Wednesday, April 22, 2015
What's $30 billion between friends?: Shatner's California pipeline scheme
William Shatner taps Elon Musk, Al Gore to join his assault on California drought
Published: Apr 21, 2015 1:18 p.m. ET
Shatner: ‘I want $30 billion… to build a pipeline like the Alaska pipeline’
William Shatner recently announced a $30-billion plan to boldly go and quench California by running a pipeline from the Pacific Northwest. His dearly departed co-star, along with a skeptical corner of the Internet, might call the concept highly illogical.
But what about Tesla’s TSLA, +5.30% Elon Musk and climate crusader Al Gore? Shatner gave this Twitter shoutout late Tuesday night, in an attempt at bringing the duo into the conversation about saving the Golden State.
No response yet. One commenter claimed Musk is probably too “busy inventing the square wheel,”
while another said Shatner lost him at the mere mention of “Mr. Global Pay Me Carbon Tax.”
As for the plan itself, Shatner gave “the scoop” to Yahoo last week.
“So I’m starting a Kickstarter campaign. I want $30 billion … to build a pipeline like the Alaska pipeline. Say, from Seattle — a place where there’s a lot of water. There’s too much water,” he told Yahoo’s David Pogue in an interview. “How bad would it be to get a large, 4-foot pipeline, keep it above ground — because if it leaks, you’re irrigating!”
Shatner envisions a pipeline running alongside Interstate 5 and perhaps filling up Lake Mead.
“They tell us there’s a year’s supply of water left. If it doesn’t rain next year, what do 20 million people in the breadbasket of the world do?” he said. “In a place that’s the fifth-largest GDP — if California were a country, it’d be fifth in line — we’re about to be arid! What do you do about it?”
Shatner, at the very least, said his plan will bring more attention to the severity of the drought, and if his fund raising efforts come up short, he’ll give it to a politician who can take up the cause.
Shatner is no stranger to crowdsourcing on Kickstarter. More than 1,000 people pledged a total of $60,000 to fund his book “Catch Me Up.” He was seeking to raise $50,000.
“Going the traditional route would’ve required a number of sacrifices including a change in the overall message,” Shatner explained on his Kickstarter page. “So I’ve decided to take a page from my own book, so to speak, and use crowdsourcing to fund this project.”
We’ll have to see if the Kickstarter pipeline campaign pans out. Judging from the reaction in cyberspace, that $30 billion isn’t exactly money in the bank just yet.