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Boone-doggled economics. Again

Boone-doggled economics. Again. Contact:

Mike Cantrell President, Domestic Energy Producers Alliance

mike@mikecantrell.net | (405) 424-1699 May 20, 2011

DEAR EDITOR: Please find below our response to the editorial by T. Boone Pickens, titled “Natural gas better for economy, environment” which appeared in the Wichita Eagle May 20, 2011: Corporate takeover king and sometime energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens is well within his rights to continue promoting his own interests. He started his illustrious career by green-mailing, as opposed to blackmailing, Phillips Petroleum Company. He made billions of dollars in the futures market influencing the price of oil with his eloquent and folksy predictions, which were, of course, in the interest of his own trades. He spent tens of millions of his own money promoting the “Pickens Plan” to bail him out of his investment of $100 million in rusting wind turbines. Pickens, a great and charming guy, has become a highly sought-after spokesman for domestic energy – even though Pickens has made very little of his fortune actually exploring for, finding and producing fossil fuels. We think using natural gas in our nation’s vehicles is a good idea, and has been used in cars and trucks for more than 30 years. However, we disagree with the methods Pickens uses to push his convenient Compressed Natural Gas Conversion legislation. The inaccuracies Pickens puts forth in the quest to enhance his business interests are alarming. The United States imports three times as much oil from Canada and Mexico as we do from Saudi Arabia. Only about 50 percent of the petroleum liquids we consume come from foreign sources. Pickens fails to take into consideration the paradigm shift occurring in the American oil and gas industry, which could be greatly compromised if industry tax provisions are eliminated after five years, or worse, all together. Pickens also takes a swing at oil and natural gas industry tax “subsidies” which “subsidize” an industry he purports to represent. In fact, the industry tax provisions he references are not subsidies at all, but the expensing of costs incurred while doing business. Subsidies are defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as, “Monetary assistance granted by a government to a person or group in support of an enterprise regarded as being in the public interest.” American farmers receive subsidies during droughts, however when domestic energy producers drill a dry hole, we don’t get a check in the mail. Pickens surely knows this, or he can have someone at Oklahoma State University explain agricultural subsidies to him. On the other hand, it may have been so long since he drilled a well, he has probably forgotten. It is ill-timed and regrettable that he attacks an outstanding, first-term Congressional member like Mike Pompeo (R-KS) while promoting his self-interests. If America is to manage the current financial crisis that has been caused by a government spending money like a drunken sailor, it will be through the leadership of principled, intelligent people like Rep. Pompeo, not those who shamelessly promote their own self-interests. Mike Cantrell President, Domestic Energy Producers Alliance Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA) is a mutual collaboration of state and national independent oil and gas associations, including the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association. DEPA represents the small businessmen and women of the energy industry, and is devoted to the survival of U.S. crude oil and natural gas exploration and production.