Linden on Pickens and Gore
In July 2008, two pronouncements on energy policy were made by well-known and respected public figures. One by T. Boone Pickens, the BP Capital founder, and one by Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President now prominent in the effort to reduce anthropogenic climate change due to emission of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2). The motivation of T. Boone Pickens’ campaign, which includes daily television spots, is to reduce U.S. oil imports which, according to him, have grown from 24 percent of U.S. consumption in 1970 to 42 percent in 1990 and to nearly 70 percent today at a cost of $700 billion/year, the largest transfer of wealth in human history. (The actual share of oil imports of U.S. consumption, including U.S. oil exports, is about 64 percent.) The objective of Al Gore’s initiative is to convert the U.S. power generation system to carbon-free sources over the next ten years.