by Cireal Americanus
In the 1970’s we imported 24% of our oil. Today it is nearly 70%. Every day 85 million barrels of oil are produced Worldwide, with 21 million barrels being used by the U.S. These facts and figures culminate in the U.S. consuming 25% of the world’s oil production while only accounting for only 4% of its population at a cost of $700 billion dollars per year. With the populations of China and India also competing for this production, the U.S. is faced with the decision of having to pay higher prices at the pump or find alternatives to off-set our oil needs.
To meet the challenge of an ever increasing Demand (led by China and India) with an ever decreasing (worldwide) Supply, alternative sources of energy/fuel are needed. U.S. Entrepreneurs and finally the Government are stepping up to the challenge by exploring alternatives such as, Wind Energy to off-set our insatiable consumption. One Such Entrepreneur from Texas (www.pickensplan.com/theplan/), proposes to build an experimental Wind Energy power plant (in Pampa, Texas) that will serve as an initial model for the next evolutionary step in Energy generation. This plant will not only produce/generate approximately 4,000 Mega Watts (MW), which is enough energy to power 1.2 Million U.S. homes, but will also result in the creation of thousands of “Green Collar” jobs.
Why Wind energy? The U.S. Department of Energy has indicated that Wind energy can provide in excess of 20% of our overall energy needs, approximately the same percentage as Natural Gas. With Wind substituting Natural Gas as an energy fuel, Natural Gas can solely be used as a transportation fuel. This would reduce our need for Imported oil by nearly 40%, a reduction of approximately $300 Billion dollars in annual Foreign oil consumption.
For many Americans, this would mean lower prices at the pump as well as additional revenue streams from newly created jobs in the area of Power generation, Facility/Community retro-fitting, alternative vehicle production, and Wind Mill/Generator manufacturing. Thus solving a new and increasing problem using an old and “Sustainable” alternative.
Although this is a ten (10) year transition plan, the key to success of such a transition is: long term commitment, support (financial investment, public opinion, etc.) and competent leadership. Senator Obama has identified alternatives of this nature as part of his overall comprehensive Energy Plan.
Senator McCain proposes we explore “off-shore” drilling as well as provide tax breaks to oil producing companies (e.g. Exxon), as part of his comprehensive Energy Plan. This Plan negates the fact that there are over $68 million dollars in leases on untouched areas that have been designated for oil drilling exploration vs. drilling in eco-fragile locations. This plan overlooks the record profits made by Oil Cartels like Exxon, who reported record profits of $11.6 billion last quarter alone. This was not only the highest profit for a quarter in the companies history but the highest profit for a company in U.S. history.
The need to reduce our dependence on oil is evident. How we reduce our dependence remains to be seen.