Gore estimates that his plan can be implemented at a cost of between $1.5 trillion and $3 trillion. That does not jibe with Pickens' estimate that it would cost $1 trillion to generate 20 percent of America's power with wind power with an extra $200 billion to update the electric grid. U.S. News "Capital Commerce" columnist James Pethokoukis extrapolated the numbers and figured $5 trillion for Plan Gore is more like it: "That would be like creating another Japan. Or fighting World War II all over again."
Did Al Gore warn his audience that they would have to pay the price tag for a world war to pay for his plan? No. He started off his speech bemoaning rising electricity rates and high gas prices as if he had the answer. Toward the end of his speech, Gore explained how under Plan Gore there would be so much cheap carbon-free electricity that there will be extra power into which people will be able to plug their reconfigured cars. Voila, cooed Gore, "the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline."
This is important: If self-styled reformers cannot level with the American people as to the cost of their plans, nothing will change. If there is one thing America's energy situation should make clear, it's that when Washington doesn't ask people to sacrifice, they don't.