Earlier this week, Ed Shultz had on T.Boone Pickens to talk about his 'Pickens Plan.' I listened to the show and was O.K. with most of what Mr.Pickens said. A lot of people were upset with Ed for having a guy who funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which if he had not helped to fund, might have gotten us off of foreign oil 4 years ago with a Kerry - Edwards victory. But that is not the real issue.
During the interview T. Boone said he was interested in getting the United States to move from Foreign Oil to Domestic fuel sources, such as natural gas.
Ed then asked him about alternative energy.
T. Boone said he believed that it could be
"Battery technology or hydrogen" but that it would take about "20 years to transition to that technology" and we would need an interim source, such as natural gas.
And then Ed said- "well, actually GM, Nissan and several other car companies are going to start all plug in cars in the next year." EXCEPT HE DIDN'T.
That is what makes me most concerned. If people constantly hear this kind of crap about 20 years and a conversion to natural gas instead of renewable energy, then it will make it harder for Obama to present the bold legislation to get us to a renewable energy future. We have the technology and the resources, all we need is the leadership to convert to ALL CLEAN ENERGY very soon.
Even Al Gore has challenged us to be completely clean energy in 10 years, as seen on the
We Can Solve It Website.
I myself have interviewed scientists from the National Renewable Energy Lab and energy activists and have heard first hand, that we have all the wind and solar energy we need to power the country and a completely electric transportation sector.
So we know we have had the resources for a while, at least since the 70's but have lacked the political will. (Perhaps starting with Reagan removing Carter's solar panels from the White House.)
I thought at first Ed was letting T.Boone get away with this red herring because he was being polite or because of the nice ad revenues T.Boone is putting up.
It doesn't matter, because now it has been revealed that T.Boone is really selling us a completely load of crap to make himself richercompletely load of crap to make himself richer.
(hattip to Kevin Drum of Washington Monthly)
Pickens wants to build his electricity transmission facilities on a strip of land 250 feet wide and 250 miles long that starts at his farm in Roberts County, Texas, and terminates in Dallas. Why that particular strip? Because Pickens has been buying up massive water rights from the Ogallala Aquifer and he wants to pipe that water to Dallas at huge profit. Unfortunately, pipeline right-of-way is pretty hard to acquire, so Pickens figured out a way to get some help: he formed a little water district headed by his wife and a friend and then convinced the Texas legislature that water plus wind electricity was a good reason to use its power of eminent domain to hand over the land to him for a song. Wind power wasn't really the motivation for this land snatch, it was just a sweetener for a water deal.
Clever — and typically Texan, no? Still, why not just sell the electricity? Why the natural gas switcheroo? Turns out Pickens has a vested interest there too:
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.
So the windmills are an excuse to condemn land for a water pipeline, and the natural gas piece of the plan benefits Pickens' NG fueling station company. And while natural gas burns cleaner than oil, it's still a fossil fuel that's found mostly in Russia and the Middle East. Increasing our dependence on gas does little in the long term to promote energy independence.
So there you have it. T.Boone is not the patriot i thought he was.
Update: Just now, Ed is saying he is not sure about T.Boone because T.Boone is saying Biofuels have "run their course" and he is not sure if T.Boone is right with that.
I will say that T.Boone is giving us an advantage in showing how the republicans are breaking ranks. Other than that, i think he is using his money to make more money and that is all. We don't need to wait 20 years, and we certainly don't need our progressive leaders giving him free access to our ears without a challenge on their falsehoods.
Hope you read this article Ed, and take T.Boone down a notch.