What’s Wrong with This Picture?

by William Yeatman on March 7, 2012

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The front page of this morning’s RealClearEnergy, a screenshot of which sits above, features an illuminating juxtaposition.

On the left column, there are six news stories about how the natural gas industry and other engines of capital investment are putting their own money into expanding the market for gas into the transportation sector. Thanks to the technolution in oil and gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, or fraking, gas production is booming, and prices are down. At the same time, geopolitical instability is pushing the price of gasoline to $5 a gallon. The upshot is that gas now makes for an attractive motor fuel. To that end, the industry is investing in infrastructure (natural gas powered engines for trucks and fueling stations), in order to grow and thereby seize market share from the oil industry. Whether the gas industry succeeds or fails in its competition with the oil industry, the consumer can only win.

On the right column, the first story is an oped by T. Boone Pickens, in favor of H.R. 1380, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (a.k.a., the NAT GAS Act, a.k.a.,  the “T. Boone Pickens Earmark Bill,” a.k.a., the “Pickens-Your-Pocket Boondoggle Bill,” a.k.a. the “Billionaire’s Bailout,” a.k.a. the “Pickens Payout Plan”). As its many nicknames would suggest, this legislation was written by billionaire T. Boone Pickens, in order to makes himself even richer. Pickens purveys in natural gas, and the legislation would have taxpayers throw money at infrastructure (natural gas powered engines for trucks and fueling stations), in order to facilitate the gas industry’s growth into the transportation sector, at the expense of the oil industry. Pickens proposes these subsidies (to himself), DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE INDUSTRY IS ALREADY DOING SO WITH ITS OWN MONEY!!!!! Alas, Pickens already has won over the President. If he succeeds in per$uading enough Members of Congress to get his Billionaire’s Bailout passed, then the taxpayer will suffer an egregious loss.

Jay Rooparoll March 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Forget about Pickens! He’s already a billionaire! If the Act passes for fleet and heavy duty vehicles, he’ll benefit, as well as if it passes for ordinary passenger vehicles. So, why not allow the ordinary Americans to get in on the benefits and vastly improve our transportation sector, security and all! Pass the NAT GAS Act for maximum benefit to ordinary Americans, NOT FOR CORPORATIONS!!!!!

Bill Mendenhall March 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The fact that Pickens will benefit from the NAT GAS Act does not make it a bad thing for America. The fact is that without this bill, the status quo will not change significantly enough to actually reduce our reliance on foreign oil. Without the NAT GAS Act, the oil majors, along with the refinery interests (who refine primarily imported oil), will continue to keep us dependent on imported petroleum. Everyone should note that the Senate version of the NAT GAS Act is REVENUE NEUTRAL, requiring a payback of all tax credits through a small tax added to sales of natural gas for vehicles. So, the people who use natural gas to fuel their vehicles will actually PAY BACK the tax credits received through the legislation. The “boondoggle” that everyone keeps talking about is nonexistent. This is good legislation for our country.

Alex March 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm

And no subsidies from Obama, therefore it will be successful

rev jim March 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Boone Pickens is a hero. He is in the process of saving our economy at a crucial, crucial time. If you think he’s doing it for the money; you are a fool. Nat gas is here to stay with or without federal legislation. Fracking is safe, & OPEC is screwed. How can anyone not see the miracle of this natural gift of gas? Beats me.

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