Environment

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Associated Press
T. Boone Pickens

U.S. Power Grid Could Go the Way of the Wind

July 09, 2008 10:32 AM
by Liz Colville
Billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens is hoping to steer the United States away from fossil fuels and toward wind power. Many states are already on the way.

30-Second Summary

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In a press conference, Pickens, who owns Mesa Power LLP, suggested that wind power could be used to provide 20 percent of the country’s electricity, freeing up more natural gas to be used to power cars. Cutting dependence on foreign oil in this way could save the U.S. $230 billion a year, Pickens says.

Enacting the “Pickens Plan” will require the U.S. government to recognize the current energy situation as a “national emergency,” Pickens added.

“Wind power currently accounts for 48 billion kWh of electricity a year in the United States,” the official Pickens Plan Web site states. This is “enough to serve more than 4.5 million households. That is still only about 1% of current demand, but the potential of wind is much greater.”

The American Wind Energy Association reports that in the first quarter of 2008, Texas was the national leader in wind power, generating more than 5,300 megawatts of power. California ranks second. The AWEA notes on its Web site that more than 30 states are producing at least some of their electricity with wind power.

Headline Link: ‘Oil Billionaire Puts his Money on Wind Power’

Background: Shifting from oil to renewable energy

Key Player: T. Boone Pickens

Related Topic: ‘Houston Turns to Wind for Power, Savings’

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