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Renewables, Natural Gas: Top Picks in "Pickens Plan" Push at DNC

August 28, 2008

Denver, CO - Oil giant T. Boone Pickens and Sierra Club President Carl Pope spoke to a group of bloggers and independent media gathered in the "Big Tent" at the Democratic Convention on Wednesday, about Pickens' ambitious plans to address the energy crisis and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Both say politicians need to get moving now. That'll be the same topic of a series of public meetings in Illinois, this month and next.

Pickens is an oilman with a big plan, that would spur major development of wind and solar power, and switching to natural gas for vehicles. Without such sweeping changes, Pickens predicts, Americans will spend $10 trillion on foreign oil in the next decade. He says that's something we simply can't afford.

"I can tell you, we don't have to worry about healthcare and education - we aren't gonna have the money to do anything about it. That's where we're going to be. We will have made the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind."

Sierra Club President Carl Pope joined Pickens on a panel at the so-called "Big Tent," a site at which bloggers and independent media covering the convention are set up in Denver. In Pope's view, much of the campaign rhetoric about the energy crisis is distracting voters from the major task at hand.

"As long as we're talking about 'drill, drill, drill,' we're not talking about repairing America, refueling America, or rebuilding America."

Pope supports the Pickens Plan, adding that there also should be a strong push to retrofit buildings to improve their energy efficiency, as well as saving the energy costs related to new construction.

Pickens says he's spoken with Barack Obama, John McCain and President Bush about his plan, and has launched a self-financed media blitz, including a Web site (www.pickensplan.com). He hopes to get millions of Americans involved in his campaign, by stressing the urgency of the energy crisis. He believes oil prices could reach $200 to $300 a barrel in the coming years.

Critics of the Pickens Plan have charged that the oilman's real motive is to increase his own wealth. Learn more about the public meetings about Illinois' energy future online, at www.ilenviro.org.

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IL