Gore vs. Pickens: who’s got the right plan?

July 21, 2008

gore.jpgWhen Al Gore challenged the U.S. to produce all of its electricity from renewable sources in 10 years, his aggressive plan to combat climate change was pitted against another recently-unveiled proposal, from Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

 Gore, a former Democratic vice president and Nobel Prize-winning crusader on climate change, announced his plan last week and has since promoted it on U.S. television. Expected to cost between $1.5 trillion and $3 trillion,  Gore advocates investment in wind, solar and geothermal energy, energy efficiency and a national power grid. He also wants to retain energy production from nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, and invest in technology to store and capture carbon dioxide from coal and gas.

Inevitably, though, Gore’s plan has been compared to the so-called “Pickens Plan,” which calls for a massive switch to natural gas as a transportation fuel and a dramatic increase in wind power (Pickens, a legendary oil man, is currently spending $10 billion to build the world’s biggest wind farm — a project he expects will be a big moneymaker). Pickens says his $300 billion plan will reduce the amount of imported oil by more than a third in the next decade.

 pickens.jpgWith a media campaign funded by Pickens’ vast personal fortune, the “Pickens Plan” has its own commercials running on TV. Gore’s plan is backed by his “We Campaign,” a $300 million effort launched earlier this year to mobilize Americans on climate change.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” this weekend, Gore said he disagrees with Pickens that natural gas should be the dominant transportation fuel, advocating for electric cars instead.  Pickens, however, has said Gore’s plan doesn’t do enough address the nation’s dependence on oil imports.

So who’s right? It’s clear that there is much that the men agree on, and both plans stand in stark opposition to President Bush’s recent move to increase domestic oil production by lifting the ban on oil drilling along most U.S. coastal states. 

But with a new president on the way who is expected to be kinder to the kinds of plans Gore and Pickens are proposing, which man do you think has the right plan for increasing renewables in the United States and reducing our oil consumption?


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Al Gore’s challenge is accepted by both great candidates,
however he can be candidate in 2012 & finish his milestone
in last 6 years of next 10 years.He can be elected for sure in 2012.

Posted by G.K.Patel | Report as abusive

I have to agree with Al Gore’s position that cars should be electric. My partner and I have an electric car we plug in each evening. It’s a commuter car used for local trips and errands. The technology is there for electric cars.

Why depend again on another fuel source such as natural gas?

I applaud them both for bringing such ambitous plans forward. There’s no question we need to move swiftly and decisively if we want to avert an all out crisis.

Posted by Catherine B. | Report as abusive

Extreme paths of action should be avoided. Both plans should be considered as different geographical locations are better served by different energy sources. There are many green solutions ie… passive solar,photo voltaics, low voltage electrical wiring to reduce power grid dependency. New design nuclear reactors are burning waste plutonium. Not all technologies will be feasible but deserve a good hard look. It is my sense that conservation and learning to live with less will be essential for humanity to mitigate the effects of fossil emmissions since the begining of the industrial revolution.

Posted by anubis | Report as abusive

sounds far fetched but water is a fuel .. to be exact the hydrogen that is separated and then compressed to 50-60 psi and then combusted. here’s the problem-try and tax water or even air and see what happens.
al gore has a more realistic plan of electricity that is produced by nature/wind power etc– and then taxed thus driving our economy still. yet again on the other hand pickens is cheaper faster and natural gas can be mined from friendly country’s that are poor, also this fuel can be created from landfills that naturally decompose releasing this invisible gold and taxed.
in the end I chose gore, he has a long and proven track record.
and im very glad to see a debate on the subject!! trust me you should be to.

Posted by Igor L | Report as abusive

Catherine B. Its great that you have an electric car but depending on where you live those volts are likely created by a coal fired power plant. Natural gas is much cleaner than gasoline and doesnt put additional burden on our power grid that runs mostly on non-renewables. Put money into better electricity generating modes and THEN plug in your car.

Posted by Dave L | Report as abusive

The key to the Hydrogen Economy is presented below.
Water is broken into Hydrogen and Oxygen when it comes into
contact with an alloy of Aluminum and Gallium. Thus Hydrogen
can be made on demand by pumping water into a reaction chamber
containing the alloy. An automobile can use a tank of water
rather than a tank of gasoline.
Here is the equation: 2Al + 3H2O –> 3H2 + Al2O3 + heat.
For more information, go to
mirror site:

From the Purdue site, download these two files:

Presentation slides:
http://hydrogen.ecn.purdue.edu/2007.05.0 1-Woodall.pdf

Presentation audio:
http://hydrogen.ecn.purdue.edu/2007.05.0 1-Woodall.mp4

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive

[…] concerns are shared widely, but I thought they deserved repeating. No Comments Leave a Commenttrackback addressThere was […]

Posted by T. Boone Pickens: Half Right, Half Wrong – The Goodspeed Update | Report as abusive

………but what is the root cause of our environmental concerns? are we trying to patch up a gunshot wound with a bandaid?

http://www.bahaiperspectives.com/current -affairs/2008/03/17/a-sacred-environment -part-2-%e2%80%93-the-situation/

Posted by schemer | Report as abusive

Personally I think Gore’s plan is the better one as it has both environmental AND economic concerns. Pickens, while focusing on wind for electricity, really boils down to reducing the need for imported oil. Neither plan will be easy though since it could take 20+ years for the majority of americans to own an alternately powered car (unless the government and/or manufacturers offer some kind of trade-in incentive).
I say lets aim high, it worked to get us to the moon.

Posted by adam | Report as abusive

Man, this Gore guy is a crook. Remember, Clinton administration? He’s refused to fly his private jets, and won’t tell his celebrity friends to do the same. His home alone consumes double the electricity in a month than all American households do in a year, according to the Nashville Electric Service. If global warming is real, then why is it that there are so many freak blizzards? Why is it that Mars, Neptune, and even Pluto are experiencing global warming? Look at the science behind global warming here.

http://warofillusions.wordpress.com/2008  /04/18/they-blinded-us-with-pseudoscien ce-the-global-warming-con/

Posted by Stefan | Report as abusive

Let’s face it, these people are spending billions trying to convience us that global warming is man-made and that’s its in a “crisis” stage. They are not doing it out of concern for us or our planet. They are doing it to get rich or should I say richer? Gore and Pickens would not fly private jets and use 10 times the carbons an average person uses if concern were the issue. Carbons are carbons whether you buy a larger foot-print or not. L.A. has brown-outs when the temp rises a few degrees because of the lack of electricity. These guys oppose new nuclear power and yet they claim we can plug in over 250 million cars for charging every night when we give up evil gas powered cars??? Wind power will never meet that demand! Let’s stop putting money in their pockets. This is not a crisis!!!

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive