T. Boon Pickens is a geologist by trade, made his billions in oil and has been a lifelong promoter of both T Boon Pickens and his latest project. Today a national TV campaign kicked off his plan to help rid America of its dependence on foreign oil. Simply called “The Plan” and featured on his new website PickensPlan.com , Pickens details a two point plan he is asking Americans to support by pressuring the next President to get behind and Congress to get behind.
In The Plan, billed as a bridge to oil independence, Pickens proposes a $1 trillion investment in wind farms stretching the entire corridor from the Texas Panhandle to North Dakota, the sweet spot of America’s wind energy plus another $200 billion to build the infrastructure to deliver the electricity into America’s grid.
According to Pickens, this development would produce 20% of America’s electric needs and, despite it’s initial cost, would be a bargain compared to the $700 billion America sends out of the country each year buying oil. The project would not only keep money at home, it would create tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of good jobs in cities and towns all across America’s mid section.
The second part of Picken’s plan is to launch a massive effort to switch our vehicles from gasoline to compressed natural gas (CNG). According to NGVAmerica, there are 7 million NGV’s (natural gas vehicles) in the world today but only 150,000 in America.
Pickens estimates by harnessing wind to supply the electric grid, we can redirect America’s natural gas resources toward replacing gasoline and diesel in our vehicles and, in the end, reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 30%. With America’s current natural gas resources being twice the size of our oil reserves, and being considerably cheaper, the plan represents a meaningful initiative to bridge the gap and to bring America a lot closer to complete independence from foreign oil.
Although Pickens plan does not include the utilization of nuclear, geothermal or solar, neither does it preclude them from contributing to the overall thrust to free natural gas from its current use in electrical generation so that it can be redirected towards replacing gasoline and diesel in automotive and commercial transportation.
Being a man who walks the walk as well as talking the talk, Pickens is leading by example. In May, his company, Mesa Power, ordered $2 Billion worth of wind turbines from GE as part of his plan to erect the Pampas Wind Project. When completed, the project will be the world’s largest wind farm covering 400,000 acres and will generate enough electricity for more than 1.3 million homes. The 4000 megawatt facility will produce the same amount of energy as four large coal fired plants or four modern nuclear power plants.
The Pickens Plan is yet another clear sign that a paradigm shift has taken place in America. Although we are a long ways from being out of the woods, America is finally taking its first steps toward energy independence. While long overdue, the old adage “better late than never” has never seemed more appropriate.
NOTE: We also proposed the redeployment of our natural gas resources in our article “Prediction: $20 oil by 2020″