T. Boone Pickens, a financier in the oil and gas industry, announced that he is launching a public policy campaign on energy designed to address what he deems the single biggest crisis facing America today: its dependence on foreign oil. The objective of The Pickens Plan is to underscore the need to declare a national emergency and develop governmental leadership that will address America’s dependence on imported oil.
According to Pickens, the United States imports 70 percent of its oil from foreign nations, and the United States is spending $700 billion annually, more than four times the cost of the Iraq war. Pickens claims his plan would reduce foreign oil dependency by more than one-third.
Pickens’ plan calls for investing in power generation from domestic renewable resources, such as wind, and using our abundant supplies of natural gas as a transportation fuel, replacing more than one-third of imported oil and saving more than $230 billion a year.
“The plan I am unveiling today is doable in five to 10 years if we can get Congress and the administration to act quickly,” Pickens said July 8, 2008. “It is based on domestic resources, and it’s clean. This plan provides a bridge to the future where renewable energy can become an even greater portion of our energy framework.”
Part of the problem, Pickens said, is 22 percent of U.S. electricity is generated by power plants using natural gas as a source of fuel, and of the $700 billion worth of foreign oil the county imports every year, 70 percent goes to fulfilling transportation needs. Renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal) represents only 2 percent of U.S. energy sources today. According to a study released in May 2008 by the Department of Energy, there is conclusive evidence that the United States can generate at least 20 percent of our electricity supply from wind power from the nation’s wind corridor, which is a vast stretch of territory between West Texas and the Canadian border. The wind power could replace some of the Midwest’s natural gas power plants, and that resource could be redirected to fulfill other needs.
If Pickens’ plan were to be implemented, contractors would find an immediate rise in wind energy projects, especially in the Midwest. It is a possible movement to watch for future progress.