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Pickens discusses energy

Sam Stryker | Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The issue of how and where America acquires its sources of energy took center stage over other political issues as T. Boone Pickens, founder and chairman of BP Capital Management, hosted a lecture on his goals for American energy followed by a town hall session in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Monday.

Pickens focused on his “Pickens Plan,” which lays out his energy policy ideas, aiming at reducing American dependence on foreign oil while shifting to other energy sources. The plan’s Web site has had over 20 million hits and over 1.6 million citizens sign up in support since its inception in July of 2008.

Pickens said his plan was inspired by a lack of political success in achieving energy efficiency in the country.

“I started to watch what politicians said about energy and I didn’t know if they weren’t telling the truth or didn’t know what they were talking about,” he said.

Pickens noted that since the presidency of Richard Nixon, candidates for the presidency from both political parties have focused on the energy issue heavily in their campaigns.

Pickens focused on several key problems with U.S. energy sources. He said oil production cannot get any higher than its current rate and could see declines by 2012, right as industrialization in nations such as China and India accelerates.

“I’m convinced 85 million barrels a day is all you are going to get, meaning it is a peak,” he said.

Pickens also focused on the problem of importing oil from enemy nations, and asked the younger generations to change that.

“We cannot continue to import oil from people who hate us,” he said. “You are going to have to get control of energy in America.”

The “Pickens Plan,” as Pickens laid it out, emphasizes two important sources of energy for future American generations — wind power and natural gas, both of which are renewable energy sources.

Pickens spoke about the need to replace diesel trucks on the road with natural gas trucks. The model that he used came from southern California, where natural gas trash trucks replaced their diesel counterparts, taking the equivalent of 325 cars off the road. Pickens said great energy change could be achieved in this country by doing this on a national scale by replacing the current 6.5 million diesel trucks.

Pickens said this could be achieved cheaply with tax breaks. In addition, he noted that natural gas is cheaper than diesel, with America holding over a century’s supply within its borders. Pickens said the amount of natural gas America holds is roughly equivalent to one and a half times the amount Saudi Arabia holds in oil.

“This is a game changer,” he said.

Pickens also touched on his belief that the energy problem is much bigger than politicians realize. He mentioned a conversation he had with President Barack Obama over the president’s goal of getting a million plug-in hybrids on the road.

“I said our problem is bigger. It’s huge,” Pickens said.

Pickens closed his lecture portion with a reflection on the very issue of energy itself, noting its importance to all Americans in the future.

“This has no party,” he said. “It’s not political. It has to do with us Americans.”

Pickens focused on his “Pickens Plan,” which lays out his energy policy ideas, aiming at reducing American dependence on foreign oil while shifting to other energy sources. The plan’s Web site has had over 20 million hits and over 1.6 million citizens sign up in support since its inception in July of 2008.

Pickens said his plan was inspired by a lack of political success in achieving energy efficiency in the country.

“I started to watch what politicians said about energy and I didn’t know if they weren’t telling the truth or didn’t know what they were talking about,” he said.

Pickens noted that since the presidency of Richard Nixon, candidates for the presidency from both political parties have focused on the energy issue heavily in their campaigns.
Pickens focused on several key problems with U.S. energy sources. He said oil production cannot get any higher than its current rate and could see declines by 2012, right as industrialization in nations such as China and India accelerates.

“I’m convinced 85 million barrels a day is all you are going to get, meaning it is a peak,” he said.

Pickens also focused on the problem of importing oil from enemy nations, and asked the younger generations to change that.

“We cannot continue to import oil from people who hate us,” he said. “You are going to have to get control of energy in America.”

The “Pickens Plan,” as Pickens laid it out, emphasizes two important sources of energy for future American generations — wind power and natural gas, both of which are renewable energy sources.

Pickens spoke about the need to replace diesel trucks on the road with natural gas trucks. The model that he used came from southern California, where natural gas trash trucks replaced their diesel counterparts, taking the equivalent of 325 cars off the road. Pickens said great energy change could be achieved in this country by doing this on a national scale by replacing the current 6.5 million diesel trucks.

Pickens said this could be achieved cheaply with tax breaks. In addition, he noted that natural gas is cheaper than diesel, with America holding over a century’s supply within its borders. Pickens said the amount of natural gas America holds is roughly equivalent to one and a half times the amount Saudi Arabia holds in oil.

“This is a game changer,” he said.

Pickens also touched on his belief that the energy problem is much bigger than politicians realize. He mentioned a conversation he had with President Barack Obama over the president’s goal of getting a million plug-in hybrids on the road.

“I said our problem is bigger. It’s huge,” Pickens said.

Pickens closed his lecture portion with a reflection on the very issue of energy itself, noting its importance to all Americans in the future.

“This has no party,” he said. “It’s not political. It has to do with us Americans.”