T. Boone Pickens announced today he is launching a bipartisan public policy campaign on energy, designed to address America's growing dependence on foreign oil.
Pickens said he will fund an aggressive multi-media advertising and Internet education campaign designed to focus attention on America's foreign oil policy and to advance an energy plan of his own dubbed "The Pickens Plan." The Pickens Plan hopes to replace the country's dependence on foreign oil with a reliance on wind energy and natural gas.
According to a press release from the BP Capital group, the United States depends on foreign nations for 70 percent of its oil. Pickens said he could reduce that dependence by as much as one-third, or saving more than $230 billion per year.
"Our dependence on imported oil is killing our economy. It is the single biggest problem facing America today," Pickens said in a press release. "As we import more and more of our energy, we are participating in the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind; sending billions of our dollars overseas to buy oil for a commodity that lasts 90 days until burned in our gas tanks."
Pickens said his plan is "doable" in five to 10 years.
"Today, the U.S. imports a quarter of the world's oil production with just four percent of the world's population and just three percent of the world's reserves. This is not sustainable, certainly not at today's prices," Pickens said.
THE PICKENS PLAN - OVERVIEW (from BP's press release)
Diagnosing The Problem with Our Energy Use Today
-- 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 two 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.
Getting It Right: Ending our Dependence on Foreign Oil through Action
-- Since natural gas is cheaper than gasoline and diesel and because natural gas can be easily used to power a wide range of vehicles, this plan creates an energy platform that cuts more than one-third or more than $230 billion off the nation's yearly payments to foreign countries.
-- Our nation's wind corridor and renewable energy resource is strategically located in the middle of our country and can be safeguarded from attack.
-- We are experiencing a significant increase in reserves found in natural gas in key areas of the country and so today, we have a true abundance of renewable wind power and domestic natural gas to drive this plan forward.
-- In addition, the plan brings tremendous environmental advantages as the substitution of natural gas will reduces carbon emissions substantially.
-- And finally, the United States creates an energy platform that focuses attention on the country's own abundant alternative, renewable forms of power, restores the nation's global standing and makes clear to the world that the U.S. is in control of its energy destiny.
"We are asking the American public to get behind this plan and to help us reduce our dangerous dependency on foreign oil. This has to be the number one priority in the country starting today and that's what this campaign is all about," Pickens said. "If we are successful, and I certainly believe we can be, we will look back and say that we saw the mess we created and took decisive actions to fix these problems."