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The Pickens Plan or The Road to Serfdom?

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Emissions, Politics by Vito Rispo | July 11th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

T Boone at poker night with me and the brothers Ween

I’ve been a fan of T Boone Pickens for years. He’s a genius when it comes to energy and the making of money from it; so I was pretty excited when he recently unveiled this new super fantastic energy plan, aptly called ‘The Pickens Plan’.

So what is it? What’s this Pickens Plan you’ve been hearing about in the internet? Heres the run down:

The US apparently has the best possible land on earth for wind power, we have this strip right down the middle with perfect wind real estate. I love the idea of wind power. Its renewable and its eco-friendly. Sweet so far.

With the technology we have now and the wind we have in this country, 20%+ of the energy we need can come from wind. Again, awesome, I’m with you T Boone.

Now, we already use natural gas to provide 22% of our nations energy. Plus, we have tons of untapped domestic natural gas reserves (ever heard of the Marcellus Shale?). So Boone is saying we need to get that wind power in place, and then take the natural gas out of the equation and use it to power automobiles. That’ll drastically lower our dependence on foreign oil. Sounds pretty straightforward. So what the problem with all that?

The problem is that the infrastructure for all this is going to cost a lot of money. I’m no mathematician, but according to my calculations, it’ll be exactly 42 bazillion dollars. That’s Americans dollars people.This is about the time in the show where T Boone starts talking about “strong leadership” and the need for everyone to “march in the right direction” to get all this done. That’s the part that really bothers me. It’s eerily similar to F.A. Hayek’s ‘The Road to Serfdom’. Click the link if you’ve never heard of it. Its a quick illustrated version.

“Lets get a man who can make the plan work!”

Bear in mind, Hayek wrote that in 1944. It’s still so real today because he’s talking about economic truths. If you give the government power, they’ll never give it up, and they’ll use it against the citizens eventually. You can see it happening all around us today. And it’s not a matter of who’s in the White House, if you think handsome Mr.Change will give back any of the power that the Bush family swiped from the American people, you’re reading the wrong newspapers.

So, while I’m 100% for driving a natural gas car and using wind to power my house, I’m a bit unnerved about relying on “strong leadership” to get it done.

T Boone needs to get off this idea of getting government to force this change. He’s influential; he needs to talk to business leaders, and give them real economic reasons to get behind this plan, tell them the benefits of doing it his way. At the most, the government could offer some tax incentives for wind power and natural gas autos, but no more.

But he’s T Boone Pickens, if anyone can motivate the business world to make a plan like this fly, he can. Good luck to you T Boone.

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