T. Boone Pickens’ plan for energy independence


Assuming the link works for you, I invite you to go read T. Boone Pickens’ piece in the WSJ today, headlined, "My Plan to Escape the Grip of Foreign Oil."

Now I know what you’re thinking: Mr. Pickens being an oil man from way back, his plan for independence is likely to be as simple and monolithic as Joe Wilson‘s — specifically, drill.

But while he says, way down in the piece, "Drilling in the outer continental shelf should be considered as well," it plays less of a role in his vision than it does in the Energy Party‘s, if that. It comes after he urges us to "explore all avenues and every energy alternative, from more R&D into batteries and fuel cells to development of solar, ethanol and biomass to more conservation."

TurbinesAll of that follows his exploration of his main idea, which is to convert a large portion of our energy
generation to wind power, which he lauds by saying "Wind is 100% domestic, it is 100% renewable and it is 100% clean." He would use natural gas thereby freed up from power generation to run our vehicles.

All that is great, but I think the best passage in the piece is when he explains why we must take extraordinary measures to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I leave you with that excerpt:

    Let me share a few facts: Each year we import more and more oil. In 1973, the year of the infamous oil embargo, the United States imported about 24% of our oil. In 1990, at the start of the first Gulf War, this had climbed to 42%. Today, we import almost 70% of our oil.
    This is a staggering number, particularly for a country that consumes oil the way we do. The U.S. uses nearly a quarter of the world’s oil, with just 4% of the population and 3% of the world’s reserves. This year, we will spend almost $700 billion on imported oil, which is more than four times the annual cost of our current war in Iraq.
    In fact, if we don’t do anything about this problem, over the next 10 years we will spend around $10 trillion importing foreign oil. That is $10 trillion leaving the U.S. and going to foreign nations, making it what I certainly believe will be the single largest transfer of wealth in human history…

18 thoughts on “T. Boone Pickens’ plan for energy independence

  1. NotAMormophobe

    If any of you are in doubt as to The Great Pickens’ Presidential Pickin’s…
    …Google the interview w/ Romney — the one with the windmills swirling around his ‘and his hair was perfect*’ head.
    *[Zevon = still poking ‘el noso’ in politics]

  2. Mike Cakora

    Pickens’ poignant point provides perspective pertinent to the penurious position we posit posterity perchance we persist in the penurious policies of prohibitions on parochial petroleum production.
    Polling points to prevailing popular perceptions regarding problems perceived in pursuing the purchase of precious power from potentates abroad.
    Pusillanimous politicos pretend to posit the people primary, but prevaricate to put the poor’s pennies in their pockets as they pursue the path the prosperous prescribe.
    Thus spoke Sarah Thustra.

  3. penultimo mcfarland

    Sarah Thustra would have come over to Momma’s house to eat chicken, but that would have been cannibalism, and Momma never would have put up with that.
    Me, I put up with her for a while, but that 38-35 loss to Duke back in the Plundering Pullets’ Pepsodent period burnt Columbia for me worse than Sherman.

  4. Bobby Fontaine

    I think T Boone Pickens is just another energy opportunist who just wants to get richer riding this nation into the ground. But that’s only because I don’t trust anyone anymore. If it was a couple of years ago, I would think he is the one sincere voice in an ocean of liars. So lets find out what he is all about.
    You talk about ethanol Mr Pickens. What do you know about hydrous ethanol, if you even know there are two kinds of fuel ethanol?
    Talk about hydrous ethanol and I will support you. Otherwise I gotta figure you’re either just another shyster or you don’t understand the issues you talk about so you are irrelevant.

  5. slugger

    In fact, if we don’t do anything about this problem, over the next 10 years we will spend around $10 trillion importing foreign oil. That is $10 trillion leaving the U.S. and going to foreign nations, making it what I certainly believe will be the single largest transfer of wealth in human history…
    The above statement by T. Boone is exactly what will happen. Forget all this ethanol stuff and go to work making this country energy independent with oil reserves that we know that we have.
    The foreign money collected for selling oil to the US is buying up our assets with our own money.

