Remember when Boone Pickens launched the Pickens Plan in 2008?
The legendary energy entrepreneur predicted that breakthroughs in technology would make it possible for the U.S. to develop greater energy security by relying on American energy. Did he call that right.
Since 2008, domestic oil and gas production has more than just increased. It has surged. Not only has the U.S. become more self-sufficient, but, according to Joe Nocera at the New York Times, this jump in production has diminished the importance of OPEC to a level that is almost unimaginable.
According to Nocera, “if America plays its cards right, OPEC’s dominance over the oil market could be over. I think that day may have already arrived.” Nocera credits two forces for this dramatic change: decreased global demand and increased oil and gas production in the U.S.
Since 2008, says Bernard Weinstein, an energy expert at Southern Methodist University, oil production in the United States is up 60 percent. That’s an additional three million barrels a day. Within a few years, predicts Morse, America will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia and become the world’s largest oil producer.
One of the byproducts of these two developments is a brawl among OPEC members as they try to pay their bills.
Venezuela’s budgetary needs requires that it sell its oil at well above $100 a barrel. The Arab Spring prompted a number of important OPEC members — including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — to increase budgetary spending to keep their own populations quiescent. According to the International Monetary Fund, the United Arab Emirates needs a price of more than $80 to meet its budgetary obligations. That’s up from less than $25 a barrel in 2008.
Read more about OPEC’s current state of affairs in Nocera’s informative column HERE.
Pickens Plan Army:
In two weeks, on November 4, we’ll have the opportunity to vote – a right and a privilege that many have bled and died to protect.
As we move into the home stretch of this election, you may have the opportunity to meet candidates running for everything from City Council to Governor to U.S. Senate. Rather than just posing for a selfie, we can make certain that the winners – whoever they are – go back to work in January with energy on their minds.
We can do this by asking each candidate this series of questions:
1. Do you support the Pickens Plan to reduce our reliance on OPEC oil?
2. Do you know that 70 percent of the oil we import is used as our primary transportation fuel?
3. Do you favor recovering natural gas using modern, safe drilling techniques?
4. Are you aware that there are over 8 million heavy-duty trucks and fleet vehicles that can be easily switched from diesel to natural gas?
5. Would you favor a short-term, clearly defined program at the state level to help truckers and shippers move their fleets from diesel to natural gas?
6. America’s natural gas reserve base has expanded dramatically. There is now talk about exporting natural gas to Europe and Asia. Do you support this, or do you favor government spurring demand opportunities to take advantage of this cleaner, cheaper domestic resource here at home?
Let me know what you’re hearing over the next two weeks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and PickensPlan.com!
“In spite of a U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in the Middle East, oil prices have dropped below $3 a gallon across much of the country in recent months. It’s an uncommon confluence of events that billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens said wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago.”
Watch Boone’s recent interview with Rebecca Jarvis for Yahoo News.