Today, [the U.S.] imports almost 70% of [its] oil.Pickens sees no need for 'new consumer or corporate taxes or government regulation', but thinks the government must 'renew the subsidies for economic and alternative energy development'.
This is a staggering number, particularly for a country that consumes oil the way we do. The U.S. uses nearly a quarter of the world's oil, with just 4% of the population and 3% of the world's reserves. This year, we will spend almost $700 billion on imported oil, which is more than four times the annual cost of our current war in Iraq.
In fact, if we don't do anything about this problem, over the next 10 years we will spend around $10 trillion importing foreign oil. That is $10 trillion leaving the U.S. and going to foreign nations, making it what I certainly believe will be the single largest transfer of wealth in human history.
I used to confuse T. Boone Pickens with Slim Pickens of Dr Strangelove and Blazing Saddles fame. What a pity they are not the same person.
Elsewhere, Peter R. Orszag of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office gives his take on Climate Change Economics.
[P.S. 24 July: Timothy Egan]