Billionaire American entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens is optimistic that the Obama administration will bring the United States’ energy infrastructure into the new millennium by implementing his plan for energy independence.
After eight long years there is finally a cause for hope here in the United States. George Bush may still be in office, but right now all America’s problems are President-Elect Obama’s to solve (see Obama Recession, thanks Rush), but he seems ready for them.
As New York Times columnist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says, it is time for Obama to act swiftly and implement New Deal policies for the new millennium. Many have said that FDR’s borderline socialist policies failed because he spent too much money, Krugman feels that he did not invest enough. The Pickens’ Plan, as it is so poetically called, may be the starting point for such an investment.
Why is Pickens’ Plan important? Simply because it’s main goal is to divert all of our oil and natural gas to the transportation sector. Factories will no longer use natural gas because they will be powered either on site or through an electric grid powered by wind and solar. The plan stresses efficiency and centrality. It could also potentially save the US $300 billion in oil expenditures. Citing Obama’s plan to end dependency on foreign oil in the next ten years, Pickens expects that the first step will be implementing major parts of his plan.
The major parts of the plan involve the US specially equipping larger vehicles (buses, trucks, etc.) to run on natural gas. This would take a huge load off of our dependence on oil, in turn causing prices to drop because factories and businesses will have no need for it. Demand for oil would come solely from consumers, as would carbon dioxide emissions (the nitrogen oxide emissions will come from the natural gas burning buses).
Pickens has been criticized for the plan, but has responded “If you don’t like my plan, get a plan.” Of course he is a businessman trying to make money, but he does drive a hard bargain. During a recession time like this, a wind initiative would be a huge help to the country. It would create jobs as well as help stabilize our energy future. Pickens has also promised to invest $1 trillion in the project, which should certainly make it easier for the Obama administration to begin implementing the plan.
The plan can work, but only time will tell if some or all of it gets implementes. Pickens cannot do it alone, he needs the government to help. The Obama Administration seems to be attacking the transition with tenacity, which is a good sign for the plan and our energy future as well. I really hope that Obama’s message of change wasn’t just a campaign slogan. So far he has hit the ground running and I look forward to seeing where his administration will go from here.