It’s been almost five years since you and I set out together to get America the energy plan it deserves. One thing hasn’t changed: the need for aggressive and effective energy leadership in Washington. For the last four decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have fallen short in this regard. Long story short - we have no national energy plan.

Instead, there has been a proliferation of stop-gap measures that are nothing more than a band-aid approach. One of the best examples is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, some 727 million barrels of crude oil that we have squirreled away in salt caverns beneath several states.

Does this make any sense? I sure don’t think so. Watch this video for more of my thoughts on this issue.

P.S. Have an idea for a BooneCam topic? Tweet @BoonePickens with the hashtag #BooneCam.

12 Comments on “Let’s rethink the Strategic Petroleum Reserve”

Roland Pierson Says:

I COMPLETELY DISSAGREE !! We must continue the oil reserve as it is and supplement it with alternative fuels as they become practical. However, to put the oil reserve at risk, as suggested by Boone Pickens, is a manipulative way of getting leverage for GAS when the oil reserve is allowed to be depreciated. Ron Pierson

Jessee McBroom Says:

The DOE just published its' Transportation Energy Futures Study as part of their plan Boone.This study promotes the widespread use of Natural Gas as LNG and CNG in the power and transportation sectors; and a move away from and off of petroleum. Diesel is to be replaced with Bio Diesel per this plan. Gasoline will be replaced with natural gas. Ergo; it appears that the Administration and Washington does indeed have a plan; that may even be to your liking.

michael mcgovern Says:

just leave the spr as it is, but pump natural gas as much as possible. people need to drop their' resentful idea that "i dont want boone pickens to make all the money". corporations will make money on fuel weather its oil, gas, coal or anything else. we need policy and we need leadership...we have neither. even at todays nat gas prices (cheap), the corporations must be making money or they wouldnt be involved in it. if we pump enough of it then the price will stay down. nat gas, and oil are the future that might bring this deficit and economy back where they belong. do this, but do it safely. thank y0u boone pickens.

Tony Says:

Boone Thanks for the update. I have been on board for the long haul ever since the shareholders meeting at the CLNE where you hinted that something is coming in the near term five years ago, but could not talk about it yet. At that time there was going to be a need for the current and the new administration to get an energy plan in place. What the heck has Washington been doing for the last five years, sitting on their hands? The answer is yes for 98%. At best they have talked about Natural Gas and thanks to private business owners have been able to make head way without federal dollars. What would have happen if we had Washington 100% backing, compared to what the solar industry receives?

Jeremy Says:

I disagree with Boone on this as well. Having the SPR around is like an insurance against a huge rise in oil prices....for whatever reason. Using up our insurance policy will barely lower the prices at the pump, and even then it will only last for a short amount of time. 727 million barrels of oil divided by our current consumption rate of 18 mbpd equals only about 40 days of supply. I agree with a lot of Boone's ideas, but not this one!

Don Chestnut Says:

I'm with you Boone. People had better wake up and smell the coffee. We desperately need an energy plan and we need to get on our own resources and stop supporting our enemies - that being the mid-east and particularly our OPEC masters that maintain a lavish lifestyle on OUR money (much of which goes to terrorist). And there has never been a better time than now to get on nat gas and our own resources and tell them to start selling their sand instead of oil. And no it certainly does not make sense to talk about exporting OUR oil or nat gas as much as we produce here at home plus keep 727 million barrels stored away and then turn around and buy it elsewhere for our use. That's about as dumb as a rock !!!!! But I'm beginning to think that describes our elected officials - dumb as a rock.

John Troike Says:

We must employ our technology to ween ourselves from the fossil fuel dilema. It is a finite resource and getting harder and more costly to bring it to market. Natural Gas is our trump card and we cannot afford to sit idly by. The likes of CLNE, FSYS, WPRT and LNG will allow us to keep our dollars at home and not feed our enemies. Don't forget, petroleum is a key ingredient for the Pharmaceutical industry. If we act boldly, the SPR will become a moot point.

Conrad Bruckert Says:

Before diminishing the SPR I would like to see solid domestic marketing of the counties' natural gas deposits. Perhaps a government supported operation similar to the rural electrification act which brought electricity to every rural home in the USA, could be initiated. Bring Natural gas to every home,think of the jobs this would create. People could then have a fueling location, in their home, to fuel their natural gas powered automobile.

