The Pickens Plan: The Oracle of Oil Has Spoken

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(Image: USA Today)

From Businesswire:

Texas oil and gas tycoon T. Boone Pickens stepped into the oil debate today by announcing a far-reaching set of solutions to the nation’s oil dependency problem. According to Businesswire:

…The objective of this plan – The Pickens Plan – is to underscore the need to declare a national emergency and develop governmental leadership that will address America’s staggering dependence on imported oil.

Pickens is launching a massive media and education campaign to get the plan consumer backing. He claims the Pickens Plan will reduce the nation’s foreign oil dependence by 1/3 in a period of ten years.

Here’s Businesswire’s outline of the Pickens Plan:

THE PROBLEM

* Today, 22 percent of our electricity is generated by power plants using natural gas as a source of fuel.
* Of the $700 billion worth of foreign oil we import every year, 70 percent goes to fulfilling our country’s transportation needs in the form of carbon-rich gasoline and diesel fuel for cars, airplanes, trucks and other vehicles. This number is growing year after year.
* While renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal) represents a mere 2 percent of our energy sources today, according to a study released by the Department of Energy in 2008, there is conclusive evidence that we can generate at least 20 percent of our electricity supply from wind power from the nation’s “wind corridor” – a vast stretch of territory between West Texas and the Canadian border.

PICKENS’ SOLUTION

* 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 our 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 our transportation system.

ADVANTAGES OF THE PLAN

* Since natural gas is cheaper than gasoline and diesel and because natural gas can be easily used to power a wide range of vehicles, this plan creates an energy platform that cuts more than one-third or more than $230 billion off the nation’s yearly payments to foreign countries.
* Our nation’s wind corridor and renewable energy resource is strategically located in the middle of our country and can be safeguarded from attack.
* We are experiencing a significant increase in reserves found in natural gas in key areas of the country and so today, we have a true abundance of renewable wind power and domestic natural gas to drive this plan forward..
* In addition, the plan brings tremendous environmental advantages as the substitution of natural gas will reduces carbon emissions substantially.
* And finally, the United States creates an energy platform that focuses attention on the country’s own abundant alternative, renewable forms of power, restores the nation’s global standing and makes clear to the world that the U.S. is in control of its energy destiny.

Pickens has decades of experience behind him in the oil and gas industries, giving him a reputation as the “Oracle of Oil.” He eschews talk in favor of high-octane action. There’s definitely a conflagration under this man’s seat, and, even in his mature years, he’s ready to act on it.

I think his idea is splendid. We can debate the specific merits of wind power for years, but not get any closer to energy independence. Here’s a guy with a master plan, who is starting to execute it today. A Texas-built solution to what’s arguably a Texas-built problem.

What do you think? Will Pickens get what he wants?