If you haven’t yet heard, Texas Oilman T. Boone Pickens has a plan to solve our energy problems and what he proposes is all factually correct. The world supply of oil is diminishing, wind energy is a viable answer and natural gas is the ultimate answer to a strong domestic supply of clean energy for moving our vehicles, heating our homes.
Mr. Pickens ignores that some members of Congress were reporting in 2005 that the oil supply had peaked. He relies on us to ignore that one of the first major pieces of legislation the 110th Congress produced was a thorough and relatively inexpensive energy bill. It invests in research and production of renewable and other energy to include wind, solar, natural gas, and hydro.
So, what’s the point Mr. Pickens?
There is room to believe that he truly feels our pain, but that compassion must be considered in the context of his oil industry reporting unprecedented profits while we still feel the pain at the pump.
No, it’s something else.
First there is the obvious: developing and producing wind energy brings government funds and Mr. Pickens has been bringing wind technology into Texas. Get taxpayer funds to build the turbines, sit back and let the wind make your money for you. He and his colleagues will grow their business on those subsidies and will ultimately be setting the price of wind energy just as they are with oil-generated energy today.
Then the more obvious: the Energy Department reported in 2005 that we have 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas within our national boundaries. That includes the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) where Mr. Pickens and the oil crowd feel they absolutely have to drill. And, of course, a good bit of natural gas is found near oil strikes, so this works pretty well for Mr. Pickens: there is more natural gas to pump than oil.
Why sell this to the public now? After 8 years of trying to interpret the energy policy of the two elected oilmen in the Capital up pops T. Boone Pickens, yet another Texas oilman with an answer to our energy problems. His motivations precede him and it is likely no coincidence, more likely one of those (Carl) Rovian political strategies, that he sauntered on stage a mere few weeks before the President repealed Executive Orders banning drilling on most of the OCS, dumping this highly charged and intensely political issue in the lap of Congress.
Aside from supporting the President’s position on more leases, Mr. Pickens’ proposal does more to feather his own nest than solve our energy problems. Why should we get behind him? He proposes a solution Congress has already acted on and wants us to direct our resources, hopes and dreams towards improving his business, extending its longevity, and setting him up to control that energy commodity too.
With high oil company profits growing from gasoline prices that are beyond reason and refineries working at less than capacity, who would go along with a solution from someone who is profiting from those high prices, someone who is part of the problem? After 8 years of two oilmen in the White House and allegations that Mr. Pickens’ himself is sitting on a slew of capped oil wells, we’ve seen where the oil crowd has taken us and why. How long do you think it will take, with the old bosses still in charge, before we begin to feel the pain at the natural gas pump? ##