Billionaire oilman and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens is taking his fight for American energy independence public today, outlining his plan to wean America off its $700 billion-a-year foreign crude habit.
"Our dependence on imported oil is killing our economy. It is the single biggest problem facing America today," Pickens said. "As we import more and more of our energy, we are participating in the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, sending billions of our dollars overseas to buy oil for a commodity that lasts 90 days until burned in our gas tanks."
Here's his list of fixes, from a characteristically bombastic press release:
Step #1: Using the United States' wind corridor, private industry will fund the installation of thousands of wind turbines in the wind belt, generating enough power to provide 20 percent or more of our electricity supply
Step #2: Again funded by the private sector, electric power transmission lines will be built, connecting these wind power generating sites with power plants providing energy to the population centers in the Midwest, South, and Western regions of the country.
Step #3: With the energy from wind now available to operate power plants serving the large population centers in key areas of the country, the natural gas that was historically utilized to fuel these power plants can be redirected and used to replace imported gasoline and diesel as a fuel for thousands of vehicles in our transportation system.
Pickens, a vocal promoter of "peak oil" theory, has already signed on to build a $2 billion wind farm in the Texas Panhandle and reportedly could spend $10 billion on the project.
He's also funding an advertising campaign to garner support in pushing the incoming administration to act on his plan. His website is live today, and Pickens told USA Today that he wants to "elevate that question to the presidential debate, to make it the No. 1 issue of the campaign this year."
For those of you who enjoy watching rich Texans draw on whiteboards, here's the Pickens' Plan pitch: