Touting his Pickens Plan, Dallas oilman and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens said in a keynote address on October 14 in Grapevine, Texas, that he is courting the 60 United States senators he needs in order to pass his energy plan in a vote scheduled for November 17.

T. Boone Pickens Opens Sunbelt Builders Show in Grapevine
Photo: Tonie Auer

With more than $80 million from his own wallet, Pickens is promoting America’s energy independence.

The 82-year-old Texas oil tycoon told attendees at the 2010 Sunbelt Builders Show held at the Gaylord Texan that this is his mission in life.

Pickens says out of the 85 million barrels of oil produced daily across the globe,  the U.S.–with 4% of the world’s population–consumes 21 million [per day] of those.

“Of the 14 million barrels we import every day, five million comes from OPEC and the Middle East; from countries where our State Department advises us not to travel.”

He adds that America has the resources in America that could recover that five million a day by taking advantage of natural gas reserves, which are the largest in the world.”

“We have 4,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is the oil equivalent of three times as many barrels of oil that the Saudis have. It’s cleaner, cheaper, abundant and its ours,” Pickens says.

Pickens says part of his proposed plan includes having President Obama, by executive order, mandate that all federal vehicles purchased in the future (amounting to about 200,000 per year) function solely on domestic fuel.

“I don’t care what it is: battery, ethanol, natural gas. I would take anything to beat OPEC oil,” Pickens says. “If he’ll just say that and we start in that direction, then we are going to get on our own two feet.”

Pickens calls the notion that 67% of oil America that consumes comes from foreign sources “insane.”

“No other country is close to that. China imports five million barrels and they are re second in consumption. The five million they import is oil they own or purchase but not produced in China. They have arranged for their oil and we have no energy plan and haven’t had one for 40 years,” he says.

Although Pickens never served in the U.S. military, he says he considers his energy plan his personal opportunity to serve his country.