Pickens wants more emphasis on alternative energy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Pickens wants more emphasis on alternative energy

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens opened an advertising campaign Tuesday in an attempt to bring more focus to solving the nation's energy crisis.

The former wildcatter, who now heads the Dallas-based hedge fund BP Capital Management LP, outlined his concerns and some proposed solutions in New York.

"U.S. dependency on foreign oil has reached an economic crisis point," Pickens said. "Now dependent on foreign nations for 70 percent of its oil, the U.S. is exporting $700 billion annually, more than four times the cost of the Iraq war."

Last year, Pickens announced plans to build the world's largest wind farm in Texas. The cost of the project could grow to $12 billion before its scheduled completion in 2014.

Under Pickens proposal, thousands of wind turbines would be constructed across the nation's wind belt, from Texas to the north, which he said would generate enough power to meet 20 percent of the nation's electricity needs.

Transmission lines would be constructed to connect distant wind farms to cities that need the power.

Natural gas would be used to replace some imported gasoline and diesel.

Pickens now wants to bring energy to the forefront of the presidential election.

"I am calling on the next president and Congress to take immediate action in the first 100 days of the new administration to do whatever is necessary to make this plan a reality," Pickens said. "We are asking the American public to get behind this plan and to help us reduce our dangerous dependency on foreign oil."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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