When T. Boone Pickens framed U.S. energy dependence on foreign oil as a national security issue, people couldn’t agree fast enough. He launched an aggressive advertising campaign pushing wind and solar power as an alternative to imported oil in 2008.
With gasoline prices hovering at $4 a gallon and driving up the cost of anything that had to be shipped, plus the skyrocketing cost of fuel oil causing utility bill spikes, Pickens’ message resonated.
Since then, gasoline prices have dropped, U.S. consumers aren’t feeling as pinched at the pump, and the health care debate now commands the national attention.
As Pickens reminded American-Statesman editors and reporters this week, the national security threat posed by U.S. dependence on oil produced by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has not waned.
Neither has his interest in lessening that dependence. So Pickens is back on the stump, pushing legislation that would provide tax incentives for freight haulers to replace their diesel-burning 18-wheelers with rigs powered by natural gas.