T. Boone Pickens falls under a variety of descriptions depending on who you talk to: He is known as a corporate marauder to some, and an incredible businessman to others. Born in 1928 and growing up in Oklahoma and Texas, Pickens went on to found Mesa Petroleum which eventually became the largest independent oil and gas producer in the United States. He became famous for predicting the potential value of a company and buying them out to make a profit in the long run. Now, with a net worth of around 3 billion, it is hard to argue against the fact that T Boone Pickens knows an opportunity when he sees one.
Blessed with incredible foresight, it is no surprise that Pickens’ was one of the first philanthropists interested in greener fuel sources. In 1997, he formed the Pickens Fuel Corp, which advertised natural gas as the best fuel for your vehicle because of the lower pollution emitted and the fact that it is a domestic product.
His newest venture involves the PickensPlan, with the fundamental idea that petroleum is no longer a viable resource. It seems that Pickens has done a complete 180 since his earlier oil days. The PickensPlan focuses on switching to environmentally friendly resources with the goal of ultimately eliminating our dependence on foreign oil.
Pickens makes his idea clear: With regards to oil spending “America is in a hole and it’s getting deeper every day, I’ve been an oil man all my life, but this is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of. But if we create a new renewable energy network, we can break our addiction to foreign oil. On January 20, 2009, a new President gets sworn in. If we’re organized, we can convince Congress to make major changes towards cleaner, cheaper and domestic energy resources.”
The plan focuses on every aspect of the fuel crisis-including how it affects the U.S economy, environment and national security. The basic drive behind the plan, as with anything, is money. Right now the U.S imports 70% of the much needed oil used its citizens. PickensPlan explains that “at current oil prices, we will send $700 billion dollars out of the country this year alone – that’s four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.” The website goes on to explain that we might as well kiss cheap oil prices goodbye since the supply peaked in 2005 and prices are going nowhere but up. This should be enough of an incentive for most to continue reading.
The U.S has an incredible amount of wind-power at its disposal. In fact, “North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country,” as written on the website to prove their point. The plan is a feasible one, even if it is incredibly expensive. Global wind power would proved enough power for everyone on the planet 7 times over, and the United States’ great plains area, in the center of the country, has the highest concentration of winds in the world. A one time cost of 1trillion dollars would provide electricity for 20% of the nation through the power of wind farms. These farms would also provide for more job opportunities in rural areas where unemployment rates are known to be high, and provide homes with a clean energy from an abundant resource.
There is no question that Pickens will benefit from this plan, but one has to think whether the rest of the nation will too. More details, estimates and charts are available at PickensPlan.com