Billionaire T. Boone Pickens has let some of the wind out of the sails of his plan to implement a national energy production project that will reduce the U.S.'s dependence on foreign oil.
The falling cost of oil over the past several months coupled with the paralysis in the credit markets means that the PickensPlan has become less economically viable in the near term, according to CNET. He told a group of utility and financial executives at the Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference that the recent drop in oil and natural gas prices has stunted the economic need for a radical transformation of our energy infrastructure, but not eliminated its long-term potential.
The PickensPlan involves the construction of a vast array of power-generating windmills in a central corridor of the United States. The power generated by these windmills could be used to replace natural gas-powered electric pants. With natural gas in abundant supply in the U.S., Pickens estimates that natural gas-powered vehicles could allow a $300 billion reduction in the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Currently, the U.S. imports approximately $700 billion in foreign oil annually.