Talk:Pickens Plan

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This page needs an update. Wind production charts haven't been updated for 8 years, and there is no reflection on what the plan means today or if it was historically a good or bad proposal.

Framing the Pickens Plan in the context of the wider debate about energy[edit]

The United States, like most industrial countries, has been debating about its energy future for decades. The Pickens Plan is not only a specific strategy for changing the mix of energy sources in the U.S., but also a deliberate attempt to increase public awareness of the ongoing energy debate and elevate its importance at the highest political levels. Most if not all objections or suggested changes to the Pickens Plan recycle the arguments that various individuals and groups have been making for a long time. Thus there is some tendency for the Pickens Plan article to expand into a wide-ranging survey of the United States energy debate, or perhaps even a survey of the entire fields of Energy in the United States and United States energy policy. I would like to discuss how we might keep this under control, or at least remind everyone that we should. Otherwise the article could turn into a sort of scattershot sampling of sound-bite arguments about energy, without sufficient depth to let the reader put things into context. I think a first step would be for everyone who wants to add another objection to the article to first search Wikipedia for articles that already discuss that particular objection. For example, we already have well-developed articles about the nuclear option: Nuclear power, Nuclear power in the United States, and Nuclear debate. The isolated objection to the Pickens Plan from a particular pro-nuclear group we have now barely hints at the huge context of the nuclear debate, in which there are well-developed arguments on all sides. The Pickens Plan article cannot avoid simplifying the many other energy topics and issues it touches on, but it would be nice to do so in a way that doesn't unduly emphasize particular sides. The article in its current form also doesn't reflect statements by T. Boone Pickens that his primary goal is to get U.S. politicians to come up with a plan ("If you don't like my plan, what's your plan?") to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and that Pickens is "for everything American". I think that's important enough to summarize in the lead section. I'll look for some reliable sources to back up what I've heard Pickens say in his many videos on YouTube. --Teratornis (talk) 22:41, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you that the Pickens Plan is fluid to a certain extent. Pickens does not want the politicians to come up with the final plan, but to involve as many people as possible to all have a hand in coming up with the plan. Then he's urging the people to lobby congress to help make it happen. In a sense he's teaching people not to be afraid an exercise their democratic power. I have joined his "army" and have had my hand in the discussions online. It's very interesting. I do believe that this is a very important aspect that is worth capturing in the article and will probably grow into a separate article.Kgrr (talk) 13:51, 17 November 2008 (UTC)


Is the Picken's plan include Electric vehicles and Hybrid vehicles as well? It may not be able to replace the whole vehicles with Electric ones. So what about Hybrid ones running on Electricity and Natural gas? This also can generate new jobs and reduce the dependence on oil.Chanakyathegreat (talk) 06:20, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Nope, Pickens Plan doesn't include electric vehicles, and that's a criticism of it. I just retitled some section heads to make that clearer. You've raised two good points that should be talked about in the article: info on hybrid natural gas vehicles (a rebuttal to the criticism, even if just a hypothetical) and the job creation aspects of the plan. Those points occurred to me as well, and including information on it would be a good addition to the article. Especially job creation. So if anybody wants to... Diderot's dreams (talk) 12:32, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

If you look at the interview he did on Squawk Box, Pickens pointed out that the only vehicle he wanted to see switch to natural gas was 18 wheelers. the reasoning being that battery technology won't work for long haul 18 wheelers and because semis represent 1/3rd of the domestic import of OPEC oil. He also has said that as far as cars, consumers should pick whatever fuel they liked but encouraged them to try to get on an American resource. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Issues about wind energy[edit]

Shouldn't there be some kind of link here to articles about issues with wind energy? Like I've read recently that turbines in large wind farms have mysteriously developed structural cracks -- indicating possibly that the technolgy is still not entirely mature. Also, I have read that bats experience brain hemorrhage in the vicinity of large wind turbines. Also, what about issues with birds? And aesthetics is a big issue with these larger windmill farms. It seems to me that a neutral point of view would require at least some reference to such issues. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (t alk) 03:46, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

There is some kind of link here already. See the {{Wind power}} template at the bottom of the article, which links to Environmental effects of wind power. That covers all the reliably-sourced issues with birds, bats, aesthetics, etc. (Wind farms are becoming tourist attractions in some places. Even though Ted Kennedy thinks they are unsightly. Go figure. I think superhighways are far uglier, but we have lots of those.) The blade-cracking you have in mind may be from the Steel Winds project. Clipper Windpower is having to replace some blades that had defective resin, from what I read. The Pickens Plan article cannot become a referendum on all the pros and cons of every technology it mentions. We cover those issues in other articles. Energy is a complicated subject. You'd need about a year to properly study all the articles in List of energy topics, but that would be a year well spent. You would know more about energy than most people. --Teratornis (talk) 09:18, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I might add that if environmental or aesthetic issues begin to have a measurable impact on the Pickens Plan itself, and we could reliably source that impact, then we can write about it in the Pickens Plan article. Currently wind power development is booming in the Great Plains with less controversy than in other locations. But Pickens' cheerleading for wind power and energy independence may be helping to boost support for wind power in other parts of the U.S. too. --Teratornis (talk) 09:21, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Re: bats. See:
Note that bat kills primarily affect wind farms in the eastern United States. This should be less of an issue for wind farms on the Great Plains where bat populations are lower. Bat kills should also be a nonissue for offshore wind turbines, as most bat species do not fly over open water. --Teratornis (talk) 06:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Bats are not running into wind turbines as much as they suffer from sudden changes in air pressure Wind Turbines Kill Bats Without Impact. Also note that offshore wind turbines do not really create aesthetic issues. The curvature of the earth takes care of that.Kgrr (talk) 22:58, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


My recent edit[edit]

I made a few changes to correct an edit that was made. Often when we read a new article, it can seem like one article is contradictory to another. Or one editor has a viewpoint that is opposed to information contained in the article. If one is not careful in editing articles, information supporting another viewpoint can get lost. It is important to keep that contradictory information and work it in showing both sides.

In this case, it appears to me that Pickens initially had envisioned migrating the entire transportation sector to gas. However, industry experts (the IEC for example) have pointed out that this is impractical. It looks like he's agreeing with the IEC and has changed his tune (this is ok) for large trucks and fleets to get converted to natural gas. My point here: Don't delete the IEC's POV. It's very important.Kgrr (talk) 13:44, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Pickens emphasized natural gas for heavy-duty vehicles from the very first public announcements of his plan. See for example his interview with Katie Couric from July 09, 2008:
He mentions automobiles at first, but then he admits the infrastructure limitations, and around 2 minutes in the video he emphasizes switching heavy vehicles to natural gas first. The basic reason (which he does not elaborate in this interview) is that there are many fewer heavy trucks than automobiles (something like 2 million heavy trucks and buses compared to 250 million cars in the U.S.), but they use far more fuel per vehicle because they are so much larger and they routinely do long hauls. Switching one heavy truck to use natural gas offsets the same amount of petroleum use as switching some number of automobiles (probably dozens). In any case, it's clear that Pickens has been emphasizing natural gas for heavy vehicles (trucks and buses) from the earliest announcement of his plan. While Pickens would clearly like to see automobiles on natural gas too, since he would be in the business of fueling some of them, that was never critical to his plan. Heavy trucks and buses could absorb roughly the amount of natural gas that currently goes to power generation in the U.S., which Pickens wants to free up by building out wind and solar power over the ten-year horizon of Pickens' plan. I think Pickens makes himself vulnerable to misinterpretations by speaking more than he writes, and by having a rather non-technical Web site clearly aimed at average people rather than experts (see for example The Plan, which is about as much detail as one finds on the Pickens Plan site without some serious digging - the page promotes CNG cars, probably because it's aimed at the largest segment of the public). Some people are getting sound bites of his plan and perhaps filling in the gaps to make it sound like Pickens is against nuclear power, or against battery electric vehicles, when he is not. Pickens has said repeatedly that he is for anything that is American and reduces foreign oil. Granted, he's probably a little bit more for whatever he makes money from selling, but most if not all of Pickens' critics probably have their own commercial biases. The people who make their livings from X are going to object if Pickens does not put X front and center. --Teratornis (talk) 09:31, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


Quick Comment from a Reader[edit]

This article seems to go out if its to way to criticize the Picken's Plan, and in bizare fashion in some instances. Here's an example: "Pickens frequently makes the statement that "the battery won't move an eighteen wheeler" although batteries were propelling 2,566 ton submarines in World War I, in water, and although batteries, electric drivetrain, and engines for heavy vehicles exist in hybrid buses and a hybrid version of the military's HEMTT heavy lift vehicle."

