BP CAPITAL CHAIRMAN AND CEO T. BOONE PICKENS DISCUSSES ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND THE POLITICS SURROUNDING THE ISSUE, ON “CBS THIS MORNING”
PICKENS TELLS CO-HOSTS CHARLIE ROSE AND GAYLE KING, “THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ENERGY IN WASHINGTON”
BP Capital Chairman and CEO T. Boone Pickens discussed energy independence and the politics surrounding the issue with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King, live today, August 23, 2012, on CBS THIS MORNING on the CBS Television Network (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM).
Below is an excerpt from the interview.
ROSE: You’ve read a brief outline of what Mitt Romney is going to say. What do you think of his plan?
PICKENS: I was disappointed they didn’t mention natural gas. The United States has more natural gas than any other country in the world. We’re the cheapest energy of any other country in the entire world. Natural gas, oil and gasoline. They never mention that. I can’t believe an energy plan that I saw – and I know, I saw the outline – but there’s no mention of natural gas.
ROSE: And America will become a net producer of energy rather than user of energy?
PICKENS: We’ll still be a user, because we want to use and work with the Canadians and with Mexico. So a North American energy alliance would make a lot of sense. To put together Mexico, the United States and Canada would mean we would be energy-independent.
ROSE: When you look at energy plans, has America ever had an energy plan?
PICKENS: No, never. We’re the only country in the world without an energy plan. We use more energy than anybody else. We use about 20 million barrels a day. Next to the U.S. is China, and they’re at 10 million barrels a day. We’re #1 and they’re #2. We import about half of the oil we use. They import about half the oil they use.
KING: I read a very interesting article about you last week that said the Romney-Ryan campaign would greatly benefit with a sit-down session with you. Are you interested in sitting down with them and playing a role in the campaign?
PICKENS: I’ve sat down with them.
KING: Are you interested in playing more of a role in the campaign? They said you were the guy to call to get the energy situation straight.
PICKENS: I’ve sat with them and if that’s the energy plan right there, I didn’t have much input on it.
ROSE: That’s my point. You didn’t convince them when you sat down. Natural gas isn’t a part of their plan.
PICKENS: Exactly. I didn’t influence anybody. If the outline I’ve seen – and we haven’t seen the final plan – but the plan has to have all the resources in America.
ROSE: What about President Obama and his energy plan?
PICKENS: I don’t know. His comments, I saw that release saying that we’ve got to go to renewables and we’ve got to go to gas mileage on cars. Look, renewables are less than 2%. Get serious. If you’re going to have renewables, wind and solar, you have to subsidize the hell out of them.
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ROSE: Why is it that the United States has not had that kind of energy plan? What’s the problem? Is it politics, or is it something else?
PICKENS: You really want me to give you the honest answer? They really don’t know anything about energy in Washington. They don’t understand it. One thing that we’re missing in this conversation, the industry in the United States has done a fabulous job of providing oil and gas. We’re one of the two countries in the world last year that increased oil production. We have as many wells drilled in the U.S. as the rest of the world. Meaning, we punched holes all over the place. But, we’ve done nothing for demand. All we talk about is supply. Romney is talking about opening up the East Coast, West Coast, federal lands, everything. Hey, look, our industry is poor.
ROSE: And conservation too. Demand and conservation. Everybody talks about conservation.
PICKENS: Well, yes, everyone talks about conservation. What does it mean? I don’t know. Our industry has poured out the supply to the United States and they’ve done nothing about demand. Now people are talking about, well, we have so much natural gas, we’ll just export it. Hey, wait a minute. We’re still importing dirty OPEC crude. Why are we going to take clean, natural gas and send it out of the country? That tells you there’s no plan. Nobody has sat down and tried to understand. They ought to call a summit and bring together ideas.
ROSE: There you go. There’s a plan. Why don’t you do that? You could do that.
PICKENS: I already know what to do. I don’t need a summit.
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