in regards to the pickens plan, it seems suspiciously like a scheme to promote natural gas by associating it with wind power.
I tend to agree jehan.
Substituting one evil for another (natural gas for oil) isn’t going to help “America” wean itself from it’s energy consumption habit. However, anything that will promote the retention of US$$$ within the US economy, and reduce dependency on foreign oil importation, is a positive thing; in my humble opinion. And drilling for more oil (offshore, and in the Arctic Reserve) isn’t a solution; the first thing you do when you’ve dug yourself into a hole is stop digging.
Estimates for the construction of transmission lines, support towers, access roads, etc. are conservatively estimated at $60B, but (probably more realistically) at $200B by Pickens; a boost for the sagging US economy.
I can imagine the problems that naysayers will point out. Everything from rights-of-way for the estimated 20,000 miles of transmission lines, the visual blight of thousands of wind-turbine towers, wildlife impact, NIMBY-ism, etc. But I don’t see much difference between this and myriad of gas stations, oil pipelines and terminals, and tanker trucks required to feed our addiction.
What I believe is truly important, is that Picken’s Plan is a step toward action in a country plagued by self-doubt and apathy, driven by political inaction, fueled by cronyism. And yes, I personally view Mr. Pickens as one of those “cronies” … an man who has made billions of dollars on oil partly facilitated by political manipulation. But like Andrew Carnegie, I’m betting that as a man of 80 years, he wants to be remembered for his contribution to America, not what he has taken.
I think we all agree that Pickens Plan isn’t and end-all solution to our energy problems, but it will provide a stopgap until hydrogen, solar, and biofuels become viable. After that it will be a ongoing source of energy for the United States.
the govt gives away 5- 7 billion in oil and gas subsidies every year…
Points of interest:
US Farm Subsides, in all areas, exceeded $16 billion last year. According to the Farm Subsidy Database, $143.5 billion was paid to “farmers” in last ten years … 72% ($103B) of which went the top 10 recipients. 78% of that ($80.6B) went to producers of commodity products; corn, wheat, rice and cotton crops. 66% of American farmers, those engaged in the production of fruits and vegetables, received nothing.
NASA’s budget was $17.46 billion in 2008; $4.4 billion of that directed toward “science missions” (Lunar and Mars exploration, etc.)