of the nation’s biggest wind project now.
The first phase of the project will cost $2 billion. When the project is
complete, it will cover about 400,000 acres of Texas panhandle.