Pickens energy tour stops in La.

SHREVEPORT – “The United States is addicted to foreign oil.” Americans have heard this line multiple times in the past few years, and for the most part, nothing has been done about it. Oilman T. Boone Pickens saw this and realized he was a part of the problem.

He decided to do something about it, developing a plan to move the United States from foreign energy sources to domestic ones. Pickens kicked off the push for the “Pickens Plan” in July, and since then has been on a nationwide tour to inform and inspire the masses.

On Wednesday, Pickens’ tour touched down in Shreveport. Pickens held his 13th town hall meeting at the Shreveport Convention Center, and the crowd was standing-room-only. After being introduced by Sen. David Vitter, Pickens took the stage. The meeting began with Pickens giving the audience a bit of the United States’ history of foreign petroleum dependence.

“In 1970, 24 percent of America’s oil came from foreign sources,” Pickens said. “Nixon vowed that we would be free of foreign oil, but it’s 2008 and we are importing almost 70 percent of our oil from abroad.”

As the crowd looked on with stunned amazement, Pickens began to explain that for nearly forty years, Washington didn’t get the point, and as a result, the United States is at the mercy of OPEC to the tune of 21 million barrels a day. According to Pickens, at one point, the cost to maintain the nation’s addiction was as high as $700 billion.

Pickens’ plan proposes that the United States wean itself off of foreign oil by using natural gas as a bridge between oil and alternative fuel sources such as wind, ethanol and solar power.

He clued the audience into the fact that while Honda sells the only car in the U.S. that runs on natural gas (the Civic GX), this doesn’t mean that a person couldn’t get their existing car converted to run on natural gas. CNG conversion kits that will fully convert a vehicle can be purchased from a myriad of locations, including E-Bay, he pointed out.

Pickens urged the crowd in attendance to sign his petition, which is designed to show politicians that a real energy plan is needed before the energy crisis gets to a point of no return. For more information on T. Boone Pickens’ energy proposal, go to www.pickensplan.com.