Pickens Speaks at Virginia Energy Conference
Yesterday,oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens spoke at Governor McDonnell’s Conference on Energy and gave some serious challenges to government on the state and federal level. Craig Carper reports.
Pickens said government leaders at all levels need to be doing more to support and encourage domestic energy production and said that the U.S. has lacked a plan for reducing dependence on foreign oil for 40 years.
Pickens: We’ve had eight presidents, Democrats and Republicans, that told us that very thing and the media did not one thing about it. I never saw the media ever say, ‘you know you told us we would be energy independent if we elected you. How are we coming on that project?’ I think this President is gonna get tagged. At his nomination speech, he said that in 10 years we will not import any oil from the mid-east. I think he's gonna be asked about that soon.
Pickens says the U.S., with only four percent of the world’s population and two percent of its oil reserves, is using 25 percent of the world’s oil. He believes breaking from foreign oil would dry up funds to the Taliban, who he says are largely funded by oil revenue.
Pickens: We import to our country 14 million barrels a day and of the 14 million, 5 come from the Mideast. That is not coming from friends of ours. That oil comes from countries that our state department recommends that you and I do not visit. If you go back to 2003, those countries got 250 billion dollars in oil revenues from around the world; five years later it was 1 trillion 250 billion, five times as much in five years.
Pickens wants the President and every governor in the country to mandate by executive order that all federal and state-owned vehicles be powered by domestic energy sources.
On November 17th, a Pickens-proposed bill that will encourage 18-wheelers to convert to compressed natural gas will go before the U.S. Senate. He says the eight million cargo vehicles are by far the largest users of fuel in the country.
Pickens: If we can pass the bill in seven years, we could if we got all of those vehicles over to natural gas; remember it’s 30 percent cleaner than diesel and it’s half the price and it's ours. If we could do that, we would cut OPEC in half. That would be 2.5 million barrels a day and we import 5 million barrels a day from OPEC.
In the bill that we have, it’s gonna be a $65,000 tax credit and it’s 5 billion dollars, I mean, you’re not going to get that many trucks done, but you’re gonna prove that this works; so once you have it work, you’re gonna have a lot better information to go forward as to how you get 8 million vehicles turned over to natural gas.
Pickens is hopeful but cautious about the plan’s prospects in the Senate, though he says it would easily pass the House, as it already has 175 bipartisan co-sponsors. To learn more about Pickens’ proposals, you can go to www.pickensplan.com.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Richmond