Climate change is a close relative, I don't want to go there. I just want to lay out some thoughts on energy.
According to Pickens, in 2009, the US imported 63% of our oil at a cost of $265 billion. And that was fairly cheap oil. Let's assume in 5 years, we could decrease our imported oil costs by 20%. That is a potential value of $53 billion, assuming oil in constant dollars. That is $53 billion more circulating in our own economy. Over 10 years, we should be able to bring nuclear power stations online, reducing dependence on oil and natural gas for electricity. Is another 30% reduction in oil imports reasonable in a second five year period? That's another $80 billion for a total of $186 billion over 10 years. That's money circulating in our economy instead of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc.
If I am missing something please correct me.
We have a lot of natural gas reserves - 100 years if you believe Pickens.
Compressed natural gas vehicles have been around for years. I have seen them in Wash DC for at least the last 6 years, passenger cars, taxis and buses.
Many people have natural gas to their house.
Delivering CNG to main highways wouldn't be any more costly than replacing all the existing gas storage tanks (that has been going on for years because the tanks leak).
We should be able to turn over 20% of the passenger vehicles, municipal buses, taxis and light delivery trucks in 5-7 years, about the time we will need to ramp up CNG delivery infrastructure.
It seems like a reasonable goal then to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports by both increasing our own output, converting to CNG and at least in the short term rely on coal.
How many jobs would that $186 billion create?