Alamo Says:

Boone, Glad to hear from you as it has been some time since I last did and began wondering if you were well and stormin' ahead and fighting the good fight clearly you are and that's great news indeed. That said, as an Obama voter (not once, but twice) I have been terribly disappointed in his , "all rhetoric and no substance energy approach". Was more than glad to see Energy Secretary Chu slide off into the sunset after he and Obama absolutely squandered 4 long years of a "nothing" national energy polcy except continuation of the status quo and that's continuing dependency on imported crude even though less so than in previous years. Since the Nixon Administration declared US energy policy has been "American energy independence". All talk and no "walk"--all hat and no cattle--all bull s--t and more dependency, more reliance from nations, many of which, that in no way have our best interests in mind. Even Canada wants every dollar they can get from us for their crude which I can certainly understand when your dealing in a world priced commodity. Why not get practical and design a plan to use what we have, rather than what we must partially import to the tune of some billion plus dollars annually? I equated American energy policy as akin to dying of thirst while swimming in a pool of potable (drinkable) water in the way that it deprives this nation of over 400 billion dollars a year that could remain right here in the American economy circulating and multiplying its economic benefits to virtually every citizen in this country. WE COULD have an "extra" trillion dollars here in the US that we now lose each and every year. That's money for education, medical research, social programs, national infrastructural improvements, millions of new jobs, retiring our runaway national debt, etc and in general restoration of American prosperity. That beats the hell out of continuing down the road to national bankruptcy and decline. As you have repeatedly pointed ou, our present "plan" is resulting in the greatest transfer of national wealth in all human history---its an unsustainable approach that we are presently following. The sooner we get started climbing out of this black hole the sooner we return prosperity and American world pre-eminence. A place all right thinking Americans believe we should occupy. By all means we need every public school bus fleet, every OTR heavy duty truck, every mass transportation vehicle, every railroad (as Warren Buffett is studying with his BNSF locomotives) and all new power generators powered by American produced natural gas or its derivatives LNG or CNG. Better, cheaper, cleaner, abundant, vastly more secure and produced here in the United States. To hell with OPEC, terrorism and playing "policeman to the world" we have a much, much better solution thanks to America's massive natural gas reserves. Our basic problem isn't a supply or engineering problem; it's a political problem that's spelled CRONYISM--vote the paid off pandering crooks that pose as our "representatives" but support themselves first, foremost and always. I've had all that government "servicing" I can tolerate how 'bout you all? Godspeed Boone, keep giving the bastards hell---as they damn sure warrant it.

Sid Abma Says:

Mr. Pickens When are you finally going to get on board and start promoting how efficiently can be used at stationary natural gas locations? Every natural gas appliance has a chimney, like your natural gas engines have exhaust pipes. can't do much to increase the energy efficiency of a vehicle going down the road. A stationary appliance is different. They have a chimney that is normally spewing a lot of Hot exhaust into the atmosphere. With encouragement commercial building owners and industry, and even the countries power plants could be applying the technology of Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery, and recovering the heat energy from those waste exhaust gases. This recovered heat energy can then be utilized in the building or facility where it was combusted, or used for another purpose. Natural gas can be consumed to near 100% energy efficiency. Natural gas can be consumed so efficiently that the WATER can be recovered from the combusted exhaust gases. What natural gas is not wasted today can be used another day, or used as transportation fuel.

John E. Hanley Says:

I hadn't given it much thought up to now but our defense of middle east oil and the Strait of Hormuz is an anachromism we can no longer afford. Remember our 16 plus trillion and counting national debt? We no longer depend on middle east oil as we did a few years ago and don't have a dog in that fight. If it is of strategic importance that we protect European Oil, then Europe needs to pony up and pay the lions share of the cost. The fact that we are in possession of the largest reserves of Natural Gas means we are also in possession of fixing our own problems on dependence on oil. One of the few things I agree with President Obama on is our need to invest in infrastructure to support converting our trucking fleet to Compressed Natural Gas as well as all Federal, State, and Local Government Vehicles. If we don't have money to spend, this is the most important issue we should borrow for. It is a question of national security as well as a strong economy. Natural Gas is abundant, cheaper, and burns cleaner. If we just converted all the 18 wheelers on our highways, the savings in transporting our goods would quickly convert to lower prices in our grocery stores, appliance stores, etc. What is so hard about understanding that? Come on people! Get with it! I don't care if the big oil companies wind up supplying the gas as long as it is an American Company making the profits.

Tom Kenimer Says:

I think that we need to keep the strategic petroleum reserve full for emergencies such as wars and massive natural disasters. One of the big problems is too much regulation on just about everything. A good example is the amount of very restrictive regulation that makes it cost prohibitive for small businesses to produce gasoline to gas conversion kits for older vehicles. This kills innovation. Where the gas filling stations exist, gas vehicles work very well. Most of these are government fleets or are owned and utilized by some types of local delivery businesses. In the short term such conversions would probably need to be dual fuel systems until the gas point-of-sale infrastructure could be installed nationwide along with gasoline and diesel pumps.

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