December 1, 2009. Just briefly checking in, and glad to see the PickensPlan movement continuing in such a strong way. The scientific evidence points more and more to the need for alternative energy, as millions around the world are already being affected. China and India's consumption of oil are expected to double over the next 5-10 years; no doubt this will lead to gas prices in the U.S. north of $4/gallon, consistently, within a few years, if not sooner. Did I say $4/gallon - it could easily be twice that. Despite a heavily devalued U.S. dollar, and tempered crude oil prices, U.S. trade deficit (most of which is due to oil imports) continue to be quite high - As Mr. Pickens has said so often, no country can endure long when it transfers its own wealth to those in other countries. To all my friends on the Pickens Plan, keep up the good fight ... for energy policy and initiatives which make sense for America. While I'm still tied up with financial services reform efforts, my heart is with all of you. Take care. Ron
April 20, 2009. Just dropping in to say hi to all my friends in the PickensPlan. It has been a real pleasure to see the PickensPlan have such a positive impact on our nation's energy policy. Who would have thought, a year ago, that alternative energy research - and seed funding of many projects - would be provided by Congress? Or that transmission lines will be built, to enable the construction of solar / wind projects? Amazing progress, largely due to the substantial influence of the PickensPlan on national politics.
Of course - there is much to do, especially with the "carbon credit" trading system still to be adopted by Congress. One thing is certain - "cheap energy" will disappear in the future, making solar, wind, natural gas even more attactive as alternatives. Continued pressure to deploy technologies, to wean us off of carbon emissions - and foreign oil (and hence decrease our trade deficits) - is still needed.
Personally, I'm still involved in financial services regulatory reform issues, advocating for better protections for consumers. This has long been my passion. So, while the PickensPlan Army marches on, and although I certainly applaud and support its efforts, my time must largely be devoted to other issues at present, and for many months to come.
Keep up the great work, everyone! Take care. Ron
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL who have so actively participated in the Pickens Plan. While financial services regulation is "front and center" - and I must devote my time to many of the issues surrounding same - I continue to monitor the developments on the PickensPlan site. I see that there are many early members, and more recent ones, who are really making a difference when it comes to reforming our nation's policy toward energy. Congratulations to all who are keeping up the tremendous effort to reach out to others and to continue to build the membership on this site.
While declining gas prices may have tempered the perception of need for wholesale adoption of alternative energy technologies, I can assure you that, from an economic perspective, the real need still exists. Oil supplies cannot - I repeat - CANNOT - keep up with growing demand over the long term, or even over the next five to ten years. As the world's economies recover from the recent financial downturn, demand for energy will outstrip oil's ability to supply same. Think $4/gallon gas was a problem? Just wait and see - it could easily be $6/gallon gas, or more, within several years.
More importantly is the need to reduce our federal trade deficit. This is one of the "BIG THREE" economic problems our country faces (the others being lack of personal savings and our huge national debt). Turning to CNG, wind, solar and other alternative energy solutions will have a HUGE impact on our nation's federal trade deficit. Not to mention the very important jobs created by such an effort.
Keep up the great work! - Ron
10.21.08 STILL TIED UP. The "financial crisis" has led to a speedy effort to reform the regulation of financial services, an area to which I have devoted several years of effort. Hence, I need to devote my "spare time" to influencing the upcoming legislation in Congress on financial regulatory system reform, least for the present. I'm glad to see The Pickens Plan reach the 1,000,000 mark, and go beyond that. I will try to check back later. Thank you. Ron
9.20.08. TIED UP WITH FINANCIAL CRISIS. Sorry I have not been around to respond to e-mails and comments. Due to financial crisis, am quite busy at present in my firm. Will try to devote some time to PP when financial crisis subsides, perhaps in a week or two.
9.11.08. GOTTA TAKE A FEW DAYS OFF. Some big projects at my firm require my time and attention, over the next week or so (even this weekend). Will check back soon. Ron
Sign the PLEDGE! See the "Main" page, then "PLEDGE" at the very top of the page. Thank you. Ron
August 30th: Labor Weekend Blog. Added a blog, detailing some of my thoughts about federal government R&D budget for renewable energy, and on the subject of tax credits. We need some serious leaders elected to Congress. It's up to us to ask the right questions - and seek answers from the candidates. Then it's up to us to vote our conscience, and elect leaders who are serious about solving the challenges facing our country. Have a pleasant Labor Day weekend. Ron
August 17th: Doesn't this Wall Street Journal article today make you angry (at OPEC)? ... OPEC May Cut Output Next Month, By ROSHANAK TAGHAVI, August 16, 2008 12:29 p.m. ... TEHRAN -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could decide to roll over or cut crude oil production from existing levels when the group meets in early September in Vienna, Iran's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi said Saturday. Oil prices, which have fallen back to just above $113 a barrel from highs of above $145 a barrel in New York six weeks ago, are being pressured by higher supplies and lower demand, Khatibi told Dow Jones Newswires in a phone interview.
