Thursday, June 12, 2008

Boone Pickens has an Energy Plan that Minnesotans Need

While the switchero blame game of high gas prices has renewed the debate of expanded oil expiration, one oil man is taking action.

John Kline (R-MN-02) is at the forefront writing “Congress should consider opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to environmentally safe production, and increase offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Clearly, drilling for oil in Alaska or in the Gulf of Mexico is not a short-term solution, but if we continue down this course of inaction, will we still be discussing plans for rising energy costs when gas reaches, say, $8 per gallon?

Now, I know a good switchero when I see one. The opening for ANWR has been promoted for years, but with leading Republicans like John McCain and Norm Coleman opposing it, the legislation has died in the Senate. That leaves an opening for candidates like Dr. Brian Davis in Minnesota’s First District to evoke fear – “knowing that our economy is partly dependent on countries like Venezuela, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia is troublesome.
There are legitimate questions on appropriateness of subsidies and even why the oil companies have not utilized all the lease lands that they have access. (Read Bluestem Prairie for an excellent overview.)
Yet, this being an election year, fear and whining takes the lead over action.

So what does legendary oil man, T. Boone Pickens have to say ? "You find an oilfield, it peaks and starts declining, and you've got to find another one to replace it, " said Pickens, who once operated one of the largest independent oil and gas production companies. "It can drive you crazy. With wind, there's no decline curve. "

What’s Pickens plan ?
The Pampa Wind Project.
He isn’t just talking but spending his money. Pickens has placed an order with General Electric to purchase 667 wind turbines capable of generating 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 300,000 average U.S. homes. That’s just Phase I. When all four phases are complete, Pampa Wind Project will generate more than 4,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 1.3 million homes. One study forecasts the project would generate an estimated 1,500 jobs during the construction phase, and 720 during a typical year of the operation phase.
Pickens envisions that large scale renewable energy projects like his Pampa Wind Project will permit the United States to become less dependent on foreign oil. Large scale renewable energy projects such as this are difficult to execute because they rely upon the Federal Production Tax Credit, which provides incentives for development of renewable energy. However, large scale renewable energy projects require commitments years in advance, while Congress has only extended the Production Tax Credit one or two years at a time.

While Congressman Kline wants ANWR opened, he has VOTED AGAINST legislation that would provide tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation.

Why doesn’t Kline promote jobs for Minnesotans ? Further, The Hill reports that Kline wants to amend the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program to minimize union involvement in the training of workers in green “skill sets” like how to install solar panels, maintain wind turbines, or retrofit buildings with energy-efficient lighting.

Voters in Minnesota’s Second District need to consider Steve Sarvi’s objectives. Sarvi wants to make Minnesota a hub of green manufacturing and technology and thus an exporter of green hardware. We need to make jobs in rural Minnesota. Sarvi efforts are For Minnesota, while Kline’s seem to be for Alaska.

Read more about the Pinkens’ Pampa Wind Project here.


Anonymous said...

More and more people are recognizing everyday how Kline is out of touch with the district.
Go Steve Sarvi

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