The wording of that phrase just seems overly hostile, restating 'although' over and over again and citing the exact weight of submarines (how is that relevant?). It just makes the article appear very unprofessional. And i don't think you'd find wording even remotely similar to that in an official encyclopedia.

I briefly glanced over the dicussion here and see that its been a topic here.. but in general the article reads like it is over-representative of the minority of Americans who don't support his plan (this does not include the information on his possible motives)- not so much in its content, but in the wording of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is always a work in progress. The Pickens Plan itself is still fairly new, therefore the Pickens Plan is (slightly) newer, and there hasn't been enough time for interested Wikipedia editors to grope toward consensus on what to write about it. Particularly when you look at how many topics the article surveys, and then see that all those topics have evolving articles with their own ongoing controversies (wind power, solar power, nuclear power, electric vehicles, etc. - all have disputes). When you see the word "although" before a seemingly contradictory clause in a sentence, check the history of the article to see how that happened. Often a controversial claim appeared first, and then later another editor added the "although" clause to balance the point of view. This process of editors arguing with other editors via accretion tends not to produce brilliant prose; Wikipedia needs good writers to come through, take a global view of the subject, and clean up the flow. You are welcome to help out. However, this article can be tough to edit, since it easily bogs down in the complex debate over U.S. energy policy. Energy policy is inherently controversial, because every possible policy produces winners and losers. While Pickens may have his commercial interests, his critics also have theirs, since big money flows to those who profit from the status quo (and the fossil fuel industries spend huge sums of it on image advertising and to lobby governments).
As I mentioned in an earlier discussion above, Pickens has made our job a little more difficult, by doing most of his promotion through personal appearances, and less in writing. The Pickens Plan site either does not contain a very detailed technical statement of the Plan, or it wasn't obvious enough for me to find one the last time I looked. This leaves the Plan open to critics. Since Pickens does not address all the critics in a detailed technical way, we can't very easily defend Pickens against his critics on his behalf, because that would constitute original research. We have to wait for reliable sources to appear which consider the Pickens Plan and evaluate the criticism against it. Then we can cite those sources. Without such sources, we would have to evaluate the Plan and the criticism ourselves, which would amount to a synthesis of multiple sources to reach conclusions not necessarily in the individual sources, thereby falling under original research. Some of us could do that, we're just not allowed to do that on Wikipedia. We would have to write our own blogs or papers or something outside Wikipedia.
Here is an example of the kind of source we need to write a good article on the Pickens Plan (thanks to User:Johnfos for calling my attention to it):
The author considers several low-carbon energy sources, and ranks them according to several criteria. I highly recommend this article. While it does not directly address the Pickens Plan, it does address several aspects and criticisms of the Plan (such as the misleading pro-nuclear argument that wind farms "take a lot of land" - Jacobson finds that wind power has the smallest geographic footprint among the low-carbon energy sources he considered). It would be nice for us if some qualified person within the Pickens "Army" would write a paper of similar quality, addressing the details of the Plan and rebutting the criticism. This would most likely have to be one or more recognized experts from academia, as industry experts tend to be "bought and paid for". --Teratornis (talk) 01:57, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I might add that while the submarine example is largely irrelevant to the question of road transport, Pickens left himself open by making a claim that sacrifices detailed technical precision to gain concise rhetorical impact: "The battery won't move an 18-wheeler." The statement is technically false for the most general definition of the word "move" because of course batteries can move an 18-wheeler if we simply connect up enough of them. Whether is it practical to move an 18-wheeler with batteries depends on their energy density (which determines the maximum travel distance per charge) and recharge time. See the lead section of the EEStor article for a summary of the problem. Currently available batteries would need about an order of magnitude improvement in energy density to become practical for powering long-haul trucks. Recharge time needs to decrease as well, either directly through improvements to batteries or possibly ultracapacitors, or by setting up charging stations with battery-swap capability, to switch out spent batteries from vehicles for charged batteries. Battery-swap could in theory enable a vehicle to resume driving with no recharging delay, since the swapped-out spent battery pack can recharge at the charging station for the next customer. Of course there are many practical problems to solve in such a scheme, such as how to get all manufacturers to agree on standards for battery packs, without limiting the scope for technological improvements (if it takes ten years to build a network of charging stations, you'd better make sure the stations will handle the superior batteries that should be available in ten years). Most discussion about battery electric vehicles therefore focuses on the less demanding field of personal transportation, where the payload is light and the average trip distance is short, compared to freight hauling. It is already possible to build practical BEVs for daily personal commuting with overnight recharging, especially for regions with warm climates. BEVs are less-suited to cold climates, because batteries tend to work less well in cold weather, and because electric vehicles lack the internal combustion engine's huge output of waste heat which can warm the passenger compartment, but these problems are probably solvable if the motivation is strong enough (as peak oil suggests it may soon be). --Teratornis (talk) 20:20, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Just for fun, let's take a look at how many batteries would be enough for an 18 wheeler. From what I see, the results aren't a slam dunk for advocates of electric 18 wheelers, but neither are the critics on solid ground. I'd love to see someone do a rigorous examination of a lot of these claims- possibly Pickens could redirect a wee bit of his advert budget towards a set of papers supporting his claims that can be peer reviewed. I am not shy about looking at data so I'll take a stab at the 18 wheeler quip. Of course, none of the following is suitable for inclusion in WP- we'll have to wait for someone to publish findings that take a look at the question, but for fun let's take a look at the often repeated statement that energy density of batteries are insufficient for heavy transport. Let's get empirical. If there is something wrong with the numbers, feel free to correct them.
