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Miscellaneous

Pickens Plan

07.29.08 | 10 Comments

Oilman T. Boon Pickens is one of those larger-than-life characters of the 20th century who seem to be a dying breed in the 21st. Depite having made his billions in the petroleum industry, Pickens has been outspoken about the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and look for alternative energy solutions. He has been touting natual gas as an alternative fuel (30% cleaner burning than petroleum and a domestic resource), and now he is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a four gigawatt wind farm in West Texas.

In the video for Pickens Plan, he rightly says that this type of move will take real leadership. Have we seen either presidential candidate propose anything remotely this bold? Any congressional candidates?

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10 Comments

Comment by Matt
2008-07-29 06:59:32

Impressive. How much is it going to cost to build the wind corridor?

What about those gas powered vehicles?

Are there enough of them available to make up the percentage increase he is proposing? If there are, what about refueling stations?

I’m all for less oil and cleaner fuel, we just have to find a way to pay for it (and convince folks to change their habits).

-Matt

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Comment by Jim
2008-09-05 10:32:08

What does it cost to build a reactor, what does it cost to operate an Oil based Electric plant? What does it cost for the year? SO then the question is over the long run how much will it save us. What is the cost of being dependent on foreign oil. Which has the greater positive impact on the US economy , with Jobs from all the manufacutering and and services. And which is more healthier to us and the planet? Sweatwater can tell you what the wind will cost and how much it improved thier economy.

 
 
Comment by Prest0
2008-07-29 08:42:30

It’s a solid plan, but it’s also one that he’s personally betting on. According to Wikipedia, since at least 2001 he’s owned a company with natural gas refueling stations in several states. So if there is a move toward natural gas for vehicles, he stands to profit by it. Wikipedia claims that the turbines will cost between $200 and $300 million, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t include the cost of installation, connecting to the grid, and so on. It’s a big project, but doubtless it’ll pay for itself. It looks like they’ve already placed the first order for 667 1.5 megawatt turbines (for a total of 1 gigawatt of generating capacity).

According to a totally unverified website, one megawatt can power 240-300 homes. So one gigawatt will power 240,000 to 300,000 homes. Four gigawatts would likely power the entire city of Houston, which is the 4th largest city in the US.

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Comment by Matt
2008-07-29 08:45:59

I’ve got no problem with people making a profit from green energy sources, especially if we can add a few local jobs and cut down on pollution.

The trick will be getting everyone on task and working toward the goal.

People don’t like change.

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Comment by Prest0
2008-07-29 09:02:02

That’s where we need real leadership. Something along the lines of Kennedy’s challenge to get to the moon. We need a call to reduce foreign oil consumption by 50% in ten years. That will mean building nuclear, solar, and wind, and doing so now. I don’t have a problem with LP vehicles per se, but it’s not a long-term solution. However, to put millions of electic cars on the road means dramatically increasing our power generating capacity. It wasn’t that long ago that we had rolling blackouts in California. Adding millions of electric cars to the power grid isn’t going to help. That’s why we need the leadership to call for action and actually push it through.

 
 
Comment by Matt
2008-07-29 09:11:03

Something like this:

Al Gore lays down green challenge to America

Sounds like a “call for action” to me.

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Comment by Prest0
2008-07-29 09:24:07

Yeah. Now it’s a matter of the candidates doing more than paying lip-service.

 
 
Comment by Prest0
2008-07-30 12:59:14

I just stumbled across this interesting chart showing US Energy Consumption by Source & Sector. This chart covers the year 2007, so it’s pretty recent data.

http://perotcharts.com/2008/07/us-primary-energy-consumption-by-source-and-sector-2007/

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Comment by Ed Wetterman
2008-08-01 13:52:02

Leadership? By who? Republican Rich Oil trusts? Socialist Democrats? Not a damn one of em stands up for middle class America. I think corporate lawyer-politicians in both parties are out to destroy the middle class, want to create a working class of modern serfs, that can be easily controlled, and paid in very small amounts. How do you make this happen? Destroy the American economy, see that the American dollar drops in value to the point where American’s become equal to third world nations, set up a North American Union that opens all our borders, and rich corporate types can have cheap labor. It’s all being set up by the G-8, the Bilderbergers, and our “leaders” in the Democratic and Republican parties. The only one telling the truth is Ron Paul and they attack him as a quack for it.

Of course….maybe I’m seeing conspiracies, but you explain to me why gas per barrel increases two dollars on the world market when one ship is attacked by pirates, or five dollars when a pipeline in SCOTLAND is damaged. CAuse….I mean, Scotland is such a huge oil producing nation….

I call Bullshit!

I’m a rebel. I’m willing to secede! Texas forever! Course, I’m also in a pretty bad mood today….

BTW: Ya’ll can keep Bush up north. We don’t want him!

OUT

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Comment by neal5x5
2008-08-11 16:08:24

I’m all for making energy where it can be done cheap and good. There’s a huge-ass wind farm in Wyoming, which is great because there’s a lot of wind and not much else. I don’t see this doing too well in high-population-density regions, but why not take advantage of it where it’s there for the taking? The only problem is that the windmills are hell on the birds- the stupid ones, anyway.

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