Editorial: Old-fashioned horse sense
Born in Oklahoma, growin’ up in the oil fields, making billions himself in oil after borrowing $2,500 to get started back in the fifties, Boone Pickens is a convert.
He’s a convert to wind power, alternative fuels … anything that will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
A few years ago, Pickens announced a sweeping plan for a wind energy farm on those same plains that used to produce so much oil. That plan is still getting revved up, so to speak, but Pickens said he has not dropped it. He discovered that the infrastructure to deliver the generated power to its users could be deficient.
Several months ago, he attended the governor’s energy conference in Richmond, where Pickens again preached the gospel of self-sufficiency.
According to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Pickens said it’s dangerous to rely on foreign sources for so much of our energy supply … two-thirds of the oil we consume. At this session he was particularly pushing development of natural gas shale deposits, a controversial process to environmentalists. Pickens discounted their objections.
His main arguments: it is silly to put our hard-earned money into the pockets of nations with whom we share few ideological and cultural ties, in fact, nations that often are hostile to America (we 100 percent agree); and, America has a 200-year supply of natural gas (astounding).
Pickens said that if the nation’s truck fleet could be converted to natural gas, within seven years U.S. dependence on OPEC exports would be cut in half.
It’s impossible to refute his argument for self-sufficiency. It’s vital to be cautious of the environmental impact of any new large-scale extraction, especially deepwater offshore drilling or a technology that can disrupt or pollute groundwater.
It’s much easier to endorse his original idea: wind farms. We would far rather see wind farms than oil platforms off the coast. And the supply will last 200 years, 300 years, and forever. And it’s clean. And it’s ours.
Time to use some good old-fashioned Oklahoma cowboy horse sense in shaping America’s energy future. If only the lobbyists and special interest people would get out of the way.