Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008

One of America's most influential businessmen, legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens, says the nation's wealth is being plundered by oil exporters and the U.S. faces a potential financial disaster if our energy policy is not reformed. Pickens, who correctly predicted that oil would top $100 a barrel, also says he expects oil prices to drop sharply in the near term.
Appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday morning, Pickens pointed out that the U.S. is currently sending half a trillion dollars out of the country each year to buy oil, in some cases from people who "are our enemies."

Said Pickens, "You take 10 years and you've got $5 trillion ... That's more than $1 billion a day.

"We can't stand that. Wealth is moving out of the country...

"Not one presidential candidate has addressed this The candidates have to get up to speed on what energy cost is doing to our country." Pickens even turned on his own industry, oil, and called for an increase in alternative energy sources.

"If we do not get on the alternative energy bandwagon and if we don't have a global recession, we could be sitting on $150 oil in two years," he told CNBC.

Pickens touched on a number of other points:

Although he was originally against ethanol, Pickens now favors an increase in ethanol production, saying, "I'd rather have ethanol, and recirculate the money in the country, than to have it go out the back door on us."
"I think oil is going to back off," he said. "The weakest quarter is the second quarter. We'll drop $10 or $15 a barrel in the second quarter. I think we'll be back above $100 in the second half of the year."
Natural gas prices are too high and they can be expected to drop, according to Pickens, who is shorting both oil and gas.
Natural gas will become a "serious transportation fuel," Pickens predicted, adding: "We've got to get coal cleaned up and we've got to get natural gas into the transportation mix."
The U.S. should increase its use of solar and wind to meet the expected rise in electricity demand, locating those alternative energy sources in the Great Plains and "middle of the country," Pickens urged.
Barack Obama says the U.S. "should do bio diesel," said Pickens, "but that won't solve any problems."
He also said about Obama: "He talks about change. I haven't seen yet what he's going to change."
A windfall profit tax on U.S. oil companies would be "ridiculous," Pickens charged, saying: "You've got to keep the money in the industry."
Pickens originally backed Rudy Giuliani for president. Asked what happened to his campaign, Pickens said: "My guy rode up in front of the grandstand and fell off his horse. I've never seen anything come and go as fast as Rudy's campaign.
Pickens told CNBC he now backs John McCain for president. Asked if the Republicans can win the White House this year, he said simply: "Sure."

NewsMax 2008. All rights reserved.

Here in Texas many of us work, support or know someone in the oil industry. Oil is a big part of our life both in our surroundings and in investments.

What would you guys do about energy (costs) if you were pres? (yea, yea, i know the pres is only one person, still hypothetically, what would YOU do?)

P.S., i do not agree with Mr. Pickens that oil will fall in the 2nd quarter, it is about to pick up big time as inventories are stockpiled in preparation for high demand summer driving months.