18 wheelers generally have 200 gallon tanks. Because replacing 1 gallon of diesel or gasoline reqires 10kwhs of Li-Ion batteries to replace**, a 200 gallon capacity would require a 2000 KWH (2MWH) battery. GM calculates 63 cents per Watt hour of battery capacity is the cost of their batteries, so the battery cost for an 18 wheeler would be about 1.26 million dollars. Since the life expectancy of an 18 wheeler is about 2 million miles, assuming that 18 wheelers get an average 7MPG, then the vehicle will use 285,714 gallons of fuel. At a national average of 9 cents per KWH of gasoline, the cost of the 2.85 million KWHs would be $257,142. That means break even is reached when diesel reaches $5.30/gal. ($630 per kwh times 2000 kwh plus $257K electricity cost = 285,714 gallons at $5.30). In Europe where diesel last summer cost $9 per gallon, the fuel cost over the vehicle lifetime would be $2.571 million dollars. Minus the cost of the battery and the cost of electricity, the owner would be ahead by one million dollars. So the economics can actually be attractive, provided there is a market signal (sufficiently high fuel prices).
Is the energy density there? 60kwhs requires 401 liters of space, and weighs 451 kg [1]. So the required volume and weight of the 2 MWH pony trailer would be 13367 liters of space, weighing 15000 kg. That's 471 cubic feet (13.4 cubic meters), at a weight of 33,000 lbs. Since Semi's have GVW's of 80,000lbs and 4000 cubic feet[2] there is still capacity for cargo.
Arguably, 18 wheelers don't need to go 1400 miles on a single charge, and rigs could accommodate much heavier loads if they were willing to take an hour break to swap out a 1MW pony trailer every 700 miles.
**Regarding the diesel -> kwh conversion. Calcar's Ron Gremban in A new measure of PHEV effectiveness gives .1 gallon for 1kwh of Battery capacity, allowing for a 70 to 80 percent depth of discharge. (Meaning we are paying for an additional 30% of batteries that don't get used otherwise the battery won't have a 10 year lifetime.) A breakdown of the conversion rate yielding a similar conversion factor may be found at Electric_car#Running_costs.
The 70-80% DOD used with small PHEV batteries need not apply to a large kWh fully electric battery, and certainly not a battery of the size likely to be required of a semi-trailer truck. PHEV's such as the Volt need a reduced DOD to extend life since they likely experience a full cycle every day - not so for a larger battery, which can then run 3000 or so 100% DOD cycles and still have ~90% capacity.-- (talk) 05:06, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Like I said, it's not a slam dunk for either side, but if Pickens wants to make the case that batteries in 18 wheelers won't do the job, then he needs to provide the numbers to back it up. The numbers appear not to be in his favor. If there is anything wrong with the data or calculations provided above, by all means feel free to give a cited reference that contradicts. -J JMesserly (talk) 19:54, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
The energy content of 1 gallon diesel = about 32 kWh. Please see GGE. Electric motors are far more efficient than internal combustion engines. Plus, electric motors can make use of regenerative breaking.
A PHEV is a plug-in hybrid. A electric-only vehicle is an EV. But you do need extra battery capacity to keep from discharging the batteries completely.
But the bigger point is being missed here. Rail transportation is far more fuel efficient than long-haul trucks due to lower friction coefficients. Furthermore, it's not efficient to haul a battery around with you. Trains can run off of electricity directly so there is no need to lose energy in charging/discharging batteries. Also, trains can make much better time than trucks. Electric trains have no need for idling - this is a huge waste of energy for both diesel trucks and diesel engines. Rather than converting the trucks, we need to electrify our rail lines and use short-haul electric trucks to bring the loads to the intermodal terminals. Short-haul EV trucks already exist: Heavy Duty Electric Truck. Kgrr (talk) 22:39, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Returning to the subject of long haul EV 18 wheelers, Right you are: As explained in the cited reference for conversion factor given by Ron Gremban and Electric_car#Running_costs, vehicle engines are inefficient, and a vehicle gets nowhere near the GGE 33kwhs of energy from one gallon. They get 10kwh. As I described above, this conversion factor allows for the depth of discharge issue, which you seem to have missed. Certainly anyone is entitled to doubt the claims of the cited electric car expert with 20 years of experience. If you can point to a source that states that a one gallon of gas in a conventional vehicle is equivalent to something other than 10kwh battery in an EV, then that would be a valuable datapoint in favor of the critics' position. In the absence of any such cited authority, I will remain skeptical of your suggestion that there is anything improper about that 10kwh conversion factor for a gallon of gas. -J JMesserly (talk) 23:51, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I really don't care how much experience Ron Gremban has. I will believe a government standards body over a self-proclaimed expert any day. All you need to understand what I am trying to say is basic high school science knowlege - unit analysis.
A GGE of electricity is 33.56 kWh. GGE is not a fuel efficiency (MPG or liters/km), but a unit of energy. There are countless government standard body references to this (DOE and others). Here is a flyer from the Electric Auto Association (EAA) that puts it in layman's terms.
Using 10 kWh per gallon of gas as "conversion factor" is simply incorrect. Please just think for one second. How can you put the energy of one gallon of gasoline into a 10kWh pack? It simply can't hold 33.5 kWh. Calculate it in MJs or BTUs if you want. But, it's simply not big enough. You can't put a gallon of gas into a quart container. (A quart is about what is left knowing that your 1/3 gallon container (10 kWh battery) can never be completely emptied)
Ron's "rule of thumb" is that 10 kWh battery *storage* is roughly equivalent to a gallon of gas actually contains five factors - 1) a GGE of gasoline is 33.5 kWh *and* 2) electric motors and battery storage are more efficient when compared to internal combustion engines and a liquid fuel tank *and* 3) that this is going to be used in a light-weight plug-in hybrid, not an EV semi *and* 4) hybrids (and EV's) can take advantage of regenerative breaking and 5) an assumption of city driving, not highway. Kgrr (talk) 19:07, 31 December 2008 (UTC), The "although"s and "however"s in the article are there to show a contrast of opinion in the article. The article's intent is not to duplicate the [ Pickens Plan] website or other sites that disagree with him. But rather, it's a way to show both sides of the issue in a balanced fashion. So-called "Professional" writers often write with a slant and don't present a truly balanced and neutral point of view. "Official" encyclopedias don't follow a WP:NPOV policy. Also, "Official" encyclopedias often don't show their sources WP:V and can include original research WP:OR.Kgrr (talk) 19:40, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

