Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Remember the "Pickens Plan"?

Remember all those television commercials funded by and featuring the billionaire who was going to solve all our energy problems out of the goodness of his heart?

"His "Pickens Plan" called for a number of changes such as investing in wind and solar energy, rebuilding the country's electrical grid and replacing gasoline with natural gas in cars and trucks. . . But after spending millions on television commercials and a public relations tour that took him to 74 cities and 22 town halls, his plan has run into some sizeable hurdles, most notably a crash in energy prices. As prices plunged, the Texas billionaire's hedge funds lost billions of dollars. . . . . The Texas oil man made a big splash last year by leasing about 200,000 acres in West Texas for a massive 1000 megawatt wind farm. But he said Tuesday that the plan has fallen apart because of technical problems concerning transmission. . . . The Pickens Plan also calls for building fleets of cars and trucks to burn natural gas. But so far efforts have failed to create incentives for natural gas vehicles. Last year, Pickens' Clean Energy Fuels Corp. pumped $19 million into a California bond initiative that would have handed rebates to people who bought natural gas and other alternative-fuel vehicles. But critics said the measure would have steered taxpayer dollars to Pickens, who is the majority shareholder of a company that supplies natural gas for transportation, and voters rejected it."

In other words, it's a scam to get the government to fund and/or subsidize industries in which he's heavily invested and/or controls the technology. Without tax dollars, it makes no economic sense. And, if Pickens can't get his hands on our tax dollars, he'll take his billions and go home.

Of course, the same people who thought an energy billionaire had the cure to our energy woes (created in large part by the energy industry) now seem to think that the private health insurance industry has the solution to the health care crisis (created in large part by the health insurance industry).

They don't. They're just looking to make more and larger profits off the taxpayers and the consumers. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but we shouldn't fall for their sales pitches

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