Getting America off oil

T. Boone Pickens tries a new tactic

T. Boone Pickens, the influential Texas oil man, has long been a proponent of wind energy, which he argues could be used to power cities and free up natural gas supplies. That gas, he argues, could in turn be used to power America’s trucks and buses. His efforts to wean America off of foreign oil have had little effect though, despite spending over a year campaigning and US$62 million of his fortune. So this week, Pickens is launching a new ad campaign, this time playing on the fear factor and national security concerns. One commercial opens with Arabic script, which he reads in English: “Go back to sleep, America; the oil crisis is over.” He then adds, “I don’t think so.” The 81-year-old goes on to say America imports nearly 70 per cent of its oil “much of it from countries that don’t like us.” Skeptics still doubt that he can convince America to adopt natural gas as a transportation fuel, especially as focus turns more towards electric and hybrid vehicles. But Pickens is undeterred. “All you need to do is get the oar in the water,” he tells the New York Times. “Then you are on your way to get off OPEC oil.

New York Times