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Oilman T. Boone Pickens
Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium online newsletter published by the current No. 1 best-selling author, WND staff writer and columnist. Subscriptions are $99 a year or $9.95 per month for credit card users. Annual subscribers will receive a free autographed copy of “The Late Great USA,” a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation’s sovereignty.
Oilman T. Boone Pickens has abandoned plans to build his billion-dollar wind farm in Texas, finally deciding to throw in the towel on one of the nation’s most expensive alternative energy boondoggles, Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert reports.
In May 2008, Pickens announced his oil company, Mesa Power LP, would order 687 wind turbines, or 1,000 megawatts of capacity, from GE at a cost of about $2 billion. By 2014, Pickens planned to expand the wind farm in west Texas to a gigantic 4,000 megawatts, about four times the output of a typical nuclear power plant.
“Now, Pickens has decided the idea was a bust,” Corsi wrote, “resolving that at best all that might work are small wind farms in limited geographical locations, though Pickens has yet to say where exactly he now considers that wind turbine power might be an economically successful venture.”
At the height of his enthusiasm for wind turbine power, Pickens created a website to promote his “Pickens Plan” solution for a U.S. energy policy that would wean U.S. dependence from foreign oil.
Pickens spent some $58 million to broadcast a series of television commercials promoting his agenda, and he appeared all over cable television news to promote his idea that wind power was a renewable energy that could save America from dependence on foreign oil.
“The problem was Pickens could never convince a major city such as Dallas to agree to create the necessary connections to transmit the electricity generated by the Pampa wind turbine farm to Dallas,” Corsi noted.
A key Pickens television commercial began by stating that the U.S. imported 24 percent of all oil consumed in the country, growing to 42 percent in 1970 and “almost 70 percent” today and “climbing every minute.” Pickens also asserted that “over $700 billion leaves this country to foreign nations every year,” an amount the commercial argues is “four times the cost of the Iraqi war.”
Pickens, typically a strong financial supporter of Republican Party candidates, made a point of “sitting out” the 2008 presidential campaign. He then formed strong ties with the incoming Obama administration to advance his energy agenda.
The “Pickens Plan,” in its heyday, involved using more wind and solar power to provide electricity to cities. He then wanted to convert 18-wheeler commercial trucks to be driven on natural gas, with a goal of converting 300,000 of the nation’s fleet of 6.5 million long-haul trucks.
Pickens was one of the first prominent oilmen to claim electric batteries will be the ultimate solution for automobiles.
He openly acknowledged the difficulty that billions of dollars would have to be spent to modernize electric grids throughout the country, to modify long-haul trucks as well as to provide a natural gas infrastructure of service stations around the country and to create a new generation of battery-powered cars.
The “pillars” of the Pickens Plan listed on his website included:
- Create millions of new jobs by building out the capacity to generate up to 22 percent of our electricity from wind. And adding to that with additional solar capacity;
- Building a 21st century backbone electrical grid;
- Providing incentives for homeowners and the owners of commercial buildings to upgrade their insulation and other energy savings options; and
- Using America’s natural gas to replace imported oil as a transportation fuel.
“The Pickens Plan was strangely reminiscent of many initiatives that have been discussed since the administration of Jimmy Carter in the 1970s,” Corsi wrote. “Anyone who has driven through California has seen hundreds of abandoned wind turbines that have been built since the 1970s as a result of various tax-incentive subsidies that have attempted to promote the alternative energy or renewable energy agendas of past decades.”
Still, Pickens pleads, “I’ve been an oilman all my life. But this is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of.”
“Since Pickens failed to convince the federal government, or Texas, to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to connect the Pickens-built wind farm to the electrical grid in Dallas, Pickens is left with a lot of wind turbines blowing in the wind in the dusty Texas panhandle,” Corsi wrote.
Pickens is now facing approximately a $2 billion loss on his boondoggle wind turbine adventure, he noted.
Considering the amount of money Pickens had at stake in this venture, Corsi said it is no wonder he pumped millions into running a television campaign promoting a vision of alternative energy that features wind turbines.
The Dallas Morning News reported that GE will deliver the first round of wind turbines in the first quarter of 2011.
“I don’t have that big a garage to put them in,” Pickens told the newspaper, “so I’ve got to start getting ready to use them.”
He said he was looking at sites in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas to build three or four wind farms with around 150 turbines in each.
Pickens also hopes the prices of natural gas and oil will spike once again, as they did in the summer of 2008.
“You had them standing in line to finance you when natural gas was around $9 per million British thermal units,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “Natural gas at $4 doesn’t have any people trying to finance you.”
Red Alert has previously reported that ethanol is another renewable fuel where chief manufacturers are going broke.
Red Alert’s author, whose books “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command” have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.
In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.
For financial guidance during difficult times, read Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium, online intelligence news source by the WND staff writer, columnist and author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, “The Obama Nation.”