Feb 19, 2009
Science Scene - The Pickens Plan
NOTE: See Red Text for hi-lites of this entry :o)
About the Pickens Plan:
Unveiled July 8, 2008, by T. Boone Pickens, the Pickens Plan is a detailed solution for ending the United States’ growing dependence on foreign oil. Earlier this year, when oil prices reached $140/barrel, America was spending about $700 billion for foreign oil, equaling the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. That figure has decreased some while oil prices have retreated, but the U.S. is still dependent on foreign nations for nearly 70 percent of its oil, representing a continuing national economic and national security threat. The plan calls for investing in power generation from domestic renewable resources such as wind and using our abundant supplies of natural gas as a transportation fuel, replacing more than one-third of our imported oil. More than 1.5 million people have joined the Pickens Army through the website http://www.pickensplan.com/, which has had over 14 million hits. For more information on the Pickens Plan, visit their website.
AEP Signs on as Corporate Sponsor of Pickens’ Energy Plan
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 19, 2009 -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has signed on as a corporate sponsor of The Pickens Plan, the energy independence plan proposed by oil and gas industry veteran T. Boone Pickens. The Pickens Plan proposes to generate up to 22 percent of the nation’s electricity from wind and supports development of an extra-high voltage transmission system to facilitate that expanded use of renewable electricity generation. Extra-high voltage transmission is necessary to transport renewable energy from where it is most viable to the nation’s population centers. “For years, AEP has been the most vocal advocate for development of an extra-high voltage transmission superhighway that will efficiently transport electricity to support economic development and energy security, and The Pickens Plan clearly supports that vision,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We can’t significantly develop renewable energy resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and introduce competition for liquid transportation fuels without a well-designed, reliable national transmission grid. We don’t agree with every facet of the Pickens Plan, but we certainly agree that we need to step up our use of renewable energy, break the stranglehold that foreign oil has on our economy, build out our nation’s extra-high voltage transmission system, and do more to create jobs in the United States. “
“I am thrilled that AEP is supporting the Pickens Plan. AEP has always been a leader in the electric power industry, and their involvement in our campaign underscores a commitment to energy independence and the transformation of our grid into a state-of-the-art network that can truly manage our renewable resources into the future,” Pickens said.
In 2006, AEP first proposed development of a national extra-high voltage transmission system, modeled after the interstate highway system, to more efficiently transport electricity, support development of renewable energy resources and enhance energy independence and national security. The company has proposed more than 2,600 miles of 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission projects to enhance the transmission grid, including a 1,000-mile transmission project that would link the wind-rich Upper Midwest with the population-rich East Coast.
In addition to investment in renewables and the transmission grid, The Pickens Plan proposes developing alternative fuel vehicles, such as natural gas-powered trucks and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), to reduce the nation’s use of imported oil. AEP already is working with automakers and other utilities to study the performance of PHEVs and the effect of their widespread use on the nation’s electricity grid. AEP also is testing the use of PHEVs in its own vehicle fleet to learn more about their performance. Auto manufacturers have announced that they will begin introducing PHEVs in 2010. AEP does not believe that we can eliminate our use of natural gas as a generation fuel. But the more renewable energy we can generate and bring to market, the closer we will be to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our dependence on imported oil.
Boone Pickens and Mike Morris will participate in an energy summit on Feb. 23 for business and congressional leaders in Washington where we’ll talk about the need for more transmission and renewable energy. We hope that meaningful legislation will emerge that will support our vision for a true interstate transmission superhighway.