Updated Election Results for Nader/Gonzalez State by State

Nader Hails Pickens Energy Plan in Letter to McCain and Obama

Friday, July 11, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

News Release
Contact: Chris Driscoll, 202-360-3273, chris@votenader.org


WASHINGTON, July 11----Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader today released the following letter to Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama proposing a dialogue on T. Boone Pickens' innovative energy proposal.

Obama for America
233 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1720
Chicago, IL 60601

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark St., Suite M
Arlington, VA 22202

Dear Senators McCain and Obama:

In the July 9, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal, the versatile, legendary, outspoken oilman, T. Boone Pickens, offered a practical plan to replace oil with natural gas for vehicular transportation through an expansion of wind power for the generation of electricity. The wind power would replace natural gas presently used for electricity generation and free this cleaner energy resource for motor vehicles.

Let Boone speak for his transitional plan. Here are the relevant excerpts from his "Clarion Call" article:

"I have a clear goal in mind with my plan. I want to reduce American's foreign oil imports by more than one-third in the next five to 10 years.

"How will we do it? We'll start with wind power. Wind is 100% domestic, it is 100% renewable and it is 100% clean. Did you know that the midsection of this country, that stretch of land that starts in West Texas and reaches all the way up to the border of with Canada, is called the 'Saudi Arabia of the Wind'? It gets that name because we have the greatest wind reserves in the world. In 2008, the Department of Energy issued a study that stated that the U.S. Has the capacity to generate 20% of its electricity supply from wind by 2030. I think we can do this or even more, but we must do it quicker.

"My plan calls for taking the energy generated by wind and using it to replace a significant percentage of the natural gas that is now being used to fuel our power plants. Today, natural gas accounts for about 22% of our electricity generation in the U.S. We can use new wind capacity to free up the natural gas for use as a transportation fuel. That would displace more than one-third of our foreign oil imports. Natural gas is the only domestic energy of size that can be used to replace oil use for transportation, and it is abundant in the U.S. It is cheap and it is clean. With eight million natural-gas-powered vehicles on the road worldwide, the technology already exists to rapidly build out fleets of trucks, buses and even cars using natural gas as a fuel. Of these eight million vehicles, the U.S. Has a paltry 150,000 right now. We can and should do so much more to build our fleet of natural-gas-powered vehicles.

"I believe this plan will be the perfect bridge to the future, affording us the time to develop new technologies and a new perspective on our energy use."

Mr. Pickens is an influential person in the oil industry, notwithstanding his maverick and often pioneering career. I first met Boone in the mid-eighties when he became a corporate takeover and shareholder activist. He always has had an inquiring mind which may explain his current large investment in wind power facilities. (Mr. Pickens also has large investments in oil and natural gas.) This proposed initiative makes multiple sense, though it would be interesting to have his explanation as to how natural gas "is cheap."

I call on both of you to comment or respond to his proposal in the spirit of reifying the energy policy dialogue to a level of specificity hitherto lacking.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader

For more on the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign, see VoteNader.Org