Pickens: New grid, alternative energy cheap compared to foreign oilBISMARCK — Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens said the estimated $70 billion it would cost for a new electric power transmission grid in the U.S. would be well-spent compared to the $350 billion to $700 billion per year the nation spends on foreign oil.
By: Janell Cole, N.D. Capitol Bureau
BISMARCK — Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens said the estimated $70 billion it would cost for a new electric power transmission grid in the U.S. would be well-spent compared to the $350 billion to $700 billion per year the nation spends on foreign oil.
Pickens made the comments to reporters in Bismarck today ahead of his afternoon address on the opening day of the Great Plains Energy Expo and Showcase.
Pickens introduced his Pickens Plan in July that calls for the aggressive expansion of wind and solar power for electricity, which would free up domestic natural gas for use as motor vehicle fuel, thus cutting down on oil imports. At the time he announced it, oil cost about $140 per barrel.
Sure the prices of a new transmission grid and the aggressive expansion of solar and wind power generation gas are high, he said, but they need to be kept in perspective.
“One thing I ask you to do today is focus on the cost of foreign oil,” he said.
Pickens said that one factor in his launching of the Pickens Plan was that he has heard every president and every presidential candidate since Richard Nixon pledge to make the nation energy independent. But as long as oil was cheap, alternative energy wasn’t well developed.
Cheap oil, he said, “Has absolutely stunted our growth.”
The energy expo is sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Bismarck State College and Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson engineering firm of Bismarck.
Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Jamestown Sun