T. Boone Pickens: Half Right, Half Wrong

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is getting attention for his highly publicized energy plan for America.

Half the plan is spot-on. America needs to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, like wind or solar.

The other half is wrong. He argues we should power our automobiles with domestically-produced natural gas. This will not significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, will require expensive new infrastructure, and will create a new problem when we eventually run out of natural gas. However, the biggest reason it makes no sense is this: Burning natural gas to generate electricity has an overall efficiency of 60 percent, but natural gas vehicles are 15 to 20 percent efficient. Charging electric cars off a natural gas-powered grid is far more efficient than driving natural gas vehicles.

My concerns are shared widely, but I thought they deserved repeating.

Author: Rob Goodspeed