Boone Pickens is working hard to remove that qualifier most reporters attach to his name from “Texas oilman” to “Texas green energy entrepreneur.”
Pickens unveiled “The Pickens Plan” for freeing the U.S. from foreign oil dependence during a webcast this morning. He claimes we can cut our use of such fuels by more than a third within 10 years. Details are below but the plan essentially calls on using more renewable sources, namely wind, to generate electricity, allowing for the diversion of natural gas from power plants to fuel vehicles.
From his release:
Today, 22 percent of our electricity is generated by power plants using natural gas as a source of fuel. Of the $700 billion worth of foreign oil we import every year, 70 percent goes to fulfilling our country’s transportation needs in the form of carbon-rich gasoline and diesel fuel for cars, airplanes, trucks and other vehicles. This number is growing year after year.
While renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal) represents a mere 2 percent of our energy sources today, according to a study released by the Department of Energy in 2008, there is conclusive evidence that we can generate at least 20 percent of our electricity supply from wind power from the nation’s “wind corridor” – a vast stretch of territory between West Texas and the Canadian border.
Implementing the Solution
Step #1: Using the United States’ wind corridor, private industry will fund the installation of thousands of wind turbines in the wind belt, generating enough power to provide 20 percent or more of our electricity supply
Step #2: Again funded by the private sector, electric power transmission lines will be built, connecting these wind power generating sites with power plants providing energy to the population centers in the Midwest, South and Western regions of the country.
Step #3: With the energy from wind now available to operate power plants serving the large population centers in key areas of the country, the natural gas that was historically utilized to fuel these power plants can be redirected and used to replace imported gasoline and diesel as a fuel for thousands of vehicles in our transportation system.
His full plan can be looked at here.
Oh, by the way, Pickens happens to be planning one of the largest wind projects in the country, too.