KGRR, i am aware of the purposes and functions of "although" and "however". And excuse me, but on the quality scale the exact term- "approaching (although not equalling) the quality of a professional encyclopedia" appears as the proposed "reader's experience" under GA status. This was what i was referring to in my original comment, my intention was not to duplicate the Picken's Plan website. So mock the use of my wording all you want, but i don't see how your condescending remarks towards my statement help further this discussion. Like it or not, the statement i raised into question would not appear in any "professional encyclopedia" (and if you take issue with the use or definition of "professional" take it up with WP, not me). The same contrasts can be provided in a more neutral tone. -- (talk) 16:43, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


GGE and Battery size[edit]

I just asked for your cites. No need for us to get into expert assassination just yet. Anyway, if there are countless government standard bodies referring to this, and you regard them as possessing higher authority than those given, then fine. The non gov link you provide cites which is inaccessible. Google search "33.56 kWh" site:gov No hits. Google "33.5 kWh" site:gov 3 hits none of which provide the support.
I am very interested in seeing this conversion factor and the research to back it up. I agree that WP's cite of Gremban needs to be stronger, and it appears that the controversy should be noted both where he is quoted as well as in this GGE article. For example, if this GGE figure is correct, then the Chevy volt that gets a 40 mile range on a 16kwh battery is doing what a half gallon of gasoline can do in a conventional vehicle. Ok. Reality check time. Name a conventional gas vehicle that gets 80MPG. I apologize for the skepticism- but you see where I am coming from. The number looks torqued. Average mpg of this class of gas vehicle is nowhere near 80MPG. That figure is closer to what a PHEV or the doe tested kangoo gets. Subcompacts get from 30-37mpg, so let's be generous and say a larger vehicle the size of the Chevrolet Volt is apples to apples comparable to a 37mpg gas subcompact. Do the math. You come up with 14.8 kwh, not 33.56. Note that this puts us close to Bob's figure because he calculates 70-80% DOD and Chevy chatter is their DOD is 50% to achieve 10 year lifetime. So Bob is saying actual kwhs used in a 10kwh battery is 7.5kwhs/gal compared to chev's 7.4kwhs (50% utilization of 14.8kwh/gal). Hey- maybe it's just a coincidence that CalCars folks are very correlated with data from real EVs. By the way, this is the correlation you will see if you look at the department of transportation figures of actual test data too. Now, If you want to get into comparing what you think went into Gremban's analysis versus the motivations on why doe would want to make it seem like electric vehicles require much larger batteries to replace a gallon of gas, then we can have some fun with that, but really the main thing we should look hard at are the authoritative sources and how they came up with their numbers. So if you know some current authoritative sources backing up the 33.56 or any conversion factor, then I think WP would greatly benefit from it. I'll be looking around some more for it myself. It would be very handy to have a trustworthy metric for comparing these energy sources. -J JMesserly (talk) 21:09, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
OK- I found the source of this number, and it does not appear to be intended or applicable for calculating how much energy you need for an EV. I see where they state there is 33,705 wh per gallon of gasoline. They make no attempt to identify how much of that energy is usable by conventional gas vehicles, and to be fair, that is not at all their goal. pdf page 3, federal register page 36987.
I am not sure how you propose to use this metric. They are identifying the ideal maximal energy that could theoretically be extracted thermodynamically perfect efficient engine existed. They simply divide the number of BTUs in a gallon of gas by the number of BTUs in a KWH. They wind up with from 33.5 to 36kwhs depending on the extra tweaks you do to it. If the gas car (or diesel 18 wheeler) could extract 100% of the energy from a gallon of fuel, the number would be meaningful. But here in the real world, standard internal combustion engine vehicles only get about 20 percent efficiency, so the BTUs accessible by an internal combustion engine is about 31,250 BTUs, not 125,000. Doing their same calculation of dividing by the number of btus per kwh, you wind up with- oh now here's a shock- 7.32kwh per gallon of gas. What a small world. (see calculated figure for usable kwh in the Volt above, and the usable kwh in the calcars number.
Anyway, the goal of this paper is not to determine what that the usable energy in one gallon of gas, just the theoretical maximum energy possible from a perfect internal combustion engine. Which do not exist. Their goal is to create a fuel efficiency standard that is theoretically meaningful across multiple fuels. I have having a hard time understanding why this number has any use as a conversion factor for calculating battery size. If you could explain how it can be used, then please do. -J JMesserly (talk) 04:39, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
OK ... Professional truck drivers get about six to eight miles per gallon (of #2 Diesel) pulling a full load at freeway speeds. Their mileage is worse in town. So if you have a 200 gallon tank, you can get about 1,400 miles. The amount of energy used is 200 gallons of #2 Diesel = 200 / 0.88 (Diesel is more energy dense than gasoline) = the equivalent of 227 gallons of gas, or 227 * 33.705 kWh or about 7.56 MWh of electricity. If you had an electric motor that was just as inefficient as the diesel engine, you would have to store 7.56 MWh of energy in a battery to make the 1,400 mile trip without stopping. Let's make a few assumptions, these are WAGs. Assume the electric motors drive the wheels of the truck directly, you have regenerative breaking and the efficiency of the battery system is 80% whereas a diesel engine on a truck is about 40% efficient (gasoline engines are only 25-30% efficient). This means you only need to store 7.56 * (40%/80%) = 3.78 MWh. But the battery needs to have a minimum reserve at all times of 20%, so it needs to be about 4.5 MWh.
Note that driving 1,400 miles without stopping is not only impractical, it's also illegal in a semi. Probably 600 miles is the legal (US) limit without stopping to at least switch drivers. An automated battery switch or electrolyte switch could be done almost as fast. -- (talk) 04:13, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
That's a lot of battery. The next question - where do you get one? Maybe 300kWh Hitachi Batteries for hybrid train engines ... Well 15 of them. How much would this weigh? I don't know... Im afraid that's a lot of lithium, could be quite heavy.

By the way, the results of this discussion cannot be put into the article. As Wikipedia authors, we cannot do original research. And officially, we should not be using the talk section of the article as a forum. But anyway, here is one of the findings that we should probably put into the article instead of the submarine stuff. It confirms my calculations for a diesel truck above and reaffirms Picken's comment.

Here is an article that discusses the battery requirements for an all electric semi-truck The trouble with lithium look at page 15. It says you can go about 100 miles on a 300kWh battery pack. But I don't think truckers want to refuel every 100 miles. For the long-haul trucker, EV does not look good. Pickens is a bit homespun when he says "the battery won't move an eighteen wheeler", but it looks like he's right.Kgrr (talk) 09:46, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Of course, this thought experiment began with the understanding that this was for fun and original research is not to be included in WP. Any cited material that we have been struggling for is on the other hand very important for WP. Before we depart the subject, I assume you agree that you have not provided any cited reference for how GGE can be used for calculating battery size required for Electric Vehicles. If that is not the case, please correct that understanding.
As for your excellent Meridian citation, we are in your debt. Great article. I quote from page 15: "A 300kWh battery, 30 times as large as that in a PHEV automobile, might allow 150-180 miles All Electric Range (AER)." Although the Meridian calculation is based only on extrapolations that have not been made by automotive engineers, let's go with their assumptions. Using the Meridian figures, the calculated 18 wheeler with a 1400 mile range would require not 2000, but 2333 to 2800 kwhs. This is no refutation of the calculation above- it is within a 17% margin of error from their extrapolation. Let's say the CalCars engineers are wrong and Meridian is right about the battery size needed. Such a battery would cost be $1.47 million to 1.76 million, so this pushes the calculated break even price (see above for details) from %5.30 to $6.00 per gallon of gas- $7 per gallon if you assume their pessimistic number. Still, that is well below what Europe was paying for diesel last summer: $9 per gallon. So the Euro truck owner would not be saving $1 million by going to electric 18 wheelers. He would instead save only 3 quarters of a million.
It seems to me that is a winning proposition using real data, your numbers and your cite.
The meridian paper does not back up Pickens' claim. In fact, it casts further doubt on it. As shown above, the density is just fine for long haul, with ample unused GVW and cargo space. The main criticism of the paper seems to be that lithium production would not be sufficient for such batteries, but to my knowledge, Pickens has not made that claim. It's understandable why. The Meridian paper's conclusion is that there are other battery chemistries that have unlimited supplies, not that EVs are impossible due to supply limitations. Besides, the Lithium article gives citations for the fact that in the last year since the paper was written, known Lithium reserves have tripled. Perhaps the Pickens group will one day provide some juried research on some or all of the assertions of his which are unsupported (a surprising percentage are not). Given the size of federal spending Pickens is requesting eg: for the super grid needed for Midwest wind production, that situation is a recipe for doom in Congressional hearings. I imagine his numbers guys understand this, and thankfully at that time we shall have some better citations for the Pickens article.

-J JMesserly (talk) 19:00, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

GGE is not required to calculate battery size. I'm using GGE as an energy conversion between various fuels to electricity. You can also use BTUs: 114,000 BTU/gal for gasoline, 129,500 BTU/gallon for #2 Diesel, and 3,413 BTU/kWh for electricity. I'm using GGE's so that you can understand the amount of energy in a 200 gallon tank of diesel. It's much more energy than 200 gallons of gasoline. However, inefficiency requires more fuel rather than less. This is why the assumption of 10kWh per gallon of gasoline is simply wrong. It has to be more. Other assumptions are being made. The important thing to know is that all fuels are energy and that they can all be compared on an equal basis with a constant energy unit which could be GGE, kWh, BTU, Joules, etc.

