At the height of the fuel crisis a little more than a year ago, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens wrote the “Pickens Plan” to provide some solutions as to how the United States might “alleviate its addition to foreign oil.”
He wrote the Pickens Plan in July 2008 when oil prices soared to $147 per barrel and fuel skyrocketed to the $5 mark in some parts of the country.
However, a year later, Pickens warns there has been little movement toward decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.
“We are digging ourselves deeper into a hole every day, and our economy and security are suffering,” Pickens wrote in a mass e-mail Thursday, Sept. 10, directed to Pickens Plan supporters.
That’s because the U.S. is still importing more than 60 percent of its oil from foreign countries. In August, the U.S. imported approximately 335 million barrels of oil – at a cost of $25.2 billion – which Pickens states is the “most spent on foreign oil out of any month this year.”
Instead, Pickens is urging that more emphasis be placed on using domestic energy alternatives such as natural gas and on using less imported oil, to power the nation’s vehicles, including heavy trucks.
Many local and regional trucking operations are currently using the liquefied form of natural gas – or LNG – to power their trucks. While the infrastructure isn’t there for long-haul truckers to use LNG instead of diesel, Pickens hopes this will change soon. Two bills now in the U.S. House and Senate – H.R. 1835 and S. 1408 – are aimed at using natural gas as an alternative fuel source because it is cheaper, cleaner and we have vast resources of it here in the U.S.
“New alternative energies allow us to shift natural gas to transportation, securing our economy by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and keeping more money at home to pay for the whole thing,” Pickens wrote a year ago about his plan.
– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer