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