Pickens has made a claim that electric long-haul trucks are impossible. But that claim is off the cuff and never substantiated. It's very much possible, but may not be economical. I think before a major undertaking of converting all trucks (or all internal combustion transportation for that matter) to natural gas, or some other fuel, some people should investigate the most fuel efficient alternatives. The problem is that trucks roll on tires. For the long haul, trains are far more efficient and they don't need to carry batteries if the rail is electrified. I also think that the mass media needs to learn to be much more critical of politicians and promoters. There needs to be much more public discussions to ensure that sane decisions are made. But I'm just a telecommunications systems engineer.Kgrr (talk) 19:56, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

As I think I have demonstrated repeatedly, I understand perfectly your assertion that you think the KWH requirement is more. What the heck- maybe you are right- but you have not given us any opportunity to believe what you say is true. Where are the citations to back up what you think the conversion factor should be? The central question was whether there are any sources to be pointed to other than Gremban's that make the case for what the conversion factor is. You pointed to a think tank paper that in fact is in the range of Gremban's conversion factor. Yet you still protest that Gremban is wrong. Ok. Where are the authoritative sources backing up your assertion? -J JMesserly (talk) 22:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I explained to you that Gremban's 10kWh per gallon is not a conversion factor, but a rule of thumb for light weight PHEVs, not semi truck EVs. I showed you how to make a good estimate and showed you all of my calculations and conversion factors and assumptions. Now you want references for the conversion factors? The references for the conversions are all listed on the GGE page. Does Gremban's 10kWh per gallon apply to EV's. No, it can't. There is no way to put enough energy for a gallon of gas into 10kWh worth of battery. We have gone over that. How many kWh in a gallon of gas depends on the BTU content of a gallon of gas. The BTU value changes depending on the season and due to the additives. How do you figure out the energy content of a gallon of gas in kWh? 114,000 BTU/Gal of basic gas (according to the EPA) / 3,413 BTU/kWh for electricity (according to two national labs) = 33.4 kWh per gallon of gas. Again, there is no way to put the energy of a gallon of gas (33.4 kWh or 33.56 kWh, or 33.whatever) into a 10 kWh battery. So what am I missing? Kgrr (talk) 06:52, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
As I stated, none of the GGE sources claim they are applicable to calculating battery size. Gremban does. So you don't have authoritative support for your claims. To your question of what are you missing? You are confusing usable energy with theoretical energy. Practical internal combustion engines are only extracting about 20% of the energy from gas. That is all the EV has to replace- not the theoretical maximum. No vehicle or engine has ever extracted that much energy from a gallon of gas so the GGE number is irrelevant for calculating battery size. To your unsupported claim that Gremban's number only applies to lightweight vehicles, you yourself provided a citation (Meridian study) that actually backs up Gremban's conversion factor and does claim that it applies to heavy vehicles. So really, you have not given us any opportunity to independently verify what you say is true about calculating battery sizes.
Really- I don't care which way the reports go. If there is discouraging information about EVs then it is essential that WP cover it. I very much am interested in hearing a third and fourth opinions besides Gremban and this Meridian extrapolation. Both are weak. -J JMesserly (talk) 17:40, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Rules of thumb such as Gremban's are only applicable to a very small problem. On the other hand, physics constants and conversions are universal. A kWh from your utility is the same thing as a kWh capacity of a battery, etc. A kWh is the same thing all over the universe. The same with BTUs. These are standardized units of energy. The conversions between units such as kWh and BTU and BTU to gallons of gas have also been standardized by government bodies. A GGE is simply one of those energy conversions. But this is real energy, there is nothing "theoretical" about it. Furthermore, I'm not confusing anything here.
While it is true that a gasoline engine connected to a transmission is only able to provide 20% of the original energy to the tires, it is also true that diesel engines which are also internal combustion engines are much more efficient. Gasoline engines have a 30% efficiency, as compared to a Diesel engine having 40 %. This has to do with the higher compression ratio used to burn the fuel and thus the larger temperature differential. You can measure all of this on a dynamometer. The remainder of the energy is expended into heat. The radiators heat the air flowing through them, the fuel burning heats the exhaust, the transmission and tires also lose energy to heat, parts get hot due to friction, there is more friction due to drag and friction in the tires, etc.
Now if you connect a battery to a controller to an electric motor to tires directly, this system is more efficient than both the diesel engine and the gasoline engine. Batteries get hot, controllers get hot, electric motors get hot and the tires get hot. There does not have to be a transmission because the electric motors can be built to drive the wheels directly. These systems can be 80% efficient. The same friction due to drag and the tires is still there.
Your whole argument falls apart here: "Practical internal combustion engines are only extracting about 20% of the energy from gas. That is all the EV has to replace- not the theoretical maximum." The battery to mechanical system is not 100% efficient either. You can't say that the energy in the battery is the energy applied to the tires because there are losses as I've pointed out to you above. The battery needs to be larger in order to store enough energy to cover the losses from the battery to the tires. You can't ignore those.
So to explain my calculation to you simply: Calculate how much energy there is in the diesel fuel tank (200 gallons). Assuming that a diesel engine is more efficient in converting that energy to driving force, make an educated guess as to how much energy at the wheels was necessary to drive the truck the 1400 miles (200 gallons at 7 mpg). Then work backwards as to how much energy, given the higher efficiency 80% (not 100% as you indirectly claim) to figure out how much energy the battery must store. Then, knowing the battery needs to be even larger, calculate the size of the battery. Clearly the battery must be larger than the amount of energy it must store to account for the reserve.
It's not rocket science and it's not theoretical energy versus real energy. It's about calculating and accounting for the losses in the systems. I can't give you an authoritative text on how to do this computation because the automotive industry has conveniently forgotten how to make electric cars like the GM EV-1, the Ford Ranger Electric and the Toyota RAV4-EV. They never published how to calculate anything. Perhaps there are some papers written by some masters and PhD students at Universities like Western Washington involved with automotive engineering. Hobbyists have been doing this for years. Take a look at SeattleEVA club to which I have gone to on many occasions. They offer classes, etc. [3] and have a wiki [4], but none of their materials are encyclopedic enough to meet your standards for an article we are not writing here under Pickens Plan.Kgrr (talk) 20:11, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not rocket science, it's classical thermodynamics. One can make what the thermodynamicist calls a first law comparison. It's a valid comparison if one regards all forms of energy to be equivalent (which is sort of like regarding all forms of food to be equivalent, or all forms of music, or sex, or people, etc. Some foods, for example, are considered more likely to make a person obese, because they taste good and pack lots of calories into a few bites, making it much easier to overeat. Imagine trying to become obese by eating nothing but plain raw carrots, something like a Biosphere 2 diet). Different forms of energy are equivalent by the first law of thermodynamics, but not by the Second law of thermodynamics, whereby different forms of energy have different abilities to do useful work (exergy). Two equal quantities of energy may have very different exergies, and there are further deductions due to limitations of engineering practicality (heat transfer must occur across finite temperature differences, thereby introducing irreversibilities; there is some practical maximum to compression ratios, maximum engine temperatures, etc.). Gasoline fed to a combustion engine has a much lower ability to do useful work than the energy equivalent in electricity feeding an electric motor. However, at the moment gasoline more than makes up for it with its vastly greater energy density compared to currently available batteries. The sorts of comparisons you and J JMesserly are discussing are relevant to (and appear in) several articles relating to electric vehicles on Wikipedia, for example a few I have stumbled across at various points in my reading:
Also note the correct spelling of: regenerative braking. --Teratornis (talk) 22:05, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I might add that at the last time I checked, we seemed to lack navigation templates to group the existing articles that relate to electric vehicles. We could also use a navigation template to cover basic units of energy and fundamental concepts from classical thermodynamics. This material must be very confusing to the great majority of people who did not study thermodynamics as part of a science or engineering curriculum. --Teratornis (talk) 23:42, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Teratornis, I'm not the one looking for a reference or to solve this problem. In fact, it has little to do with Pickens Plan other than an alternative besides using gas to power what are now diesel semi trucks. But I appreciate you stepping in and trying to explain it to J Messerley. I would like to close this issue now. Kgrr (talk) 01:13, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but US foreign petroleum dependence is dominated by transportation consumption as it is in the EU so it has everything to do with the Pickens plan. Yet he and is stalwart followers bravely seek to promote their ideas through repetition of unsupported claims. Authoritative support in the form of the Gremban and Meridian references cited above suggest that it is both practical and economical for there to be 18 wheeler EVs. There has been no authoritative contradiction of these sources. -J JMesserly (talk) 15:57, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
One has to parse Pickens correctly. After watching a few dozen videos on YouTube, and seeing how he responds to questions from the audience, I get the idea that Pickens doesn't always clearly distinguish between what is possible, and what is possible now. To some degree this may reflect Pickens' outlook as an octogenarian. He's probably only looking 5 to 10 years ahead, about as long as he expects to live. Heavy-duty CNG drivetrains are working right now in volume (see for example Solaris Bus & Coach, Orion Bus Industries, etc.), as are heavy-duty diesel/electric drivetrains (with regenerative braking well-suited to the stop-start nature of bus routes), but high-volume use of all-electric battery powered trucks is probably years away yet. Pickens probably believes, with some justification, that he won't live to see long-haul trucks running (only) on batteries any time soon, in numbers significant to reduce U.S. oil imports. That's why he keeps calling natural gas a "bridge" fuel. According to Pickens, natural gas is the only alternative vehicle fuel available to the U.S. that can scale quickly enough to reduce U.S. oil consumption by 30% over the next ten years. In contrast, the Obama transition team has talked about an "aggressive" goal to have one million plug-in hybrid cars in the U.S. by 2015. At that sluggish pace, plug-in hybrids won't even be a majority of new cars sold by then, let alone will they make a dent in the existing 250 million car U.S. fleet. When we talk about all-battery trucks, we're probably talking 10-20 years down the road, although the schedule could hurry up if someone like EEstor can actually deliver on their press-release hype, and give us the energy-storage Wunderwaffen we need to defeat OPEC. --Teratornis (talk) 00:24, 10 January 2009 (UTC)



