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Whether you believe the dire environmental warnings pushed by some, the claims of the peak oil apostles, or are more moderate in your energy views; energy is an area we clearly need to address on this planet. Its cost, its growing consumption, and its criticality to the needs of our civilization put it front and center among our top national and global issues.
America and the planet need sensible, sane energy policies that both meet the needs of our growing civilization and respect and take care of Earth -the only home we have. Wind power must find its place in that sane mix.
Harsh solutions will not satisfy anyone and we are going to have to find compromise to succeed. The spirit of that compromise seems to be emerging. They say politics makes strange bedfellows. So too, it seems, does energy policy. With soaring energy prices denting our pocketbooks, a hopeful plan is being floated by an unlikely, but influential individual – T. Boone Pickens. Suprisingly, Pickens’ plan is garnering support from, of all people, Carl Pope of the Sierra Club.
Many Americans are familiar with Pickens – the self-made Oklahoma oil man. He is known for his lavish philantropy and his seemingly unqualified support for President George W. Bush. The latter, honestly, is beyond me at this point.
However, one of my personal mottos is that I will listen to good ideas regardless of their source and ignore bad ideas regardless of their source. Pickens’ misconceptions about the president have no impact on his having an idea worth listening to. Right now, Mr. Pickens has a good idea and I am listening.
He is traveling the media circuit and making smart use of the Internet to promote his proposal dubbed The Pickens Plan. The plan calls for a strategic effort maximize wind power potential in The United States.
Wind power is already succeeding in places like Maui, Hawaii. A test project there, about to be expanded, is now meeting about 10% of the island’s energy needs.
The Pickens Plan calls on The United States to convert the natural wind resource we possess in the Great Plains into wind energy. His proposal calls for wind to replace the 22% of nontransportation energy consumption now covered by natural gas. The natural gas would then be transferred to the transportation sector where it would produce 38% of our needs. That could replace about $300 billion per year in energy imports.
Pickens is a savvy businessman and, no doubt, he has positioned his business interests to benefit from this plan. That’s just smart. If he comes up with a plan that benefits all of us, why shouldn’t he derive benefit? That’s a true free market in action.
Nonetheless, I believe this approach makes a lot of sense and could go along way to satisfying both environmental concerns and energy needs. Click the image below to view PIckens’ video description of his plan.
I’m curious to know what you think. After you watch the video, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the plan.