The Pickens Plan

T. Boone Pickens has released a video and plan for our energy future. It certainly looks interesting. I have a few issues with this:

1. Natural Gas is still a non-renewable fossil fuel.
2. Can the auto-makers, which seem slow to adjust to changes, update their fleets?

However, I also think there are some good points here:
1. Wind power can help rural America. Also, Pickens doesn’t mention this, but there are also some exciting new technologies where smaller vortex-like turbines can be placed on the tops of buildings in the cities.
2. This section:

“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.

America uses a lot of oil. Every day 85 million barrels of oil are produced around the world. And 21 million of those are used here in the United States.

That’s 25% of the world’s oil demand. Used by just 4% of the world’s population.

Can’t we just produce more oil?

World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to find and there just isn’t enough of it to keep up with demand.

The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone.”

I think this is a very important point. He may just be looking out for numero uno, but I also happen to think he’s right. ANWR and offshore drilling are estimated to produce about 1-2 million barrels a day. Even in the most optimistic scenarios, there just isn’t enough oil there for us to “get off of foreign oil”.

Comments 5

  • I saw that video too, Kevin. First, regular internal-combustion engines can be built or retrofitted to run on natural gas. (Look at the Citizens Gas vans around town sometime.)

    Second, Pickens is right that in the short term it makes way more sense to use a resource available here as long as we need something to help us make a transition to renewable energy and end our dependence on oil from elsewhere. Its considerably harder to ship natural gas than oil, so there’s a bit of a barrier to exporting ours.

    And it’s not entirely non-renewable. Cows produce methane, as do sewage treatment and landfills. All we need is Maxwell Smart’s “cone of silence” over CAFOs. (joke!)

  • Ya, I copied this post from another site, and forgot to edit out the part about the retrofit of cars to NGV. Oh well. It’s there for everyone to see now.

  • There is a Public Forum for discussions about Pickens Energy Plan
    Cheers !

  • Does anyone remember the tax incentives a few years ago for Hummers and other large SUV’s. We desperately need an energy policy and and treat it like a war. I use to sell oil drilling equipment in the 70’s and 80’s before the bubble burst. We still haven’t learned. For an oil man Pickens has vision.

  • An “Apollo plan” for energy should be essential for the next president.

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