Today is the kick-off for our Virtual March on Washington. We have 3.8 million members of the New Energy Army, partners and friends poised and ready to do their part.
Over the next three days we want to tell Congress that the Pickens Plan is still the ONLY plan on the table to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and we want them to join in supporting legislation to do just that.
I’ll be doing my part in Washington - attending meetings, bill introductions, press conferences and meeting with the news media. I need you do to your part, too. I’ll be in touch with you tomorrow with specific details on how to take action so stay tuned!
In the meantime, this past Sunday the Pickens Plan was recognized by the Association of Political and Public Affairs Professionals as the best public affairs campaign in 2008. Receiving this award was a huge honor for me personally - but it really couldn’t have happened without you. I want to share with you this video of my award acceptance which also recaps what we’ve accomplished over the last 9 months. The Virtual March is what we’ve been working towards - let’s make this happen!
Today, three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill which will go a long way toward reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
Congressmen Dan Boren (D-OK), John Larson (D-CT) and John Sullivan (R-OK) have introduced legislation called the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2009. The shorthand is the NAT GAS Act.
In 2007, the federal government bought 65,000 gasoline, diesel and E-85 vehicles. In that same year the federal government bought 129 natural gas vehicles. One Hundred Twenty Nine.
Over the next five years, the federal government will purchase about 325,000 cars and light trucks. Instead of only having bought 645 natural gas vehicles, it will now be purchasing 162,500! That will jump start domestic manufacturing capability.
Now, a bill being introduced in the U.S. House is only the starting point. There has to be a similar bill introduced in the U.S. Senate and there have to be hearings and then votes on the House and Senate floor before it goes to the President for signing.
Virtual March Day 2 - Tell Congress to take action to reduce our dependency on foreign oil NOW
The Department of Energy has released the oil import figures for the month of March 2009. The data shows we imported 386 barrels at a cost of $18 billion. While we are importing less oil because of the recession, the percentage of oil we are importing is remaining disappointingly stable. The March numbers show we imported 65% percent of the oil we used.
Over the past 12 months, America has had to import nearly two-thirds of the oil we need. In 2008 that amounted to $475 billion dollars. Keep in mind, this is not a one-time payment like a stimulus package or a bail-out bill. This is an annual cost of over $400 billion per year.
In addition to the economic burden the need to import oil places on America, there is also a very real national security threat. Venezuela is our fourth largest oil provider (behind Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico). Hugo Chavez is certainly no friend to the United States and over the past few months has invited Russia to put military airbases in Venezuela; has reached out to form a stronger relationship with Iran; and has made a deal to sell huge amounts of oil to China as soon as China’s refining capacity is built up enough to accept it.
We need to take immediate steps to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The most efficient - and the only large-scale answer available today - is to move a large segment of our heavy truck fleet - 18-wheelers - away from imported diesel to domestic natural gas.
Natural gas is cleaner than diesel, cheaper, more abundant and it is ours.
Our economy, our environment and our national security are at risk unless we take the necessary steps to reduce our need for imported oil.
A lot of people have taken action during the virtual march - have you? If not, Click Here Now and let’s make a final push to let President Obama and Congress know we want an energy plan now!
Today, on this third day of the Virtual March, we want to focus on getting action on a bill to establish a 21st century transmission system and a National Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).
Twenty-eight states now have an RES – which directs electric utilities to produce a set percentage of their power using alternative sources by a date certain. California requires utilities doing business there to produce 20 percent of their power from alternatives by 2010. Other states have other targets and different time horizons.
A national RES will allow everyone along the power generation supply chain – from developers of wind and solar farms, to landowners, to transmission operators to the utilities…all the way to consumers who need the power to be able to make long-term, free-market plans while protecting the environment and helping reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Let’s keep charging ahead. Click Here and send an email now.
How do we ensure that H.R. 1835 (NAT GAS Act of 2009) doesn't flounder or die in committee? We need an action plan to encourage the Committee members to keep the bill moving forward. What would be the best way for the movement to accomplish that end?