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Boone's Bailout: Can we afford it?

Boone’s Bailout: Can we afford it?

September 26, 2011

DEAR EDITOR:

In response to the 01/29/2011 article, “Natural gas competitors scrap over ratepayer fund” With unrelenting pressure from the Obama Administration to eliminate oil industry tax provisions, they will most likely attempt to pay for compressed natural gas (CNG) conversion by raising taxes on the rest of the energy industry, which will in turn raise energy prices for the entire United States. We think using natural gas in our nation’s vehicles is a good idea, and natural gas has been used in cars and trucks for more than 30 years. However, we disagree with the methods T. Boone Pickens uses to tout CNG Conversion legislation. He throws the U.S. oil industry under the bus. He has coupled exaggerated claims of our dependence on foreign oil with a totally self-serving claim that CNG conversion is the best way to address the problem. By the way, Pickens is co-founder of and major investor in Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (NASDAQ: CLNE), a company whose future depends on CNG conversion legislation. Can America afford to pay for “Boone’s bailout”? Pickens’s claims that oil is headed for $120 per barrel, coupled with past claims of $300-per-barrel oil, and that consumers will end up paying $5 per gallon for gasoline, are worse than exaggeration. He would have you believe we are “running out of oil” in America. It’s just wild and unsubstantiated distortion. He has overstated the facts regarding our dependence on oil from our enemies, and the data does not support his conclusions. Canada and Mexico together produce around three times the amount of oil imported from the Middle East. I think you’d have a hard time calling Canada and Mexico our enemies. Only about 50 percent of the petroleum liquids we consume come from foreign sources, and Pickens fails to take into consideration the paradigm shift that has occurred in the American oil and gas industry in the last five years. The Bakken shale alone, the largest of a number of new resource plays across America, could produce as much as 24 billion barrels of oil, which will double current U.S. reserves. Yet Pickens, in his unadulterated self-interest, continues to ignore this fact.

Mike Cantrell President, Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (405) 424-1699