  6. slugger

    Talking about T. Boone Pickens reminded me of Slim Pickens in the movie Dr. Strangelove where he played the character Major T. J. Kong.
    Subject: Emailing: The death of Major T J ‘King’ Kong (Slim Pickens) in Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb –
    There is some momentary hope when the release mechanism for the bomb fails,
    but Kong climbs in to the bomb bay then onto the bomb and manages to get the
    release mechanism to work manually and both he and the bomb falls to earth,
    with Kong riding the bomb like a cowboy on a bucking bronco, right up to the
    point of the flash.
    Who in this current generation could we get to ride the bomb from Israel to Iran without letting balls get in the way?

  7. Lee Muller

    If we had controlled immigration in 1973, the population would be less than 170,000,000 people, and we would probably be importing less than 20% of our oil.
    Overpopulation is one of the root causes of most of our social and economic problems, especially with most of the population increase coming among the least intelligent, least literate and lowest skilled people.

  8. Steve Gordy

    The population of the United States in 1960, per the census, was approximately 180 million. What (hypotheticallY) would have happened in the next 13 years to cause our population to drop by 10 million?

  9. Doug

    Although Pickens’ role in the 2004 Presidential race (supported/funded the swift boat ads)was odious, I beleive he is sincere in his sense of urgency regarding energy. The guy is 81 or so years old. He knows he won’t be around to see the transition to alt energy, but is offering real ideas, whereas the Obamas and McCains are spouting the usual simpleton solutions that Americans want to hear.

  10. Lee Muller

    The population of the US Census in 1960 was 179,000,000, including legal and illegal immigrants and temporaring migrant workers.
    Demographers estimated the permanent legal population to be less than 170,000,000. Demographers estimated that, due to the aging population and lower birth rates, the US population would stabilize at 160-170 million people, without any more immigration.
    From 1970 to 2000, there were 110,000,000 legal and illegal immigrants, and their children and grandchildren.
    I say let Boone Pickens or any other businesman risk their money trying to make money with new sources of power to sell. Many will fail, but they will have better motivations and management than any government programs.

  11. Norm

    Picken’s plan makes zero sense. We hardly use oil to generate electricity we mainly use coal, uranium and natural gas. It would make sense to convert natural gas plants to coal. Wind is absurd.

  12. Kenneth Goldspink

    We need to add new energy to the North American supply.
    This is a chance to jump ahead of the world & keep jobs.
    There is little oil. So to turn our backs on new energy, will destroy the economy.
    I like the idea of Natural gas for my car.
    All big & small sources of energy added to the grid is a plus.
    If the middle east stopped pumping oil,what then. You can’t even move food.
    There is one thing missing in the plan. A home owner can add a small windmill & solar panel.This should be tied to the grid. No need for batteries. If every way we can add to the grid ,is given a try (& now) we may not have a large war over fuel.
    Why not use trains ,in the same way UPS does plains. Let them show us a plan.
    It must start now.
    As I quote someone. Put people in a place to share ideas,as was done with the moon landing.
    Why not add a new section to Nasa to manage this problem. And do it in Detroit.
    What a great place to live ,North America. We could live without needs from anyone. Just trade in good will. The same way Canada & The USA does.
    I am from Canada,but would be glad to help in any small way. Working for GM 28 years.
    The best Company in the world. Please don’t let poor planning kill GM.With Nasa type of leadership,it can be done.

  13. Lee Muller

    At Ford, quality is Job One.
    Jobs 2 through 39,000 have been eliminated.
    —- seriously —————————–
    Our trade deficit is more the result of our tax dollars funding IMF and World Bank loans at low interest, and often never repaid, to build modern factories overseas.
    Most of these factories destroy American jobs, such in textiles, while employing very few natives, because they factories are so modern. Management, engineering, and operations come from the machine countries: Switzerland, France, Germany and Japan.
    Political cronies own the factories. With their cheap or free loans plus some internal subsidies, they own factories with no startup costs, so they can sell the goods cheaply. When the machinery is worn out, they just walk away to the next scam, and let the IMF and World Bank stick the US taxpayer for the default.
    Posted by: Lee Muller | Jul 22, 2008 2:31:36 PM


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