U.S. largest oil importer, Pickens says

Sept. 15, 2010 at 9:18 AM
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DALLAS, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The United States imports more oil than any other country in the world to the tune of $600,000 every minute, energy mogul T. Boone Pickens warned.

Pickens said the United States in August imported 63 percent of oil, or about 382 million barrels. The cost of those imports was the equivalent of sending more than $650,000 every minute to foreign countries, he said.

"We import more oil than any other country in the world," he said in a statement. "To make matters worse, 40 percent of that oil is from countries that are not friendly to us, meaning U.S. dollars are being sent to the Middle East to fund terrorists and the Taliban."

The U.S. Energy Information Agency said the United States imported most of its oil last year from Canada and Saudi Arabia. The only other two Middle East countries in the top 15, the EIA said, were Iraq and Kuwait.

He said the U.S. government promised to "eliminate" its dependence on Middle East oil within 10 years but there is no sign the habit is decreasing.

"It's time for Congress to end our addiction to foreign oil and get a plan in place," he said.

Pickens is supporting legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., that is intended to reduce foreign oil dependence and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill outlines plans to cut carbon emissions by 83 percent of 2005 levels by 2050 and reduce dependency on foreign oil.

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