CBS Picks Pickens' Plan to Pieces

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
cbs picks pickens plan to pieces

The ironically named Kevin Drum takes on once and former oil man T. Boone Pickens' plan for American energy independence. After CBS' Drum has his wicked way with Pickens' not-so-well publicized personal financial interests in the matter, there's hardly a shred of credibility left upon which the Texan can wipe his ass. So to speak. "So T. Boone Pickens has an energy plan he wants to sell us. The basic idea is simple: Build a bunch of windmills in Texas to generate electricity, and then use the electricity to power electric cars. Voila! Energy independence! No, wait. That's not it at all. What Pickens actually wants to do is use the windmills to replace the electricity from existing power plants that run on natural gas. Then we can use the natural gas to run our cars." Hmmm. "Along with being the country's biggest wind power developer, Pickens owns Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a natural gas fueling station company that is the sole backer of the stealthy Proposition 10 on California's November ballot…. But a closer read finds a laundry list of cash grabs — from $200 million for a liquefied natural gas terminal to $2.5 billion for rebates of up to $50,000 for each natural gas vehicle. Much of the measure's billions could benefit Pickens' company to the exclusion of almost all other clean-vehicle fuels and technology." Is that why GM was talking up CNG cars recently? Hang on; one conspiracy at a time, please.

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  • Kevin Kevin on Aug 07, 2008

    PCH It’s simply a lie to claim that natural gas plays a dominant role in producing US electricity. That’s clearly false, and something that the Pickens Scam brushes off. Boy can't imagine just what your bug about gas-fired power plants is. I think we've established even to you that natural gas accounts for somewhere from 20 - 30% of electricity. That may not make it the #1 source, but it does make it #2 or #3. And that's pretty impressive. However I'll totally agree w/ you that wind cannot displace natural gas any time soon. Wind only accounts for 1% of electricity generation. Any switch to alternative energy will take a VERY LONG time, and it'll take ages to build enough wind turbines to make it a leading source. As it is everyone in the Wind Power supply chain is absolutely overwhelmed trying to meet orders -- there is a hard limit there of scarce resources, human and material. Something Al Gore, for example, wouldn't comprehend. I think the Pickens plan for wind and natural gas is probably worth trying to the degree it'll help, but one has to be realistic about how long it'll take to make much of a difference. But just because it won't solve all energy problems tomorrow doesn't mean it's some kind of scam.

  • Westhighgoalie Westhighgoalie on Aug 08, 2008
    "Hmmm….. give a rich, Texas, redneck my energy dollar or the Saudi Royal Family to fund Al Qaeda? Why does anyone in the United States have a problem with this?" Can someone please educate stupid rednecks like this person above!!! This anti-islamic Bull Shit has got to stop! My neighbor is Muslim and is a College Professor and he recently got told to "Go play in the sand Towelie" He was also Sent a death threat after 9/11. This guy isn't sketchy at all, He's super nice! He plays with his kids in his yard all the time and he helps me with my yard work and I with his. I'm proud to have him as my neighbor and friend! Im glad I wasn't around when there was anti-Italian beliefs in this country. I don't think I could have handled that.

  • Westhighgoalie Westhighgoalie on Aug 08, 2008

    PCH... I personally think NUCLEAR is better than Natural Gas... There is a finite amount of Natural gas, But nuclear reactions can be made with many different molecules. and besides when those rods build up and we don't have room to store them, we will have saved enough natural resources by not burning oil/ coal ect. We can just shoot all that Nuclear waste shit right out into space! problem solved Mars- earths newest landfill!

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Aug 08, 2008
    But just because it won’t solve all energy problems tomorrow doesn’t mean it’s some kind of scam. It's a scam because Pickens wants more benefits than the tax credits that already exist to subsidize the construction of his wind farms. In essence, he wants a special benefit accorded to him that none of his competitors are going to get. It's a scam because he has made a bogus connection between wind power and your car. If you think that these two things are related, then the solution is simple: put a damned windmill on top of your car. It's a scam because Pickens isn't telling you that the US is importing natural gas today and is on track to import more of it in the future as demand rises. So guess what: increasing our dependency on natural gas ultimately increases our dependency upon imported energy, the very opposite of what Pickens claims will happen. The Pickens Scam is an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with your money. He's obviously excited about it, because he's willing to spend a lot of money lying to the American people to conceal that what he's really trying to do is to gain an unfair advantage for himself over other wind farm developers, and that he's willing to lie to everyone to get it. The Pickens Scam will not reduce energy imports at all. Not one single bit. If you want to reduce US dependency, then the solution lies with you. You can't buy your way out of this one, you'll just have to use less.