Oklahoma City_Press Release_Gov. Brad Henry on Monday officially endorsed T. Boone Pickens' plan to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
The governor signed the Oklahoma native's "Pickens Pledge," a document urging the next President and U.S. Congress to enact an energy policy emphasizing renewable and alternative fuels such as wind power and natural gas in an effort to reduce oil imports. Pickens hopes to reduce the country's dependence on foreign crude by 30 percent over the next 10 years.
"To protect national security and enhance our economic future, we must establish energy independence and lessen our reliance on foreign nations," said Gov. Henry. "The Pickens Plan provides a roadmap to achieve that important goal.
"It is critical that policy makers, particularly those on the national stage, give this proposal the speedy attention it deserves. We can't afford to wait any longer."
Pickens echoed the governor's comments.
"Governor Henry became a real leader in my army today by signing the Pickens Pledge," said Pickens. "As a native son, I know that Oklahomans are not the kind who will stand back and allow our leaders to continue to export hundreds of billions of dollars annually on foreign oil when domestic, renewable alternatives lie in their own back yards. Rich in natural gas supply and wind power potential, Oklahoma promises to play a great role in the Pickens Plan. Join your governor in signing the Pledge today-together we can take back America's energy future."
The United States is now importing 70 percent of its oil, up from just 24 percent in 1970. Accordingly, the country is expected to spend approximately $700 billion on foreign crude this year, with a large share of the money going to nations that are either hostile to the U.S. or have competing international interests.
In recent weeks, Pickens has traveled the country promoting his ideas on energy independence, including a town hall meeting in McAlester in August. He has also launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign urging state and federal leaders to take the Pickens Pledge and implement a new energy plan.
"I applaud Boone Pickens for taking a courageous stand and putting his money where his mouth is. It would have been easier and far more lucrative for him to sit on the sidelines managing his energy investments, but instead, he's using his personal wealth to bring about the kind of change essential to our country's future," said Gov. Henry.
The governor noted that as a leading producer of both natural gas and wind power, Oklahoma is uniquely positioned to advance the Pickens Plan. He said Oklahoma's Bioenergy Center, which is conducting research on alternative and renewable fuels, can also play a critical part in effort to reduce foreign oil imports.
"I expect Oklahoma to play a leadership role in our country's drive toward energy independence. With our natural resources and energy expertise, we can make our nation safer and more secure and boost the state economy in the process," said Gov. Henry.
The Pickens Pledge
We will no longer stand by and watch as America's national security and economy become more dependent on the unstable foreign nations that we rely on for nearly 70% of the oil we use each day.
We spend nearly $700 billion every year buying foreign oil, which represents the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.
The new President and the 111th Congress need to enact an energy plan that reduces our foreign oil dependence by at least 30% within ten years.
This plan must include proven American technology and resources; the development of new energy sources; and the expansion and modernization of the national electrical grid to transport renewable energy to homes and businesses.
Delaying any further means tacit support for continuing America's addiction to foreign oil.