Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

September 16, 2008

T. Boone Pickens in SLC

T. Boone Pickens was in Salt Lake City last week and I went to go hear what he had to say. If your not familiar with T. Boone and his Pickens Plan I suggest you pay his site a visit and read up, you'll no doubt hear about him again.

First off, a couple of things. He is in this business to make money. He is not in this business to make policy relating to all things related to his plan. I found him to be refreshingly honest about both of these things.

Over all I would have to say that I agree with what he is saying. Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that a huge amount of our nations wealth is being sent overseas to pay for our consumption of oil and that isn't counting the cost of the wars and NATO actions that we have to pay for to "secure" the countries that much of that supply comes from. I was shocked to learn that it is actually a transfer of wealth to the tune of 700 Billion/yr. That is 700 b. leaving our country, no correct that, 700 b. that we are sending out of this country willingly and much of it is going to people and countries that want to harm us. The main point of the Pickens plan is this. We need to take ownership of our energy sources and we need to do it as soon as possible.

Now if your at all like me, you've run this scenario through in your head:
• We need to take ownership of our energy sources.
• We need to begin using alternative sources of energy because fossil fuels just can't go on forever.
• If we don't have the infrastructure to deliver the sustainable energy, why start building alternative fuel vehicles?
• How are we going to get off foreign oil when all of our transportation for not just ourselves, but all of our shipping of goods, relies on it?

He has as well, and I have to say, he makes some serious sense. If you list the possible sources of energy that we have available to us right here at home; solar, wind, hydrogen, natural gas, coal and biofuels for example, there are only two of those that can be rapidly deployed to be used in the transportation industry. Biofuels are already in use, but I think we can agree based on food prices that this is not a good solution. That really only leaves clean natural gas (CNG).
CNG is a technology that is available, that is produced here in the US, (also in Canada, but they aren't trying to kill us.) and the technology is already available to convert over to it fairly easily.
Here's the point where many people balk. T. Boone Pickens holds a very large stake in a CNG company called Clean Energy. As I said to begin with, he is very up front about the fact that he own this company, and he is in that business to make money. However, he also backs nuclear, wind farms (which he has already built the biggest one in the world of) drilling for domestic oil and Hydrogen fuel cells. To paraphrase him, he's "for anything, as long as it's domestic."
Now, is the Pickens plan perfect? No, I wouldn't say it is. For instance, I differ from him in that he believes that we should only focus on building NEW vehicles as CNG vehicles and not worry too much about the conversion systems that cause so much grief to even install. I think that legislation against modifications needs to be lifted. He makes a great point though. When someone came up to him as started pointing out all of the bad things about his plan, he simply said, "Great...what's your plan?" He doesn't seem to care at all what source we choose, just as long as it's domestic. And that, I can get behind.
I'm not 100% sold on the Pickens plan, but I am swayed to a certain degree. I've seen what happens when a person, let alone a country, is paralyzed by indecision. We need to move forward. If this is the only plan out there with concrete actions and time lines, I feel that it's definitely worth some serious consideration.
Please, chime in with your opinions on this. Has anyone else seen him in person? What's your opinion of his proposition? Help me make up my mind.


MeadowLark said...

Most of my issues with Pickens come from his buying up water rights in that Oklahoma etc corridor. I have many, many issues with selling something that should be a basic right.

I think that sours me on all of his plans, without putting much thought into it.

He's right. I don't have a plan. Because conservation isn't enough. But I'm wondering, how much did he mention that conservation is also a necessity? I would hope that if he was open and honest and forthright about his motives, then he would also honestly tell us that a "new plan" isn't enough either.

So what did he say about conservation?

MeadowLark said...

Oh yeah... from an older OpEd in the times

More food for thought

P~ said...

First off, I hope you don't mistake my reporting what I experienced as trying to convince you one way or the other. I'm really only interested in getting the conversation going here. T. Boone didn't really get into conservation, but I agree that it is a necessity. (BTW, if you want to be on the same page as me, you can watch the SLC webcast of the same thing I saw HERE.
I agree with you on the buying up water rights, It's sour grapes with me too. However, I can't...no...won't allow myself to get "soured on all of his plans" because of one facet of the man. It sounds to me like you've pretty much made up your mind. I would just encourage you to not get too caught up in the likes and dislikes, and focus on the issue that we have of foreign energy. Without some energy independence, we're sunk, and noone else is doing anything. Also, in the article that you linked to, they're biggest argument is that you can't have all wind power because of flucuations and because of the loss over distances. He is not pushing for pure wind, or natural gas for that matter. In his own words he is for everything, "as long as it's American!", and is actively requesting that the gov. upgrade out national power grid for the future. Remember, possibilities are my biggest thing. You've heard me say it before.
Peace to you and thanks for the input.

MeadowLark said...

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

As far as making up my mind, I have a habit of making a snap decision based primarily upon emotion, and then spending a while digging up facts and talking with others... basically "chewing my cud" trying to figure out what I truly believe.

I'm starting to believe it's better than no plan. Thanks for the insight. Looking forward to watching.