I cleaned up some references again. A good place to visit for the citation templates is WP:CITET. Also, here is a link to the guidelines: WP:CITE. Kgrr (talk) 16:53, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

You could add a {{Todo}} to the top of this talk page, to list some of the featured article criteria we are aiming for, such as to format references consistently with citation templates. I might add a {{Todo}} later tonight if no one beats me to it.
And what's up with all these {{done}} templates? A discussion is only "done" if nobody else can think of anything to add to it. I'm not sure one person can decide when everyone else's ability to contribute new ideas has been exhausted. The reason we have discussions is because we cannot predict exactly what everyone else will say. Just because I cannot think of anything else to add to a particular discussion does not mean everybody else draws a blank too. I.e., my thinking capacity does not set a ceiling on everyone else's. Even if several of the frequent posters have all run out of ideas, at any time someone else can show up with something we didn't think of. I'm not sure if we can speak meaningfully of anything being "done" on Wikipedia, since everything is subject to change and (hopefully) improvement. --Teratornis (talk) 23:10, 9 January 2009 (UTC)


More interesting photos of CNG buses[edit]

While poking around at Commons, I saw these:

Some of these are actually running in the United States, e.g. these boxy beasts from Canada's Orion Bus Industries:

(I'm guessing the roof hump is where they keep the CNG cylinders.) Currently, Pickens Plan#Making the transition features a photo of a CNG-powered bus from Solaris Bus & Coach in Poland:

which, granted, looks better than the photos we have of CNG buses in North America. However, if we are looking to adhere to Pickens' view that made-in-America-good, foreign-bad, then perhaps a bus from Canada is less scary than a bus from Poland (or not). Also, Orion seems to have assets in the U.S. Interestingly, it appears that Orion also makes hybrid diesel/electric buses, but no hybrid CNG/electrics (nor the holy grail, plug-in hybrid CNG). New York City has been running CNG buses since 1996, apparently, and is testing various hybrid and plug-in hybrid buses from different vendors:

Another option would be to bring back the good old electric tram and trolleybus, the ones that the evil conspiracy of Big Oil/Big Auto bought up and destroyed in the 1950s. Trolleys could work better today, since they can have batteries and ultracapacitors to get them past dewirements, and to bridge un-wired sections of routes. It wouldn't be necessary to wire entire routes. Pickens doesn't talk much about mass transit, probably because he hasn't ridden a bus in decades (if ever), being a billionaire and all. Nonetheless, making a big push for mass transit, especially transit that doesn't run on diesel, would be an effective way to reduce petroleum consumption, reduce violence and save lives (since transit is many times safer than personal autos), reduce congestion, and reduce urban pollution. --Teratornis (talk) 00:05, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

What's so scary about a bus from Poland? We run light rails and streetcars made in the Check Republic here in Seattle. I happen to think most domestic busses are butt-ugly.Kgrr (talk) 08:01, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I would favor using a photo that shows the hump that CNG buses have to more accurately show what we're talking about. The current pic could be any bus, CNG or not. Also the current pic is very pretty, but a little POV as such (like many of the pics in the article). They balance each other out, but the photo set adds a POV/disputing tone to the article, and I think the article needs to tone it down as much as possible. Diderot's dreams (talk) 01:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
How about a gallery tag with several photos of CNG buses. Reasons:
  • They aren't all the same, so if we only show one photo, we're biasing the presentation one way or another.
  • CNG buses are in wide use in several places in the U.S. and around the world. It would be nice to indicate this with a representative sample.
We could put a {{Commonscat|Compressed natural gas buses}} in the section. (It would be cute if someone with "mad skillz" could make an animated video of a CNG bus rapping a transport-oriented parody of My Humps.) --Teratornis (talk) 04:24, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, it would look cool, but a gallery just doesn't belong here. It's just too much info on a small part of the plan. I bet it would be a good addition to the article about buses or CNG buses. Diderot's dreams (talk) 04:37, 15 January 2009 (UTC)


A nice Texas wind farm photo from Flickr[edit]

I found a nice wind farm photo on Flickr which I uploaded to Commons:

It shows some wind turbines from the recently completed Wolf Ridge Wind Farm near Muenster, Texas, with some old pumpjacks in the foreground. Oil production in Texas peaked in 1972, and has declined ever since; the photo symbolizes Texas' transition from fossil fuel to renewables. I'd like to add the photo to the lead section of Pickens Plan or to some other currently unillustrated section, but I thought I would discuss it here on the talk page first, to avoid wasteful reverting if anybody strongly objects. --Teratornis (talk) 01:04, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I really like the photo: it is so symbolic of Pickens Plan. Great find! But how to work it in? What would be the caption? Maybe something about wind replacing oil... Diderot's dreams (talk) 04:51, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I like it too. It's next to the lede now. See if you like the caption. One sentence should capture the Pickens Plan.Kgrr (talk) 06:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
In keeping with WP:NOT#CRYSTAL we may want to change the "will" to "could", since we don't know whether wind power will actually allow natural gas to "move America". And maybe attribute it to Pickens. Also, since we are an encyclopedia, I like image captions to explain some of the details of the actual objects and locations in the images. How about:
That's slightly verbose, but I think it interprets the photo and puts the Pickens Plan in context. I'll let you decide. I'm just happy we like the picture. --Teratornis (talk) 05:03, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at the caption now. I tried to incorporate the different ideas into my own and make it active, encyclopedic, and connected to the article. It is verbose, but I don't know how to do the former without the latter. Feel free to change. Diderot's dreams (talk) 14:58, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

(undent) Flickr has lots of interesting photos. See the ones I've uploading to Commons: commons:User:Teratornis/Gallery#Images from Flickr. --Teratornis (talk) 05:20, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


Updated map of U.S. wind resources, plus transmission lines[edit]

I found an updated map that illustrates the transmission line problem for the Pickens Plan (and for wind power in the U.S. in general), so I uploaded it to Commons and put it in some articles:

Compare to the old map:

