The Progressive


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For Immediate Release

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Scrutinizing the "Pickens Plan"


T. Boone Pickens speaks today at the National Press Club. The following analysts are available for interviews on his proposals:

Bryce's latest book is Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence." He is the managing editor of Energy Tribune and is a contributing writer for the Texas Observer.

He said today: "I'm all for using more natural gas vehicles,
particularly for the heavy truck fleet. But Pickens exaggerates the
ability of NGVs to get us off of foreign oil. On his Web site, he
claims that using natural gas as a transportation fuel will mean
'reducing our dependence on foreign oil by more than one-third.' I
don't know what math he's using, but even a 100-fold increase in the
size of the NGV fleet will only cut America's need for foreign oil by
about 11 percent and overall oil consumption by about 7 percent."
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is director of Public Citizen's Energy Program. He said today: "It's
great that an oil man like Pickens is highlighting the need for
sustainable energy like wind. But his 'Pickens Plan' cannot be viewed
simply as a national energy policy because of Pickens' huge personal
financial stakes in the policies he promotes. And many of his claims
are inaccurate. While it is true that America can and should displace
the 20 percent of power generated by natural gas with wind, replacing
gasoline with compressed natural gas (CNG) in our cars and trucks isn't
feasible outside of fleets (public buses, police cars, etc.) because of
the significant costs of making CNG available at corner gas stations.

"And Pickens' boast that fueling cars with natural gas would be 40
percent cheaper than oil is misleading, as natural gas prices will
skyrocket as demand for CNG soars. And at the end of the day, natural
gas is a fossil fuel that increasingly must be extracted in more
environmentally sensitive habitats in the Rockies and offshore.

"Real energy reform places solar panels on our buildings,
increases reliance on wind and puts people behind the wheel of plug-in
hybrids and in mass transit so that we end our addiction not only to
oil, but to corporate control over our energy. Unfortunately, some
groups, like the Sierra Club, have signed on to Pickens' plan because
T. Boone showers money on groups and politicians. That's one of the
reasons we at Public Citizen don't take corporate money."

Slocum also noted
that "non-OPEC nations supply 56 percent of our imports, with Canada
alone supplying more oil than we get from the entire Persian Gulf."
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