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Power Businesses The Almighty Buck

Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End 346

Posted by timothy
from the go-long-on-stocking-coal dept.
Spy Handler writes "In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his 'Pickens Plan' on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines. Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business. What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardless of cost."
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Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End

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  • The real plan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 25, 2010 @10:55AM (#34665358)

    Pickens real plan wasn't wind energy - it was water. He wanted the government to grant him free land for the power lines that would be required to get the power back to where it would be used (cities). The land he was trying to get was going to also be used for water transport pipelines, which is going to be a huge moneymaker in this century - particularly in the south and west. Pickens doesn't give a crap about wind energy, I'm glad he was defeated.

  • Pickens wants water (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NotAGoodNickname (1925512) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @11:05AM (#34665398)
    Pickens is a scumbag. He doesn't care about Wind Power, he wants water. He used the guise of wind-power to try to grab land to transport water. Don't believe me? Read this: http://earthfirst.com/%E2%80%9Cblue-gold%E2%80%9D-t-boone-pickens-and-the-privatization-of-water/ [earthfirst.com]
  • Re:And so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by otis wildflower (4889) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @11:37AM (#34665532) Homepage

    http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0510dancs.html [dollarsandsense.org]

    The US military subsidizes the security of oil, some estimate to the tune of $100/bbl if the Iraq war is included (and while Iraq may not be a 'war for oil', we wouldn't have had anything to do with that whole godforsaken region of the world if it weren't for oil in the first place).

    What's worse, we pay that money and the rest of the world is a free rider on the back of our military. I would like all "freedom of the seas" military spending stopped, and the US military return to a defensive posture plus R&D and maintenance of industrial readiness (enough work to keep a core of contractors going in case of another war). Let Europe and Asia pay the cost of world peace, especially if the US loses seignorage of world currency if/when the dollar loses its 'reserve status'.

  • The conspiracy: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hartree (191324) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @11:58AM (#34665618)

    I was wondering how the crowd that claims wind and other renewables are more economical than anything else would spin this.

    It can't possibly be that he lost money, if it's so economical. So, it must have been something else, like a secret agenda that required him to lose money for a greater gain.

    A bit like the 200 mpg carburetor that the big corporations are keeping secret.

    But, obviously I must be part of the conspiracy, since I'm not out supporting the 200 mpg carbu... I mean wind farms, enthusiastically enough.

    Yeah, I'll get mod bombed for this, but big deal. I've got so many +5 informatives that I'm hardly worried. ;)

  • Re:And so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gtall (79522) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @12:03PM (#34665650)

    The U.S. isn't supporting Israel in defense of oil. U.S. would still be interested in the region without the oil. And Iran bucking for nuclear weapons would surely catch the U.S.'s interest.

  • Re:And so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Troggie87 (1579051) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @12:20PM (#34665744)

    Many farmers would agree that corn subsidies need to end, but the situation is much more complicated than "evil corn lobby and farmers!" I honestly dont expect most people to dig deep enough to figure out whats actually going on, for the same reason I've stopped trying to explain to homophobes why gays aren't evil. Everyone seems to need a little "us versus them" in their diet. But I'll give a quick rundown.

    -Ag subsidies in general are a way to slow the bleeding of population out of rural America. The price of commodities in general is so low (due to advancements in machinery and genetics) that the majority of farms would simply go under without some subsidies and tax breaks (either directly or through things like ethanol). In the short term this would lead to all kinds of problems, and frankly some government intervention this way is better than welfare. In the long term all of that freed land would be acquired by superfarms, and we all know how fond slashdot is of cartels...

    -Agriculture in general is used as a bargaining chip on the world market, usually in diplomatic negotiations. The money that goes into ag subsidies could be reduced substantially if actual free market forces existed internationally. As it stands, there is a curious correlation between favorable agricultural tariffs/import bans for other nations and technology/manufacturing/??? deals favoring the United States. China blatantly manipulates demand to keep its rural areas from revolting. Europe in general tends to find "health risks" in American ag exports right as their own home industries decline, and ban imports until the local prices increase. Its a dirty business.

    -And just fyi, corn isn't grown because there is some large conspiracy. It is very hearty, and with the current genetic modifications can take a lot of abuse from temperamental climates. If cellulistic ethanol pans out modified switch grass will likely take its place, but at the moment there just aren't that many crops positioned to displace corn. Since we went to all the trouble developing industries to create things like bio-degradable plastics from corn, why suddenly yank the rug out and force a move back to non-renewable?

    This is just my two cents of course. I just find it discouraging to see so much negativity about rural Americans and farmers specifically. Most are just trying to make minimum wage on a consistent basis. I think if people actually interacted with farmers and were exposed to agriculture (ever) positions such as yours would soften a bit.

  • Re:And so (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @02:41PM (#34666332) Homepage Journal

    The water wars are going to get nasty very soon. The US Federal government is trying to get greater control over all water. They diverted a great deal out of the San Joaquin Valley, which devastated the farms, put 40,000 farmers out of work, and forced many farmers to sell off their land cheap or hand it over to the Federal conservation programs for relief.

    The Bush's bought a lot of land in Parguay [dailykos.com], which prompted a lot of speculation, but the big deal is that the land sits on top of one of the largest fresh water aquifers in the world, giving them control of all that water.

    T. Boone Pickens himself gets it, too. I'm skeptical whether the whole wind idea was real, anyway, as it created an excellent diversion from speculation what his land purchases were all about. As it turns out, the land he now owns and/or controls gives him access to a huge portion of America's fresh water supply [washingtonexaminer.com], as it's sitting in a mid-west aquifer that he now has right to drain.

  • Re:And so (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rrohbeck (944847) on Saturday December 25, 2010 @06:20PM (#34667242)

    Exactly. Sucrose, glucose and fructose use separate metabolic pathways so the comparison of HFCS and sucrose in chemical terms is meaningless. You have to compare their metabolic effects (including absorption rates, satiety (leptin/ghrelin response) and effect on the intestinal flora.)
    Those have shown to be different.

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