This is an edited version of the Pickens Plan, named for its biggest proponent and author, T. Boone Pickens, and was taken from its website at www.pickensplan.com/theplan/. It begins by describing the current state of affairs in the U.S. as: “An addiction to imported oil that threatens our economy, our environment, and our national security,” and that the addiction has gotten worse in recent years.
In additional to putting our security in the hands of potentially unfriendly and unstable foreign nations, it says, we spent $475 billion on foreign oil in 2008 alone. (Editor’s note: Canada is the largest exporter of oil to the U.S.) That’s money taken out of the U.S. economy and sent to foreign nations. The cost over the next 10 years will be $10 trillion.
Drilling for oil will not solve the energy shortage because, argues the plan, the cheap and easy oil is gone. The country needs a plan of action on scale with the problems.
The plan has these central ideas:
- Generate millions of new jobs by building the capacity to generate up to 22% of our electricity from wind. Also, add a solar generating capacity. A discussion of alternatives should begin with the 2007 Department of Energy study showing that building out our wind capacity in the Great Plains, from northern Texas to the Canadian border, could produce 138,000 new jobs in the first year, and more than 3.4 million new jobs over ten years, while also producing up to 20% of our electricity.
- Build a 21st century electrical transmission grid
- Provide incentives for owners of homes and commercial buildings to upgrade their insulation and other energy saving options, and
- Use America’s natural gas to replace imported oil as a transportation fuel in addition to its other uses in power generation and chemicals. By aggressively moving to shift America’s car, light duty, and heavy truck fleets from imported gasoline and diesel to domestic natural gas we can lower the need for foreign oil thereby helping reach a goal of zero oil imports from the Middle East within ten years.
The plan cautions that natural gas is not a permanent solution to imported oil. It is a bridge fuel to slash oil dependence while buying time to develop new technologies to replace fossil transportation fuels. Natural gas is the critical puzzle piece that will help keep more of the $350 to $450 billion spent on imported oil every year in the U.S. economy, where it can power our economy and pay for investments in wind energy, a smart grid, and energy efficiency.
Filed Under: Policy