Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Boone Pickens at the Capitol – Part III

During the question and answer period, Mr. Kennedy talked about how Israel is moving away from any carbon-based fuel for automobiles. They have huge wind and solar fields in the Negev Desert to avoid having to buy oil from Egypt “which gets it from Saudi Arabia. For Israel it is a national security issue,” Kennedy said.

A question about how long it might take to ramp up production of carbon-neutral cars brought the response from Kennedy that at the beginning of World War II, automobile companies were told to change over to building tanks, planes, military vehicles.

“The change-over took eight weeks,” Kennedy said. “So, America can do this if it has the will.”

To questions about drilling for more oil in the U.S. and nuclear energy Boone said there is not enough oil left in the fields near the coasts, off shore, and ANWR basins to replace the more than 12 million barrels a day we import. He said he was for nuclear, and “anything American.”

Kennedy disagreed on nuclear saying “it is the most catastrophically expensive way ever devised to boil a pot of water!” He said “without huge subsidies nuclear can never be profitable.

A staffer asked, “What do you want to see in the package?”

Boone said he would first want the incentives to build out our wind and solar capacity in the Midwest and Southwest. Then he would want the transmission lines (which Kennedy had talked about) built.

In order to accomplish that, he said, the production tax credit should be extended for at least five years to get manufacturers into the Midwest and Southeast to begin the build-out.

He also said we should do a test of moving from imported diesel to domestic natural gas as the principal fuel for heavy duty trucks. Boone said the government should allow trucking companies, in the normal course of renewing their fleets, to grant a subsidy of $75,000 to purchase each of 350,000 18-wheelers.

He told the staffers that there are about 6.5 million heavy trucks on the road now. He said it is a one-to-one benefit:  Replacing about five percent of our heavy truck fleet to run on natural gas “would decrease our imports by 5.14 percent.”

Pickens met with Speaker Pelosi before the Town Hall meeting. A staffer asked if he had gotten any commitments from Speaker. Boone said “Democrats have been very responsive to my ideas … they didn’t jump up and give me a standing ovation, but I believe they’re thinking about this very seriously.”

– The Pickens Team

Comments12 Responses to “Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Boone Pickens at the Capitol – Part III”

Jay Johnson


As I've been an army member for months now, I am simply delighted that someone with the know-how and connections such as Mr. Pickens is out there leading the charge for our future. But I am less than thrilled when I read that “Democrats have been very responsive to my ideas … they didn’t jump up and give me a standing ovation, but I believe they’re thinking about this very seriously.” Thinking about this is way far removed from doing anything about it. If Mr. Pickens and those of us who strongly believe in this issue can see the obvious economic, political, and security ramifications of the Pickens Plan for the United States, why can't the "Honorables" in D.C. see as clearly and GET MOVING NOW.

Garland Thomas


"The Pickens Plan" can and must work. However, bear in mind that it should be done through private enterprises. Do not ask for federal grants or subsidies. The federal government produces no income. The only money they have is what they take away from you and me. Our elected representitives have never handled any issue in a prudent business like manner. We must stop looking to the government to solve all of our problems. Also, Instead of $ 75,000 to purchase each of 350,000 trucks, over 1.3 million existing engines could be converted or removed and replaced for far less money.

Garland Thomas


(Taken form Kennedy/Pickens part three) He also said we should do a test of moving from imported diesel to domestic natural gas as the principal fuel for heavy duty trucks. Boone said the government should allow trucking companies, in the normal course of renewing their fleets, to grant a subsidy of $75,000 to purchase each of 350,000 18-wheelers. He told the staffers that there are about 6.5 million heavy trucks on the road now. He said it is a one-to-one benefit: Replacing about five percent of our heavy truck fleet to run on natural gas “would decrease our imports by 5.14 percent.” If my math is right, according to this statement, then by simply converting our trucks to CNG or LNG we would be free of imported oil. I don't think it will be that simple.

