Pickens has new bill for natural gas
OKLAHOMA CITY -- T. Boone Pickens is confident his plan to make our country less dependent on foreign oil is gaining steam on Capitol Hill. The billionaire oilman took part in an MSNBC energy summit Thursday on the Oklahoma State University campus
Pickens inspired what is called the Nat Gas Act, a natural gas bill that will be introduced to congress again, next week.
At OSU, Pickens pointed out he has a Honda Civic GX, the only passenger car in America that runs on natural gas.
"And I fuel it in my garage at night and it's less than a $1 a gallon," he said, "and you're getting ready to pay $4 a gallon."
The Nat Gas Act, authored by Oklahoma Congressman John Sullivan and co-sponsored by Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren, hopes to boost the use of natural gas as a fuel in the transportation sector.
It would provide vehicle tax credit incentives to consumers of natural gas vehicles, as well as tax incentives for U.S. automakers to build them.
President Obama said Wednesday the U.S. needs to get serious about an energy policy.
"We can't rush to propose action when gas prices are high and then hit the snooze button when they fall again," Obama said.
Pickens says the Nat Gas Act will help Obama keep a campaign promise.
"He said in 10 years, we will not import any oil from the Mideast. We still haven't seen his plan yet, but I think you're seeing it start to develop now."
Taylor Shinn, Senior Director of Corporate Development at Chesapeake Energy, says America has twice as much natural gas as Saudi Arabia has oil.
"You have the ability to end our dependency on foreign oil through natural gas vehicles," Shinn said, "and it's something that can happen today."
Shinn says the U.S. will export at least $400 billion for foreign oil this year.
So a conversion to natural gas, he says, will inevitably improve our economy.
"I'd challenge Americans to say, what could we do with $400 billion? Could we stimulate our economy? Could we put that back in our school systems? It's really an exciting time to say we have the ability, if we just work together."
Pickens says the Nat Gas Act should receive a vote in congress by mid May