U.S. spent $19.3 billion on overseas oil in December

Friday, January 16, 2009

From an Associated Press article by Andrew Miga posted in The Daily Reporter:
Washington — Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens is adding a new wrinkle to his push for U.S. energy independence: monthly updates to remind Americans how much money they're paying for foreign oil.

Pickens, a billionaire who is spending $60 million on a high-profile campaign to boost the use of wind power and natural gas, said Tuesday the updates would be a yardstick for measuring the incoming Obama administration's progress on its goal of eliminating Middle East oil imports within a decade.

"You watch, we will elevate the interest in this," he said.

Pickens and environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said oil-rich Middle East nations are using billions of U.S. energy dollars to build new schools, roads and airports while America's infrastructure crumbles. They made the comments during a briefing at the Capitol.

Americans in December sent $19.3 billion overseas to foreign governments for their oil, said Pickens, citing government figures.

"It is outrageous that we are sending billions of dollars — $432,000 per minute — overseas to foreign countries while domestic programs at home remain severely underfunded," said Pickens, who plans to highlight the monthly figures on his Web site.