It’s time to move from vague generalities to specifics

In 2011, the U.S. imported 4.1 billion barrels of petroleum accounting for 60% of the U.S. supply. The total cost of those imports was $453.6 billion. That represents an increase in cost of 34.6% over 2010 and a whopping increase of 71.8% over 2009.

In the election cycle of 2008, virtually every candidate for every federal office from both political parties made a campaign promise to enact legislation to reduce our dependence on OPEC oil. These numbers I have cited prove little has been done.

Today we’re paying about $100 per barrel for foreign oil and, in the case of OPEC oil, often to nations that are hostile to our best interests. Oil prices are up when they should be going down. Demand for oil globally is down while domestic production in America is up. There’s one word that describes why oil prices are up instead of down: geopolitics, much of it attributable to the seemingly never-ending turmoil in the Middle East.

Any way you cut it, America is being cheated. Energy has failed to emerge as a top-tier election year issue, despite the lingering threat to our economic recovery and our national security.

For more than four decades, every presidential candidate has said something to the effect of, “Elect me, and we’ll be energy independent.” That’s four decades of failed promises.

It is time we hold our political candidates accountable. After a lengthy discussion with my dad one day, he said, “Son, you are speaking in vague generalities.” It’s easy to think the same thing when we hear our presidential candidates talk about energy. It’s time to move from vague generalities to specifics.

Tomorrow night, Barack Obama will deliver his fourth State of the Union Address as President of the United States, immediately followed by the Republican response. I hope you will listen in with me to hear whether or not either party plans to make energy a top issue in this election cycle, or if we will just continue on this path of being cheated.

While you’re watching the speeches, follow President Obama and the Republican candidates on Facebook and Twitter and let them know we expect more than another empty promise – we want a specific solution, now.

Let me know once you’ve sent a message to the candidates by sending me a tweet at @BoonePickens.

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