No that picture is not Jimmy Carter but Texan, T. Boone Pickens, the natural gas king of Texas. Pickens has an answer to America’s energy crisis during a recent TED talk.
Why are our electricity prices, gasoline prices, natural gas prices, and basically all our energy prices cheaper than they are in Europe?
The reason they are cheaper is because we have such a huge stockpile of American based fossil fuel energy that the imports simply represent a way for us to stockpile even more of our own resources.
Even still our prices could be much lower but we refuse to back off of OPEC oil but instead allow our enemy to become rich in the process.
T. Boone Pickens out of Texas is most recently known for his plan to build a huge West Texas wind mill farm that connects to some of his natural gas power generation plants.
Since wind mill farms must rely on back up power from natural gas it made perfect sense to Pickens to create a large wind farm that connects to his natural gas power and then send all this power across the state into North Texas.
What ended up happening was that Pickens could not find a way to make wind power affordable enough to justify the enormous cost of building and maintaining these gigantic eyesores and so ultimately the large investment in windmills was scrapped at $150 million price tag.
You can’t say he didn’t try to make wind energy work because he blew quite a bit of money on the project.
Pickens is a proud believer in man made global warming but what he is more concerned about is our problem of strengthening our enemy by buying mideastern OPEC oil.
in 1912 America decided to choose crude oil and coal over the dirtier whale oil. Now Pickens sees a new decision point in history.
He wants America to make a drastic change from oil which costs 3 trillion dollars a year in which 1 trillion goes to OPEC.
He believes we should make a choice to go with American natural gas and reject buying OPEC oil to safeguard the U.S. national security.
Because we are buying so much OPEC oil we have basically caused a historical transfer of wealth to the mideast which in turn causes a cycle in which we are policing the world because of it.
Did you know there are only 12 aircraft carriers in the world and 11 belong to the U.S.? Of these carriers, 5 are tied up in the mideast.
The purpose of the carriers is to insure the shipping lanes stay open and oil is readily available when we need it.
The U.S. uses 25 % of the worlds oil and of this 70 % is used for transportation. The problem with solar and wind is that 70 % is for transportation which cannot utilize wind or solar effectively.
Pickens explains that we must address energy for transportation to stop our reliance on OPEC oil. Pickens explains that natural gas is 25 % cleaner than oil at a 130 octane and is simple to use without the need for a refinery.
Natural gas is cleaner and can be used directly in our vehicles for immediate cleaner energy in the U.S. environment and also allows us to avoid the reliance we have on OPEC oil.
One immediate answer is to retrofit the large trucks that drive on our interstate highways. There are 8 million trucks on our highways that if we used natural gas we could cut our imports yearly by 3 million barrels or a 60 % decrease in reliance on OPEC.
If you look at the natural gas we have in the U.S. we have quite a bit more than the total amount of oil they have in the mideast.
It costs the U.S. a billion dollars a day for oil but that cost could be dramatically dropped simply by starting with the retrofit to the 8 million trucks on our highways.
Pickens lost 150 million on his windmill farm idea. He explains you cannot do a wind farm deal with natural gas under $6 mmbtu.
He has now modified his plan to start with retrofitting 18-wheelers on the highway and believes this fuel will be what he calls a “bridge fuel” to the eventual reliance on solar and wind renewable energy as it comes down in price.
He admits that solar and wind will always remain a very small part of total world energy use even out into the future and he asks future minds to come up with a solution to make solar and wind a viable energy solution.
He lost $150 million on wind trying to make that work and he explains that it just doesn’t work at this time in history and until it does natural gas is where we need to be headed for electricity generation, car transportation and trucking.
In summary, even though he makes his money in natural gas he has a very sensible approach that solves many problems in the process instead of creating so many as we have seen with this Administrations blunders with solar, wind, and electric cars. Do I have to name Fisker (bankrupt), SunPower, Solyndra(bankrupt) and Beacon as just a few examples of wasted tax payer dollars.