It's interesting to see the huge gap in transmission lines where most of the wind resource is. This neatly divides the eastern and western U.S. into separate electrical power regions. The existing transmission lines around the Sweetwater, Texas area explain why wind power development is farther ahead there, even though the best wind resources are farther north in the Great Plains. Wind turbines aren't useful without transmission lines. --Teratornis (talk) 09:59, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Neat. Expecially the transmission lines. There are some significant differences from 1985. I wonder if there will be more shifts. Or is this an artifact of how the studies were done? Also, I was reading about Picken's new world's biggest wind farm in the Texas panhandle. The biggest cost by far seems to be the cost to build the new transmission lines to hook it up to the grid. Still cost effective, I think. Something to consider for Picken Plan article. Diderot's dreams (talk) 18:04, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The 1985 map was based mostly on historical weather data and a lot of extrapolation with a simple model that accounts for surface roughness and so on. Weather data is questionable because most weather stations have anemometers at low heights (I think 10m). In 1985, wind power was an expensive novelty in the U.S., with few installations outside California, and people were just getting started with actual site measurements. The 2007 map embeds better models, and a lot more site measurements with wind-project specific anemometers on towers at representative heights for wind farms (50m to 100m). See Wind resource assessment. There has been a lot more wind power prospecting since 1985, with more to come. Since so many more sites have had actual wind power measurements, this allows for improved correlation against the existing weather station data. Presumably, once a wind farm is operating in a given area, then the wind resource for that area is "known" and won't change much, unless the climate changes. So the biggest remaining shifts might come in areas that haven't had much wind power development yet. For a more detailed explanation, I guess we would have to ask AWS Truewind, the company that generates the maps for NREL. There are also a bunch of state-specific wind maps, for example I had already uploaded this 50m map for Ohio to Commons:
A bunch more show up with this search:
so I'm figuring out a way to upload them to Commons semi-efficiently. I already added a bunch of categories to Commons like commons:Category:Wind power in Indiana and so on. The Wind power in Maine article has a locator map for the existing wind farms in Maine. I'd like to figure out how to use the wind resource maps as base maps for the locator map template, so we could show the location of wind farms on top of the wind resources. Incidentally, the 50m wind resource maps are getting somewhat out of date, because wind turbines have gotten taller, with hub heights around 100m for the latest monsters. The wind resource maps show a lot more wind at 100m than 50m, but the relative distribution of wind doesn't change - you will still build wind farms in the same places the 50m maps suggest. --Teratornis (talk) 22:55, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I uploaded all the public domain wind resource maps I could find. See Commons:User:Teratornis/Gallery#Wind_resource_maps. Eventually these can go into the various "Wind power in State" articles. Somewhat annoyingly, NREL does not publish wind resource maps for some states such as Iowa and Texas where the wind power industry is well-established, leaving that job to state agencies. Unfortunately, most state governments in the US assert copyright over their publications, in contrast to the federal government which puts most of its publications into the public domain. That means we often cannot upload maps from state government agencies and other organizations to Commons. But we could draw our own maps to show the same data, if somebody had the skills and inclination. --Teratornis (talk) 21:39, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Extending the wiki concept[edit]

User:Teratornis refactored the IP's comment to its own section for clarity.

there's a lot of interesting discussion here - how can we get the wiki concept extended to a substantial policy area that isn't suited to individual topics? Letting the market guide implementation is one idea, but I worry about not anticipating commodity requirements and hitting a wall by running into availability of chemical components, who is building the "new energy economy" spreadsheet/business model? --[unsigned user] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:04, 26 June 2009

See Help:Talk page and Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. This talk page is for discussing improvements to the Pickens Plan article. See Outline of energy for more energy-related topics. Wikipedia has other articles specifically about Energy policy, which also have talk pages. Note that Wikipedia is not for original research; instead, we merely aggregate and organize information already published in reliable sources. This rules out Wikipedia as a place for normative claims (about what people should do). Instead we only write about what people are doing or have done. There are many other wikis that allow original work on various topics, or you could start your own. See wikiindex:Category:Energy which is not looking too impressive yet. As you study the energy articles on Wikipedia and elsewhere, you may find that almost every idea you can think of in the field has already been written about by someone else. Thus there is a lot we can do merely by collecting and organizing this information on Wikipedia, before we can usefully break new ground. As far as the availability of chemical components goes, which chemicals do you have in mind? The rapid growth of wind power has led to some shortages, but these tend to be temporary rather than systemic. A post-industrial country like the U.S. has lots of rust belt infrastructure that could switch to making green energy and energy-saving equipment. I'm sure the people who are planning large wind farms are checking to make sure the materials they need will be there. If the U.S. wanted to supply all its primary energy requirements from wind power, it would need to build something like three million large wind turbines, but that's a long way off, and the present economy could not run entirely on electricity anyway. --Teratornis (talk) 06:18, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Appropedia is a wiki that focuses on sustainable development and allows original work. Most of the articles there seem to focus on small-scale technology, though. --Teratornis (talk) 21:42, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

POV dispute[edit]

Shouldn't this be more about the plan and not asserting one type of energy is better then another? (talk) 18:04, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a specific complaint about something in the article? Quote a sentence or two and suggest an improvement. The Pickens Plan follows from Pickens' belief that domestic energy is "better" than importing foreign oil. It would be hard to write much about the plan without presenting that argument. --Teratornis (talk) 21:46, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I disagree, it would not be difficult to write about the Plan. Simply present the plan as a policy proposal set forth by T.Boone. If the Plan presents an argument, either (1) clearly identify who makes the argument and present similarly identified counter-arguments, or (2) don't incorporate the argument in the first place. Casestudent09 (talk) 16:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Actually it's not that one form of energy is "better" than another, it's that T-Boone believes that the trade deficit due to importing foreign oil is detrimental to the U.S. Gas is a domestic fuel that does not drive up the trade deficit.  kgrr talk 05:19, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Motives -> Criticisms[edit]

Because the original section pertained to the Plan's main critics, I renamed this section to Criticisms of the Pickens Plan. Additionally, because about half the information was outdated, I added a few more sources and revised for topical clarity. I tried to draw upon the critic's own language as much as possible while keeping the section short. Finally, I added subheadings which describe the thrust of the main critiques. Casestudent09 (talk) 23:16, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

