"It's not like finding an oil field," Pickens said. "You find an oil field, and it's not long before it starts to decline, and then deplete. Then, the oil field's gone. The wind doesn't stop."
The layout of the United States lends itself to wind and solar development, he said. The central corridor is ripe for wind development, provided the U.S. government makes corridors available to transmit power out. And the southwest is ideal for solar development, he added.
Pickens himself pointed out that he would stand to benefit from such a domestic policy. He is a major investor in wind power projects and natural gas projects. He is in the midst of building a wind power farm capable of generating 1,000 megawatts of power — the first tranche of a $10 billion, 4,000 megawatts plan — and new transmission lines to bring this wind power to energy-hungry Texas cities.
"I expect to make money in whatever I put my money in, but...it's secondary to what I'm trying to accomplish here," Pickens explained. "... Back in, it was 1970, we were importing 24 percent (of our energy needs). By 1991 -- the Gulf war -- we were importing 42 percent, and now we're importing almost 70 percent. We are very close to a disaster for the country."
Pickens indicated he will spend upwards of $10 million to promote his plan and make it a topic of the ongoing presidential campaign.
"I'm 80, and I've had almost 60 years experience in this business...I think I have a story to tell, and the story is that the country's in trouble," Pickens said.