America is addicted to foreign oil. One alternative: Pickens Plan

From the Pickens Plan website:

America is addicted to foreign oil.

It’s an addiction that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security. It touches every part of our daily lives and ties our hands as a nation and as a people.

The addiction has worsened for decades and now it’s reached a point of crisis.

In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil.
Today, it’s more than 65% and growing.

Oil prices have come down from the staggering highs of last summer, but lower prices have not reduced our dependence on foreign oil or lessened the risks to either our economy or our security.

If we are depending on foreign sources for nearly two-thirds of our oil, we are in a precarious position in an unpredictable world.

In additional to putting our security in the hands of potentially unfriendly and unstable foreign nations, we spent $475 billion on foreign oil in 2008 alone. That’s money taken out of our economy and sent to foreign nations, and it will continue to drain the life from our economy for as long as we fail to stop the bleeding.

Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion – it will be the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.

Can’t we import more oil?

America uses a lot of oil. Every day 85 million barrels of oil are produced around the world. And 21 million of those are used here in the United States.

That’s 25% of the world’s oil demand. Used by just 4% of the world’s population.

Can’t we just produce more oil?

Consider this: America imports 12 million barrels a day, and Saudi Arabia only produces 9 million a day. Is there really more undiscovered oil here than in all of Saudi Arabia?

World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to find and there just isn’t enough of it to keep up with demand.

The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone.

But America is focused on another crisis: The economy.

All Americans are feeling the effects of the recession. And addressing the economy is the top priority of our nation. This is more than bailing out a bank, an insurance firm or a car company. The American economy is huge and has many facets.

To make a real and lasting impact we must seek to do more than create new jobs and opportunities today, we must build the platform on which our economy can continue to grow for decades to come.

There is nothing more important to the present and future of our economy than energy. Any effort to address our economic problems will require a thorough understanding of this issue and willingness to confront our dependence on foreign oil and what domestic resources we can use.

It is a crisis too large to be addressed piecemeal. We need a plan of action on scale with the problems we face. That is the spirit in which the Pickens Plan was conceived. The Pickens Plan is a collection of coordinated steps that together form a comprehensive approach to America’s energy needs.

The Pickens Plan.

There are several pillars to the Pickens Plan:

  • 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 generation capacity;
  • Building a 21st century backbone electrical transmission grid;
  • Providing incentives for homeowners and the owners of commercial buildings to upgrade their insulation and other energy saving options; and
  • Using America’s natural gas to replace imported oil as a transportation fuel in addition to its other uses in power generation, chemicals, etc.

While dependence on foreign oil is a critical concern, it is not a problem that can be solved in isolation. We have to think about energy as a whole, and that begins by considering our energy alternatives and thinking about how we will fuel our world in the next 10 to 20 years and beyond.

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