We (the regular editors of this article) had gotten rid of a specific criticism section as it invites dissention and POV argumentation, which the article has already too much of. I am troubled by the revised version: Op-ed pieces used to represent facts, exagerations that deviate from sources, and deletion of all information on Pickens investments in Wind and Natural gas that come from reliable sources. All of this culminated in the hysterical accusation that Picken's doesn't intend to do the plan. He may have some additional motives, but these run parallel with actually completing the project. I have reversed most of the changes, keeping only the info on his Texas water rights project being cancelled and why, which came from a reliable source, and has something relvant to say about Picken's methods. Diderot's dreams (talk) 14:19, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
While I appreciate your concern over the word "purports" and "contends," these are apt phrases to use when describing a policy proposal--which by its very nature is an interested position set forth for consideration. A policy proposal is not neutral, and is certainly no fact. If you prefer, we can instead use "states," "says," "proposes" or "asserts," for these are objective manifestations of the proponent's position on an issue.
"Purports" and "contends" are words to avoid by WP:Words to Avoid. They are used to cast doubt, in this case that Pickens about what he says, that he may not intend to go through with the Plan. The sentences they are used in wasn't about if the plan will actually happen, but his intentions, which we have no reason to doubt without strong evidence from reliable sources. What evidence there is, you deleted, indicates the opposite. And now you've changed the lead to more of the same. I will revert that too. Diderot's dreams (talk) 13:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Please note that I actually took your advice and did not use those words. Indeed, I removed those words as I found them from the entire article. Please move on. Casestudent09 (talk) 17:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Meanwhile, please do not misrepresent or hyperbolize regarding the revisions others make. For example, you said that my revision deleted all information on Pickens investments in Wind and Natural gas that were supported by reliable sources. But I removed only two sections. I removed: "This plan received broad national support," because the source cited actually stated something else, and I could not find any other support for the assertion. I also removed: "There are many examples of wealthy individuals becoming altruistic in their later years, for example Andrew Carnegie," because the analogy is contextually argumentative and its relevance attenuated. I did not remove the information about investments in Wind and Natural gas.
You certainly did delete all information on Pickens investments in Wind and Natural gas, per this edit. Diderot's dreams (talk) 13:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I should point out that you need to read further in the very page you cited. Casestudent09 (talk) 17:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I see you are right there, the investments information is moved to be a reply to criticisms, but it was still there. My mistake. Diderot's dreams (talk) 14:42, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I have added clear, direct evidence of his philanthropy to the article. The previous statement, and while true, is difficult to source. This is much stronger evidence anyway. Diderot's dreams (talk) 19:45, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Moreover, I certainly did not "culminate in a hysterical accusation." I acknowledged the most common or most prominent oppositions to the policy proposal, and attempted to show from which groups this opposition was coming from. This was not my own opposition; indeed, I disagree with several of the counter-points made. But if I did not make that clear, please forgive me and revise it so that opposition's source is unambiguous. Do not delete the information...
I can delete information that doesn't come from a reliable source, or is misinterpreting them. You added more than one opinion piece, citing it as fact. I think the sum of your editing is exactly a hysterical accusation. Diderot's dreams (talk) 13:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I won't debate your beliefs. But I will direct your attention to dramatic irony. Casestudent09 (talk) 17:16, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
...and certainly do not replace it with your own arguments and POV. We can examine one of your recent additions: "Through these investments, Pickens has shown that he is personally confident that it can both work and generate a profit. Further, Pickens insists his interest is more in the country's future, than his personal wealth.[64] There are many examples of wealthy individuals becoming altruistic in their later years, for example Andrew Carnegie." You first added this on May 25, 2009, and it is still a combination of a POV (e.g. "has shown...") and a contextual argument from authority (e.g. the analogy to Carnegie).
Most of this, except the Carnegie parts, are not my additions. In fact, I just restored what you removed. You are just applying labels like POV or "argument from authority". Explain how these apply in detail. Diderot's dreams (talk) 13:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I think we have both applied labels D, and I need not explain my labels any more than you have explained your own. This is particularly true in a discussion section. As for the article itself, "the onus of verifiability is on those who want a statement in the article. The standard can't be otherwise, it makes too much work to get rid of dubious content. The encyclopedia would be overwhelmed with junk. So if you think the statements I removed are true, find a source and re-add." Casestudent09 (talk) 17:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I will try to accommodate your obvious interests in this article. But, until the day this article is about an implemented policy rather than a policy proposal, it is an inherently POV article that warrants a counter-POV. I will remind you that I did not add the counter-point section--I only revised it and added sources. I will also remind you that, even if you are a regular editor of this article, nobody owns articles. Casestudent09 (talk) 09:20, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I think it is you who have obvious interests in the article. And no, no article should be POV, no matter what the topic. You did more than revise a criticims section, you created it. And you added information as fact although it was just opinion. This article come to the state it was through a long process of revision involving several editors, with information coming from reliable sources, eighty in fact. Even some of the stuff you added was kept. I hardly have tried to own the article. Frankly, other editors will remove unsourced or improperly interpreted information.
Also, please do not refer to me as Diderot, as that is a bit of an insult to Dennis Diderot. Just use my full username, which is a reference to this encyclopedia. Diderot's dreams (talk) 13:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
You chose the name, D. If you think it's an insult, take up a different name, perhaps one that actually pertains to yourself rather than stealing authority from a dead philosopher. And it's Denis, not Dennis. Casestudent09 (talk) 17:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
My username is not an insult to Denis Diderot, as it is a reference to Wikipedia, but calling me "Diderot", is. If my username was "Wikipedia is Great!", that would not be an insult, either.

Flagging this Article for Heavy Review[edit]

Upon further consideration of the article and its feedback, I suppose we should discuss the purpose of this article. Is it going to continue to be an analysis of the policy proposal, by its merits and support, or should it be a description of what the policy proposal is? Currently, the article contains a lot of tangental information which is only relevant as original research justifying/criticizing the Plan. It requires endless tit-for-tat, as seen above. Perhaps we should simply turn it into a bare-bones description of the policy proposal. For example, "The Plan says..."

I did my best to quickly eliminate several of the argumentative words (as pointed out by Diderot) that he left behind, and will return later to revise or remove other contextually argumentative sections. Casestudent09 (talk) 10:49, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Where were these agumentative words? Can you point them out? Diderot's dreams (talk) 01:34, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
We both know that you could simply click on the History tab, and then click to view the changes between October 12, 2009 and October 18, 2009--but I'll indulge you anyway. Line 337 "argues" became "says." Line 391 "is suggesting" became "asserts." Line 401 "contend" became "say." Line 525 "argue" became "say." Casestudent09 (talk) 12:54, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

D, I think a lot of the recent edits are pertinent more to Pickens the Man rather than the Pickens Plan. I really think we can trim the fat from this article, particularly, the information about Pickens himself. I just undid a recent addition that only described T.Boone's philanthropy--information which does absolutely nothing to describe the Plan. On that thread, I'll spend some time this coming weekend to remove the entire "T.Boone is Great!" v. "T.Boone is Horrible!" stuff which is concentrated in the Criticism/Motives section. Casestudent09 (talk) 06:04, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Articles are free to include information beyond a bare description of a topic. You yourself added information beyond a bare bones description, why change your mind now?
If there was no criticism of Pickens motives or methods in the article, that would be different. There would be no need to include his philanthropy. But there is that criticism. Diderot's dreams (talk) 16:54, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I did not add the Motives section, and I just said that I would remove a large portion of it as irrelevant to the article. Your addition is not relevant to this article, and you tacitly admit it by saying that you are only offering it to rebut a criticism of the plan. I will leave it for now because I am beginning to understand the futility of working with you, but I will be flagging your addition as irrelevant and advertising until I have time to return my full attention to this article. Casestudent09 (talk) 00:47, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I flagged the "Major Endorsements" section as Unambiguous Advertising, not only because of the promotional wording, but because my edits to this article are persistently undone. Casestudent09 (talk) 14:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Outdated Peak Gas Section[edit]

Since this section was written (2007 thereabouts), the supply of natural gas in N.America has risen considerably due to improved techniques for extraction. And consequently natural gas prices have fallen drastically. Also should mention that since 2008, about 40% of new electrical generation capacity in U.S. has been natural gas (and about 40% has been wind power). Check EERE and EIA documents for details. --Aflafla1 (talk) 01:10, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Another section mentions using Nuclear power instead of wind power, stating it's cheaper. Not so any longer. EIA document says Nuc. is most expensive source (outside of coal with carbon capture technology), mostly due to capitalization costs. Not to mention its problems with tsunamis. --Aflafla1 (talk) 01:10, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Environmental impacts[edit]

I have just removed (or more specifically, repeated someone else's removal of) a whole section on "environmental impacts", which was largely about fracking, and hence, not directly relevant. While it is obviously true that the impact of wind energy includes reducing the environmental effects of other forms of energy generation, I feel that these are best treated in the relevant primary articles for those topics, and in this article they can be summarised very briefly and appropriate links inserted. It does not help maintainability of the encyclopaedia to have a lengthy description of the impacts of fracking in articles about alternative energy. I am aware that there may be some text worth including from the section I deleted, which is why I am drawing attention to it here, but I think that such a high proportion was irrelevant that it is going to be easier for someone to start from scratch (with the deleted material available in the history to draw on) rather than fix it incrementally from how it was. --Money money tickle parsnip (talk) 21:14, 7 February 2017 (UTC)