I am wholly tired with OPEC having so much influence over the economic future of America's citizens. T. Boone Pickens' call for getting off our overdependence on foreign oil is both inspiring and timely.
August 16th and 17th:
1. The Communications Support group now has a comprehensive "Resource Guide" on its page. Sections include: (A) Projects; (B) Flyers, downloads, guides, etc.; (C) Other non-profit groups (and their resources); and (D) Recent technical papers. Your suggestions on additions to this page, or improvements to it, are welcome.
2. A "Strategic Planning" discussion has been launched under the "Communications Support" group. There are ongoing concerns out there about organization, leadership, and the longer-term direction of the PickensPlan. I don't have the answers, but I do believe that MANY MINDS WORKING TOGETHER can come up with some great ideas. The goal of this discussion is concrete - to personally present to T. Boone Pickens, by Nov. 1, 2008, concrete suggestions for the near-term and long-term future of the PickensPlan. Your thoughts and participation in this discussion are encouraged. Thank you.
3. Still looking for leaders ... Those willing to "co-administer" the Communications Support group. True leadership involves the service of others, to empower them to succeed. Please let me know if you would like to volunteer for this role. Several volunteers are needed.
I'm off to mow the yard ... fun, fun, fun ... Have a great week. - Ron
August 12th: I've been looking around the PickensPlan site, having been tied up for a couple of weeks. Things seem to be going great. I'm very impressed with the "Daily Pickens" and the Town Hall meetings. The national "grassroots organizers" seem to be very involved now, and doing more and better work at every turn. Over the past few weeks activities have been undertaken - videos, letter writing, brochures and flyers, and much more - that is truly oustanding. Congratulations to all who have put together these communications pieces, spread the word to others, or simply have encouraged others to "keep up the good work." ...It remains so important to build "Boone's Army." The period of January through April 2009 represents an important opportunity for our country to move past partisan bickering, and complacency, and start down the road to energy independence. I have and will continue to spread the word about the PickensPlan to the many I come across. 1,000,000 strong and united can send a powerful message in Washington, D.C. - especially if other groups get on board, too. Together it is possible to really make a difference. I've seen it done before; it can be done again. But it won't be easy. The foundation needs to be sewn now. And efforts to reach out to elected officials (and appointed officials, and candidates) must commence now.
July 27th - Expanded blog for individual investors and entrepreneurs has been created, with the following sections: (1) Warning to Individual Investors; (2) Entrepreneurs - Typical Stages of Financing; (3) Entrepreneurs - Grant and Loan Programs Available; and (4) Entrepreneurs - Securities Law Warning.
July 26th - Added to blog, "Draft Letter to Congress." Also posted in COMMSUPP group and "Write to Congress" group. Your editing comments and suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
July 25th - The blog, "The Importance of Seeing This Through" has been added. I'm very impressed with the growing dynamics of the site - many more people being involved and getting things done. The team behind the site has made great improvements, with the "Daily Pickens" adding a great deal. Great things lie ahead for this grassroots movement. I encourage everyone to reach out to others on the site, and collaborate and contribute support to others. Again, thank you to everyone for your ongoing contributions.
July 21st - Following the excellent Lou Dobbs interview, I attempted to distill "details" about the Pickens Plan and its potential impact from various sources. Please see the newly posted blog on this subject. (Revised and expanded on July 22.)
July 20th - A new blog, "A Visit With Grandfather," has been added. I hope you find in this blog a way to overcome the negativism that often exists in social networks. (See "Archives" in blog section.)
July 20th - A new blog, "Why The Pickens Plan Is So Important to America," has been added, to explain the economic necessity for implementation of The Pickens Plan. (See "Archives" in blog section.)
July 19th - "My Personal Thoughts on the Pickens Plan" have been added to the blogs (see "Archive" in blog section). I would like to stress that I am just a member, and not connected with the national campaign, nor do I know the national office's plans. But these thoughts may give you a sense of where this campaign can go.
July 18th - To all those who have helped, thank you. The "100 Action Steps You Can Take Now" has been completed and added as a discussion under the Forum / "Get Started Now" area. Also, it has been added to the discussion under the "Featured Forum." PDF and Word documents have been posted as well. We hope that this will spur on individual members of the Pickens Plan, to answer that frequently asked question, "What Can I Do Now?"
July 18th - Leadership can arise, from each one of us. Where is the "leadership" of this site, you ask? It comes from each of us, in the service of others, as my latest blog points out. (See "Archive" section of my blog, below.)
July 16th - The Pickens Plan is an antidote to America's greatest challenge - complacency - as this blog points out. (See "Archive" section of my blog, below.)
July 13th - The "Communications Support" group has been formed. Rather than just complain about the lack of information and/or support, let's do something about it!!! Let us get together our creative thoughts, energy, and passion - and come up with guides, presentatations, flyers, and other communications, which may empower our fellow members to move beyond "cheerleading" (a noble endeavor, but tiresome after a while) and toward more concrete action steps which can be achieved. This is not my group - rather, this is a group to be shared by all who join, and all who strive to empower others to make The Pickens Plan a success.