A fool with a plan can beat a genius with no plan--or so the saying goes, according to T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oilman turned clean-energy advocate.
To provide a plan to boost the nation's use of clean energy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Monday he will introduce major legislation this week to reform electric transmission line development. Reid made the announcement at a Washington conference where he, Pickens, former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and others met to discuss guiding principles to reform the United States' energy policy. The forum was titled the "National Clean Energy Project: Building the New Economy."
The Obama administration has said it would like 25 percent of the nation's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025, and the billions of dollars provided in the recently signed stimulus package offer the means to get there, Reid said. His bill, he said, will provide more guidance for that funding to be used appropriately.
The deployment of renewable energy across the country has faced setbacks because of the challenges facing the construction of electric transmission lines, such as who will fund them and where to site the lines. The bill aims to give the federal government more authority over those questions.
It's a proposal that has been met with some resistance, Reid said at the conference, hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
"If this is going to succeed, we're going to have to accept that's how we've always done things," he said, citing the federal government's central role in developing railroads and a national highway system. "Everyone should get off the kick this program won't work if the government's involved in it."
The legislation will call for the president to designate renewable energy zones with significant clean-energy-generating potential. Once that occurs, the bill will call for massive planning efforts to site transmission lines around those zones--a process that the federal government will take over if it stalls. … Read more