Energy billionaire, T. Boone Pickens has been campaigning natural gas for years now. Pickens believes the only way to energy independence is through natural gas that is here at home. He argues that it would cut our addiction to costly, foreign oil and bring more jobs to the United States. This time, Pickens is campaigning for companies such as Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE), Navistar (NAV) or Westport Innovations (WPT) to build engines that could run on natural gas for big trucks.
“There are 8½ million 18-wheelers in the United States. That’s 2½ million barrels of oil a day. So that cuts OPEC in half if you had all the 18-wheelers,” says Pickens. He makes the case that natural gas is not only cheaper but it’s here at home, in vast quantities.
Oil prices continue to rise as issues such as Iran have a choke hold on Western countries that challenge their nuclear problem. If we supplied ourselves with our own energy source we would be dealing with Iran with the worry that oil may go up in the process. Deutsche Bank released a report saying that threats to the oil supply and prices are as high as they were during the Iran Revolution and the Iraq-Iran War back in the 1970s.
T. Boone Pickens is also in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline deal. He points to the fact that if we fail to use Canadian oil; they will still build a pipeline and sell it all to Asia. Buying oil from Canada is much more favorable than buying our oil from the Middle East. However, environmentalists believe the Canadian oil sands will be the “second Saudi Arabia” in that it will be the source of a lot of carbon emission into the atmosphere. However, what they do not realize is that the pipeline is going to be built anyways and we still need oil. Now instead of buying oil from a friendly, more domestic source, we are buying from countries such as Iraq and Iran.
I have to agree with T. Boone Pickens and I have written extensively in supporting natural gas upgrades to trucks as a stepping stone to energy dependence. We can not continue to buy oil from the same source as we are fighting militarily. Why would you want to buy from the Iranians or other Middle Eastern source when we have tons and tons of natural gas at home just waiting to be extracted and used as energy? Regardless, I believe we will eventually get to this point but we will need government support, which so far is non-existent. Until then, we will continue on the vicious cycle that is oil dependence.