Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Read the Pickens Plan

If you haven’t seen the new television ads being run by longtime oilman T. Boone Pickens, I encourage you to take 60 seconds to check it out.

In a single brief ad, Pickens lays out an intelligent and easy to understand plan to break America’s dependence on oil. You can read the whole plan here (and I encourage you to do so – it’s an easy read), but here it is in a nutshell:

1. Establish wind power as a mainstream source and producer of a substantial fraction of America’s electricity

2. Leverage these new wind resources to free American natural gas (currently used to generate 22% of our electricity) to rapidly phase out oil as our primary transportation fuel.

Pickens supports the eventual transition to renewable fuels for our vehicles but claims that the technology is not yet ready.

Here’s my two cents on the plan – I’ll keep it short and sweet:

We should embrace and expand wind power as rapidly as possible. It should be a national project on par with Eisenhower’s initiative to build our highways, the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Program.

And while natural gas would be a better fuel for our cars than oil in pretty much every respect (read his plan – very compelling), I’m not convinced we couldn’t do better (see sugar-cane ethanol in Brazil).

However, my summary opinion is that this plan represents a dramatic improvement over the status quo.

Thoughts, anyone?

1 comment:

Ford Church said...

Hi Jared,

I appreciate your comments. I too have opened my eyes to Pickens Plan. As an environmental steward, I initially was resistant to off shore drilling, natural gas, etc., but there is a reality we need to face. There is a lot of infrastructure we need to create to meet the energy needs of the 21st century, including smart grid technology and improving efficiency standards of how we transport energy. I think it is important to note a difference between oil for transportation and oil for energy. We currently use most of the oil we import in the transportation sector, not to produce energy. Coal is king when it comes to producing energy for America. I like Pickins' Plan because he is realistic about using Natural Gas as a way to transition to wind, solar, etc. as those industries increase their capacity to meet world demand. I think these are exciting times: new solutions, new technology, new jobs, a greener economy. Let's get it on!