T. Boone Pickens.

Photo: University of Texas

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America has a problem, and T. Boone Pickens has a solution. “U.S. dependency on foreign oil has reached an economic crisis point,” says the infamous Texas oilman, who in response has unveiled The Pickens Plan. The 80-year-old billionaire proposes that private investors fund the construction of thousands of wind turbines from Texas north to the Canadian border, as well as transmission lines to carry the power to urban centers across the country. Wind could thus generate 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs, says Pickens, and in turn free up natural-gas resources to fuel transportation. Natural gas could replace 38 percent of U.S. oil imports, according to the plan — provided infrastructure for natural-gas-powered cars gets up and running. If Congress and the White House treat the energy situation as a “national emergency” and act immediately, says the lifelong Republican, the Pickens Plan could be implemented within a decade.

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