T. Boone Pickens recently announced that U.S. spending on foreign oil rose to $39.9 billion for the month of March 2011. Pickens’ number is based on information from the Federal Reserve Economic Database, which showed that the U.S. imported 72 percent of its oil, or 348 million barrels. Pickens noted that the $39.9 billion, compared to just $18 billion spent on foreign oil in March 2009, shows that the US is becoming more dependent on foreign oil.
Pickens is pushing for the country to move away from reliance on foreign oil by increasing its domestic production of natural gas, which is in abundant supply. However, environmentalists have raised concerns over both emissions during production and potential contamination of groundwater.
“If you’re going to solve the foreign oil crisis you must focus on transportation – using our own abundant natural gas resources to fuel heavy-duty trucks can immediately reduce our dependence on OPEC oil; improving our national security while strengthening our economy,” argues Pickens.
The Pickens Plan to encourage more heavy duty fleet vehicles to run on domestic resources is included in the NAT Gas Act, which was just introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK), Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK), Congressman John Larson (D-CT) and Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX). The legislation enjoys broad bipartisan support.