David Scott Coker


I am convinced that if established as a national goal, we could easily reduce our dependence upon foreign oil by at least 50 per cent in the next decade. If it took eight weeks at the begining of World War II to convert to a war production footing, I know that if pushed we could do the same thing in the domestic economy. Here is something to think about. In the mid-1930s when the United States began electrifying the rural areas of this nation, one of the things local co-ops and utilities did to encourage electrical usage was sell plug-in AM radios. In less than two years, it was discovered that 87 per cent of those newly-electrified homes had an AM radio in them -- incredible. Don't tell me the American people will not accept new products and challenges -- what is needed is leadership. T. Boone Pickens is leading the way -- now its time for the Congress and the incoming Obama administration to get on board and move this thing forward.

Mark Dobbs


To Garland Thomas You are wrong. Big Trucks are the primary user of oil. Keep in mind that we do not get 100% of our oil from foreign sources. About 40% of our oil comes from USA. Trucks use about 60% of all oil. Thus, getting them off of oil just about does away with our need for "foreign" oil, NOT ALL oil. It would take the rest of us changing to get us off oil completely. Unfortunately, it sounds like you are one of the many souls that has been convinced by main stream to be skeptical of everything and that nothing is simple. The process Mr. Pickens is talking about is just about as simple as it sounds. Remember confusion, rhetoric and skepticism are the politicians main tools. What is unfortunate is that all the politician have to decide how the votes will fall before that will do anything, which usually results in very little getting done.

Garland Thomas


Mr. Dobbs, You are wrong. Read my statement again. I did not say all oil. I said imported oil,as did you, so we are in agreement. Yes I am very skeptical, anytime Mr. Obama or Mr. Pickens ask the government for money or tax breaks. We can't spend our way out of the oil (energy) or ecomonic problems.

Alfred Rodriguez


Mr. Thomas and Mr. Dobbs, I believe you both are right, but also wrong. Yes we need to stop asking the govenment for montary assitance, I mean after all this is a country of opportunities. Converting 18 wheelers to natural gas is a task of many teams getting envolved. The person manufacturing the first bolt/nut to the other person manufacturing the container/tank to the person/company saling to the end consumers. So Mr. Thamas you may be right that it may not be that simple ... but like Mr. dobbs ... I believe it can be done and it must be done. We have Mr. T. Boone Pickens stepping into the plate with this tangible idea. We just need to get the right people [ Mr. Jay Johnson "why can't the "Honorables" in D.C. see as clearly and GET MOVING NOW."] doing the lobbing in D.C., and yes Mr. David Scott Coker it is time we shake and rattle congress chairs and the Obama administration to listen and stop idling. We need to push this forward but we need to do this gingerly. OK. oil is a costly comidity so we need to not only extracted from land or offshore but to protect it -- preventive from loosing it or getting it detracted by either man or mother nature.

Alfred Rodriguez


My apologies Mr Thomas

Jane Pruitt


I'm newly educated about this plan and happen to know very little about our energy plan and alternate options, but if we replace petroleum use with natural gas, wont that just run out too? So spending money to change infrastructure and vehicles to CNG or LNG will be money wasted, since biodiesels run cleanly in existing diesel engines?

Harold McGowen


I have no idea what Mr. Kennedy's qualifications to make technical evaluations of any technology, nuclear or otherwise, would be other than the fact that he is named after a former president. This particular moniker would seem to be more useful if your goal is seducing various beautiful movie stars. When will we push these politicians out of the way and let the business people, project managers, accountants, engineers and technicians get the job done! The efficiency of various technologies should not be established by the rhetoric of people with no technical education or experience. I suspect the US will continue to dither as long as we have lawyers making engineering evaluations.

Clint Lybbert


I disagree that money spent on change of infrastructure is money wasted. The purpose of switching to natural gas is to keep millions of dollars inside the US instead of paying OPEC for our transportation needs. Also, the change to our infrastructure on wind and solar power is not money wasted if the money is kept here and available for investing in other energy projects. Generating our own power allows us to generate income, instead of the alternative of spending money to buy oil for our cars from countries we don't trust.

Truett Biggs


How do we diminish the use of carbon fuel and reduce dependence on foreign energy? Nuclear power, wind power, solar power!

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