While I was on vacation, I happened to see a commercial from T. Boone Pickens that made me sit up and pay attention. He wants America to stop our dependence on oil. It's called the Pickens Plan.
Normally I'm no fan of T. Boone, as he's as right-wing as they come. But I think it is a sea change when a man who's fortunes have come from oil recognizes that that is a dying industry. He's a businessman first and foremost (a real Texas oil man, not like the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., who has a Harvard MBA, family riches, and still managed to fail in the lucrative Texas oil industry of the 1980's).
The main reason why there has not been a push for alternative energy in this country is that there's been no obvious profit motive. We are, for better or for worse, a capitalist country. If there's money to be made, we'll do it. Otherwise, not so much.
Now, we've had some discussions here at the House of Jello about one issue being "more important" than another. You may think energy is not important, or at the least a rather dull topic. But the truth is, energy affects everything in your life. Look around you right now at the things on your desk made of plastic, paper, or metal. They were manufactured and transported using energy. As was the food on your table, and the clothes on your back.
It's not just about the price of a gallon of gas.
President Bush's idea is a plan to open up more land for drilling for this limited resource (again, showing his inferior business acumen). But our future is not in oil. Pickens is correct in looking to wind and natural gas as alternatives for America. This is a major business opportunity for America, not an energy crisis.
Barack Obama is by far the stronger candidate on the issue of energy. However, I would love to hear him frame the issue in terms of the opportunity it provides rather than the standard line that we should work toward oil independence.
Will either candidate acknowledge the groundbreaking move by a wealthy Texas oil man to "get out" of the business?