PG&E's CEO on T. Boone Plan: Not the Right Way


PG&E CEO Peter Darbee, at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Energy Summit at Stanford on Friday, told us that he was “concerned” about the plan unveiled last week by oil baron T. Boone Pickens to get the U.S. off oil. While reducing foreign oil consumption is the right thing to do, he said, the idea of replacing foreign oil with natural gas is a problematic one.

First of all, Darbee said, there isn’t that much domestic natural gas to go around, and the foreign natural gas providers are the same ones that currently provide us with oil. And from a national security perspective, converting our cars to natural gas wouldn’t change our energy-based security issues, he said; electric cars and hydrogen-based cars are a better alternative.

Darbee also said he’s becoming increasingly worried about the investment tax credit, which provides funds for up to 30 percent of the cost of a solar or wind system and is set to expire by the end of the year. As the Chronicle recently noted, PG&E has signed contracts with developers including several solar thermal companies that may put their projects on hold if the ITC is not extended. If the companies abandon their projects, PG&E would be left scrambling to meet the state renewable portfolio standard, which says the California utility must have 20 percent of its power from renewable energy by the end of 2010.



Dear Mr. Darbee,

  Did you ever hear the aphorism "Best is the enemy of better" ? Congress is starving America of energy and cash.Our economy is in meltdown.So what's wrong with someone shooting for the stars?
 Sure,there are other ideas to think of.None of them will come from our slothful congress and addle- brained President.Yes-Mt. St. Helen's should be used to power the state of Washington.Yes-Hawaii should be powered by ocean wave energy,wind,and sun.Yes-The Southwest should be solar powered as should Florida.Yes-the interstate highway system should be electrified and powered by breeder reactors.The nuclear waste can be used to sterilize jalopeno peppers and beef. yes we should make carnival cruise lines power its ships with nuclear energy.Yes Yes Yes.
But neither The Congress nor President Putz are going to do it!Someone's got to try.Hip Hip Hooray for T. Boone Pickens!


When Darbee mentioned that, he lost all credibility. Augment Pickens plan with PHEVs and lots of nuclear power plants.

Jason Kratz

No offense but lots of people have plans to get us off of oil….unfortunately the ones that make the most sense don’t have $50 million in the bank to have a marketing blitz.

The Pickens Plan certainly bodes well for wind energy. The natural gas idea is awful. Keep the natural gas where it belongs…at the generating plants for electricity where it is most effective. The infrastructure for electric vehicles is already in place. What we need is the auto industry to get off its butt and start making more electric vehicles. GM never should have killed the EV-1 project. Think where we could be had that continued as it should have.

The American public has been very stupid in the way it has responded to energy policy. The American government has been stupid as well. That being said the best thing that could have happened to the American public is high gas prices. It certainly has lit a fire even under the most complacent of people and hit them in the only place that apparently counts….the pocketbook.

Michael Surles

Dear Mr. Darbee, I believe it might be right what you say about the natural gas automotives. What I didn’t hear from you, which makes me queston your entire fundamentals, is that Mr. Boone has a plan to help get us off oil, and I didn’t hear you provide an alternative.

Let’s stop with the naysaying and start getting on board for some/any project that lead us in the direction of foreign and domestic oil dependancy as an engery source.

It is my recommendation that every individual that are in postions to direct and contol our path to renewable be prepared to offer a choce before discouraging others with negativity about a position for renewable energy. The one thing I am sure that Mr. Boone is right about; for over 30 years we have known that this crisis will happen if we didn’t change things. The one thing there was little thought to was dissolution of the ice packs.

Yet still, no one in a postion to do anything about changing our course over the last 30 years and our destiny as a result of that change.

Michael Surles

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