Oil Wars and Energy Independence – The Pickens Army Recruits for the Fight
July 31, 2009 Leave a comment
Wind accounted for 40% of the nation’s new energy generating capacity in 2008.
Love him or hate him, T. Boone Pickens is fighting for a cause. He wants Americans free from not only the control of foreign governments for our energy supply, but also free from the devastating effects of our addiction to burning fossil fuels. And he is recruiting an army to help him bring the message of how we can accomplish the above objectives to fight the battle with our government and corporations.
America is addicted to foreign oil.
It’s an addiction that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security. It touches every part of our daily lives and ties our hands as a nation and as a people.
The addiction has worsened for decades and now it’s reached a point of crisis.
Pickens is not touting simple rhetoric – he has a plan. The plan encompasses a range of activities from education, to adopting natural gas, to wind power, and the simplicity of actions such as painting your roof tops white. Why would a man who is a very, very wealthy oil magnate change his tune from “drill baby drill” to making the US a stronger country through intelligent use of natural resources and green thinking?
“Once you see how deep a hole we’ve dug for ourselves by importing two-thirds of our oil and then you see all the ways OPEC and the other oil producers don’t want us to change our ways…” (T. Boone Pickens, 24 Jul 2009)
A Call to Arms
Now the “Pickens Army” appears to be giving T. Boone the backing he needs to make some real impact on the American government’s energy policies. At a recent event in Lancaster, PA, Pickens acknowledged the “Army” effect by stating “… this rich guy from Texas is a hell of a lot more powerful with a million people behind him than he ever was before.”
Pickens wants his army to get involved, even if it is only to send their representative a form letter supporting bills before Congress such as the Natural Gas Act of 2009. Even what could appear as a superficial, small gesture is tallied on the support board in Washington. Get enough points on the board, and you can accomplish the real objective of lighting interest on the floor of the House or Senate.
From the Pickens Plan resource page:
“Please support the NAT GAS Act of 2009
The current battle line drawn by the “army” is H.R. 1835, New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2009. H.R. 1835 will provide energy research funding for the next decade. Pickens sent the following template letter out to his army this morning, strongly recommending each soldier send a copy to their representatives in Washington:
While the price per barrel of oil has fallen from the last summer highs, it’s beginning to rise again. What hasn’t changed is the percentage of oil we import every day: over the past 12 months we have continued to import nearly two-thirds of the oil we use.
Most of the oil we import is used as a transportation fuel – cars, trucks, aircraft, boats and trains. About one barrel out of every five is used as diesel fuel to power heavy trucks – 18-wheelers.
I am all for developing battery and fuel cell technology – or some other technology which is still in the laboratory stage. But neither batteries nor hydrogen are ready for widespread distribution to our national fleet of approximately 250 million cars and light trucks. A battery also won’t push an 18-wheeler. The only fuel which is available to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is domestic natural gas.
Due to recent advances in technology, we now have the ability to recover natural gas from the enormous deposits in Texas, Louisiana and Appalachia in the lower 48 states. In fact, a recent study Potential Gas Committee estimates that natural gas reserves have surged by 35 percent. The 2,074 trillion cubic feet of domestic natural gas reserves cited in the study is the equivalent of nearly 350 billion barrels of oil, about the same as Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves.
Natural gas is cheaper than diesel fuel. Natural gas is cleaner than diesel. It’s abundant. And it’s ours.
The time to act is now and the NAT GAS Act is the best tool we’ve had in decades to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The NAT GAS Act of 2009 is a bi-partisan bill in both the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1835) and the Senate (S. 1408). In the House, Congressmen Boren (D-OK), Larson (D-CT) and Sullivan (R-OK) introduced it April 1 and it already has 70 bi-partisan cosponsors. In the Senate, Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Hatch (R-UT) were joined by Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) to introduce it on July 8.
The NAT GAS Act provides industry with the incentives to replace older diesel trucks with newer natural gas vehicles – it’s a great step in the right direction. It will provide the momentum for engine manufacturers, natural gas producers and natural gas distributors to ramp up and make a real difference in our dependence on foreign oil.
I hope you will sign up as a cosponsor to support this important legislation. I will be watching your press and floor remarks for statements of support.
Looking out of my window at the port of Long Beach, and half dozen gas refineries surrounding the port, and armed with the knowledge between the two we are producing about half the pollutants within the Los Angeles Basin, this is a very up close and personal topic. California prides itself on the beauty of the state, openness and creativity of our people, and a sincere desire to make our communities the healthiest place in the country to raise families and enjoy life.
Will sending an email message to Sen. Boxer or Sen. Feinstein solve our problems? Maybe not. Will doing nothing solve our problems? Definitely not.
However we must understand the issues, impacts, and opportunities available to meet the objectives of Pickens Army.
Army Objectives and Success Factors
- Create millions of new jobs by building out the capacity to generate up to 22 percent of our electricity from wind. And adding to that with additional solar generation capacity;
- Building a 21st century backbone electrical transmission grid;
- Providing incentives for homeowners and the owners of commercial buildings to upgrade their insulation and other energy saving options; and
- Using America’s natural gas to replace imported oil as a transportation fuel in addition to its other uses in power generation, chemicals, etc. (the Plan)
This may be one of the final gifts an old oil man from Texas has to offer this country which has provided him so much. It may be our opportunity as Americans to sit back and appreciate the resources we have, the resources we are using, and the need for us to better understand our role in making America economically healthy, as well as ensuring our land and environment are protected for current and future generations.
Thank you T. Boone Pickens
John Savageau, Long Beach