Ben Johnson …Pickens advances the use of natural gas and wind power. Pickens claims 22 percent of current power could be replaced by wind-generated power. His proposal would transform the American Midwest, the breadbasket of the world, requiring windmills to be erected from Galveston to Fargo at a cost of at least $1.2 trillion (Boone’s estimate). He also wants to see automobiles fitted with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tanks, which he claims would cut our use of gasoline by $300 billion within 10 years.
The Pickens Plan was feted by Carl Pope of the Sierra Club on The Huffington Post. “To put it plainly, T. Boone Pickens is out to save America,” he wrote. If one can judge a man by his friends and supporters, this would have us worried.”
There! Read that. Remember where you read it and quote your source often.
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Robert Zubrin recently at the 2008 AIPAC policy conference. We hit it off right on the spot. I merely told him what I wrote above in bold letters. Dr. Zubrin commented that he ALMOST agreed. He repeated what I said and added one word. In Dr. Zubrin’s opinion: “The strategic path to victory in the war on terror is the elimination of petroleum as the ONLY prime mover of our transportation system.”
I’ll let you decide whether that’s “splitting hairs”. I like his attitude. Besides! He’s done a TON more research into this than I have. I’ve been merely following ethanol vehicle fuels because I grew up in Illinois farm country. I’ve long been convinced that America could produce enough ethanol to power our motor vehicle fleet; the largest in the world. Dr. Zubrin has written a book that all but proves it out.
The book is ENERGY VICTORY and it is presented at:
Of particular importance, PLEASE review the on-line slide show highlighting his thesis.
In short, Dr. Zubrin’s thesis is that we could create competition in the motor vehicle fuel business by mandating that all cars sold in the US be flex fuel.
I concur with Dr. Zubrin. Giving American automobile fuel consumers CHOICE will cause competition that will break OPEC’s absolute control over motor vehicle fuel supply. Make OPEC nations work for a living, competing against the rest of the world which can grow something that can be made into ethanol. This competition will cause a significant shrinkage in the capacity of the money pipeline to international terrorism.
The Tundra Tabloids stands fully behind the “FLEX FUEL” option. It offers both a way to curb US imports of Saudi oil while depriving them of their monopoly, as well as giving the free market a role in meeting all of the US’s energy needs. Right now, a highly anti-free market force has been controlling the world’s oil supplies, which runs counter to every international agreement signed to counter such unhealthy practices.
Cartels are NEVER healthy to the growth of free markets, and to the betterment of societies, whether they are state run or publicly held. Just look at the price of oil, and see how a barrel of oil that actually costs $1.50 to pump out of the ground, is magically turned into costing almost $150 a barrel. TINSC’s enthusiasm for “FLEX FUEL” is well warranted, and should be suggested by every American to his or her government representative.
It’s the only logical “American” alternative being promoted to date. Many thanks to TINSC for offering such a logical and cognizant appeal for its implementation in the US fuel grid. *L* KGS
FROM THE COMMENT SECTION:
TINSC: “Natural gas is a viable automotive fuel. It can even be synthasized from coal. Plus, North America has good supplies of natural gas. By replacing natural gas generation with wind generation, the incremental natural gas available could power our motor vehicle fleet. You can power your gasoline powered vehicle right now on natural gas. Just install a tank and a fuel line and it will run. We did this at the electric/gas utility I worked at in the 1980’s. You could switch between gasoline and natural gas seemlessly with a toggle switch. The only drawback is that the natural gas tank took up about 1/2 the trunk. Here’s the real catch: You can’t do this NOW.
Right now, I can go to a gasoline station or two in town and buy E85. It’s readily available all over the Midwest United States and is quickly coming to other regions as distilleries crop up. It’s competitive with gasoline and in time will be made from cheaper processes than the corn ethanol commonly available now.
There is a fair amount of enthusiasm for wind power in the electric utility industry. This is especially true in regions where wind currents are adequate to generate dispatchable power. I’d also add that there is a 523 Megawatt generating plant being built in the Mojave Desert thanks to solar/thermal technology developed in Israel by a company called Solel. This is some serious electric power and not to be confused with the weeny photovoltaic electricity you are more familiar. I can provide a link at a later date. […] Actually, the solar project is a 553 MW plant. A slight typo. Here’s the link.”
TT: I will have to defer to the more knowledgeable voices on the subject. Perhaps electricity generating windmills can be used to free up the natural gas supplies, in order to help fuel a portion of the transportation sector. The safety hazards Ben Johnson alluded to in the article, could of course be dealt with further down the road.
The most important thing I guess, is above all, the ability of the consumer to decide for him or herself, what fuels are best to use. Providing competition at the pumps can only benefit the consumer in the long run. So, the TT stands corrected on the central issue of wind generated power and natural gas being used a alternative sources in helping the transportation sector stay off of Middle eastern oil.
The devil is in the details, and if the US hammers out the bugs in the system and opens up competition at the pumps, it will force the Arab oil barons to lower their prices and break their monopoly in the process. Not a bad scenerio at all.