“Our dependence on imported oil is killing our economy. It is the single biggest problem facing America today,” he said.
“Wind power is … clean, it’s renewable. It’s everything you want. And it’s a stable supply of energy,” Pickens told CNN in May. “It’s unbelievable that we have not done more with wind.”
Pickens’ company, Mesa Power, recently announced a $2 billion investment as the first step in a multibillion-dollar plan to build the world’s largest wind farm in Pampa, Texas.
Pickens said Tuesday that if the United States takes advantage of the so-called “wind corridor,” stretching from the Canadian border to West Texas, energy from wind turbines built there could supply 20 percent or more of the nation’s power. He suggested the project could be funded by private investors.
Power from thousands of wind turbines that would line the corridor could be distributed throughout the country via electric power transmission lines and could fuel power plants in large population hubs, the oil baron said.
Fueling these plants with wind power would then free up the natural gas historically used to power them, and would mean that natural gas could replace foreign oil as fuel for motor vehicles, he said.
Using natural gas for transportation needs could replace one-third of the United States’ imported oil and would save more than $230 billion a year, Pickens said.
“We are going to have to do something different in America,” Pickens told CNN. “You can’t keep paying out $600 billion a year for oil.”
His energy plan could be implemented within 10 years if both Congress and the White House treat the current energy situation as a “national emergency and take immediate action,” he predicted.
Pickens, a lifelong Republican, says he is not advising either presidential candidate, but is prepared to work with the next president.
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