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Pickens, Citing Iraq, Renews Calls for Comprehensive Federal Energy Policy

The billionaire investor predicts Iraq’s upheaval could drive oil past $150/barrel.

T. Boone Pickens said the latest violence in Iraq underscores the need for the U.S. to reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Speaking at an event hosted by Houston-based Waste Management, the billionaire investor said the U.S. is making progress toward energy security. He noted the country now produces about half the 18 million barrels a day of oil it consumes, with another quarter coming from Canada and Mexico.

“We could cut out OPEC pretty quick if we had a government in Washington that understood energy,” Pickens said.” “It’s time to get a plan and America is the only country in the world that does not have an energy plan, and we use more energy than any other country in the world.”

Pickens expects the current violence in Iraq to drive up the price of oil dramatically. “Iraq can go exactly the same way as Libya did,” he said. “If they do, you’re going to have $150, $200 [a barrel] oil.”

Pickens joined Waste Management CEO David Steiner in calling for tax incentives to help convert trucking fleets from using diesel to domestically produced natural gas.

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(from left to right): Eric Woods, vice president of fleet, Waste Management; David Steiner, president and CEO, Waste Management; Shelley Whitworth, air quality program manager, Houston-Galveston Area Council; T. Boone Pickens, chairman and CEO, BP Capital

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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