Pickens Promotes His Energy Plan
Oilman T. Boone Pickens brings his energy plan to Oklahoma. Pickens' town hall meeting in McAlester on Wednesday featured an introduction by Governor Henry and a standing room only crowd. News On 6 anchor Terry Hood reports Pickens says his plan could reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 30% in ten years and, at the heart of it, is a resource Oklahoma is famous for.
Boone Pickens' message for America can be summed up in four words: cheap oil is over.
The question now, he says, is what are we going to do about it? Pickens says in 1970, the U.S imported 24% of its oil supply. The number is now closer to 70%.
"We now have $700 billion a year flowing out of the country to pay for foreign oil," said T. Boone Pickens.
Pickens says it's the biggest single crisis facing America today.
In McAlester, close to 1,000 people turned out to hear the message.
"I think I have credibility when I talk about energy. They say let's to listen to him. He knows what he's talking about. I do know what I'm talking about," said T. Boone Pickens.
Pickens' plan would literally harvest the wind. He sees thousands of wind turbines stretching across the nation's wind belt. The power generated from the wind turbines would operate power plants which would free up natural gas to help fuel the nation's transportation system.
Pickens says in 10 years, oil imports would be cut significantly, saving the nation $230 billion a year.
Pickens has an answer for those who say the idea is being offered in his self-interest to make him more money.
"I've got enough money. I'm going to make money no matter what," said T. Boone Pickens.
Pickens hopes the issue will be a priority in the presidential race and says, so far, he's getting good response from both John McCain and Barack Obama.
But, some in the crowd didn't think that was enough. Pickens was asked if he'd run himself.
"Too old. If I was 60, I promise you I could beat these two guys are running," said T. Boone Pickens.
Pickens is spending $58 million of his own money to promote the plan.
He told The News On 6 he's hoping people will get behind him and pressure Congress to take action.
CLICK HERE to read about Pickens' plan.
One researcher says he believes Pickens is on the right track with his wind proposal. But he questions how effective natural gas will be as a long term fuel source.
Pickens is originally from Holdenville in Hughes County.