Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Pickens Plan

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?


Mary Ellen said...


Great post! I'm so glad to see that people are finally taking this energy situation seriously. It's too bad we had to wait until this point of ridiculously high gas prices to finally wake up. It looks like Shell Oil is looking into alternative power in the form of solar panels...

Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Showa Shell Sekiyu, Japan's fifth-largest oil refiner, plans to invest 100 billion yen, or about $938 million, in a solar-panel megaplant, according to AFP.

The planned factory will produce panels with the cumulative annual capacity to produce 1 gigawatt of power, equivalent to that of a small nuclear-power reactor.....

Scotty said...

Pickens Plan Public Discussion Forum :

Sue J said...

Mary Ellen, thanks. I know BP is also looking into some alternative energies, as well.

Scotty, thanks for the link -- looks like there's some great conversations going on over there!

DCup said...

I admit this got my attention, but I've become so jaded that I was like uh huh, really? what's this guy's deal?

I'm going to look deeper into it. Thanks!

Sue J said...

dcup, I have no doubt that his deal is to make more money. But that's ok with me -- the profit motive is what makes technology research happen.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Somebody has to manufacture the solar panels and windmills. And somebody else has to sell them. There's clearly some profit to be made. As for oil, we're still going to have to find it for a while, if not for energy, for manufacturing. Half the stuff in our house probably has some petroleum in it.

donald said...

it is a great plan, and we as a country should have been moving this direction since the oil crisis of the 70's, but lack of leadership in washington by both parties and their dependance on contributions from big oil, slowed this process down considerably.

we are capitalist, and i have no problem with profits, especially if it means we can use sustainable energy to fulfill our needs of power.

Allie said...

I got this in an email forward and I was so excited about it! I mean his plan is so simple and doable! We should SPAM send it to the candidates so they freakin' do something about it. They're too busy peddling the bullshit right now to be bold. F-ing politics. Too bad Americans are so dumb and the news panders to their dumbness.