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Contributor: Jerry Noble

The Pickens Plan was announced in 2008 and it is a detailed proposal for a new energy policy, created by a man named T. Boone Pickens. T. Boone is a businessman from America who gained fame in the 80s for his skill and success at corporate raiding. He also serves as the chairperson of the BP Capital Management hedge fund.  

What is the Pickens Plan?

In the simplest terms, the Pickens Plan presents a strategy which would reduce the amount that the U. S. spends annually to import oil by $300 billion. This would be a 43% reduction. The Pickens Plan suggests that this could be achieved by investing nearly $1 trillion in farms for wind turbines, creating clean energy. With the addition of these farms, the U. S. would be able to use natural gas (currently being used for energy) as fuel for heavy vehicles and CNG trucks. The idea is that with natural gas fueling these vehicles, the U. S. wouldn’t rely as heavily on foreign oil.

Proposal of the Plan

There are actually a few points to the plan that are included in the proposal. These points include: Thousands of wind turbines installed in the Great Plains. This would be funded by private industry. Pickens refers to this area as the Wind Corridor of the U. S. because of both the geographical location and the abundant resources (wind) in the area. Pickens estimates that 20% of the nation’s power supply could be met with these turbines. There would be transmission lines for electric power that would run from the turbines to the power grid. This part of his plan would be funded by the government. These lines would provide power to the South, West and Midwestern sections of the United States. By implementing the turbine farms, natural gas that is currently used as a primary power source could be used to fuel thousands of vehicles instead. In an attempt to increase the efficiency of the natural gas it would be utilized in fleets of buses and trucks. By shifting the way America uses its natural gas, Pickens believes that the demand for imported oil would drop drastically.

How long would this take?

In the proposal for the Pickens Plan there was a timetable which called for completion of the project in 10 years with the stipulation that this schedule could only be achieved with the right leadership. There has been some dispute about this timetable with some of the heavy hitters in the energy industry arguing that the plan simply could not be fully implemented in a 10 year period.
Natural Gas

The effects of the Pickens Plan on natural gas would only be lateral effects. Under the Pickens Plan, Americans would still be consuming similar quantities of natural gas annually. The difference would be that instead of natural gas being a way to power and heat our homes and offices – this homegrown fuel source would be utilized as fuel for vehicles. Overall, the Pickens Plan seems to have some valuable ideas. Most Americans agree that it’s important to reduce dependence on foreign oil despite disagreements about the best way to accomplish this goal. The Pickens Plan offers one option that is worth considering.

Contributor: Jerry Noble

Natural Gas Production in the United States

We all know that natural gas is a cost effective way to get energy. We also know that here in the United States a lot of the natural gas that we use comes from other countries. What we may not know is why this is the case … isn’t there plenty of natural gas in the United States? Why aren’t we using our home-grown natural resources? The following article will answer some common questions about natural gas production in the United States.  

Is there natural gas in the U. S.?

It might surprise you to learn that there is quite a bit of natural gas right here in our own country. According to most of the natural gas consumed by Americans comes from America or the Gulf of Mexico while some is shipped in through pipelines from Canada. We do not just drill for natural gas in the U.S. (also known as “fracking”); we also use a machine known as a “digester” that turns organic material such as animal waste and/or plants into this valuable resource. This type of production is valued because it is renewable (it beats waiting millions of years for gas to form naturally). According to the site, the natural gas projections in the U.S. are at 2,203 Tcf. (these estimates refer to recoverable natural gas). Using that data combined with current and future projected natural gas usage for this country, that supply should last only 92 years which is one reason why the U.S. currently imports natural gas.
Why do we need other countries?

Statistically we only import around 15% of the total amount of natural gas consumed in the U.S.. Of that 15%, 95% comes from Canada while a tiny amount comes from Mexico. This information is available at The reason that the U.S. imports some natural gas is plain old economics … some of the gas reserves here in the U.S. are sold and shipped to other countries and those countries then export it back to us … allowing everyone involved to make some money.

Is there an alternative plan?

There has been a lot of talk lately about something known as the “Pickens Plan.” This is a plan formulated by T. Boone Pickens and it has been endorsed by the US President. This plan has several steps, which include:

• Using the abundant supplies of natural gas in America as a replacement for oil that is imported for use as fuel for transportation;

• Building an electrical transmission grid that will be the backbone of the U. S. economy for the 21st century;

• Developing existing renewable sources of energy such as solar power and wind power; and

• Providing incentives to people who own property if they increase the energy efficiency in their buildings by upgrading their insulation value.

We, as Americans, consume more energy than any other country in the world. We pay ungodly amounts of money to other countries for oil and it’s ironic that we do so because there are oceans of natural gas right beneath our feet. With the economy in the state that it is in and non-renewable sources of oil running low it’s crucial for America to focus on natural gas, utilizing the energy source available here at home.
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