Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman spoke at length about energy independence and natural gas during his weekend visit to Sarasota, Florida.
Video of Jon Huntsman's comments on energy independence starts at 3:52
The lowest of low hanging fruit – and we’ve been talking about it forever, but not quite taking it seriously - is energy independence.
I’m here to tell you that for eight presidents, going all the way back to Richard Nixon, who stood up and said, “37% imported oil. This is a travesty. We can do better than that. We’re never going to let it get beyond 37%.”
Only to have President Carter stand up and say, “40% imported oil. I am going to create the Department of Energy to ensure that this never, never happens again.”
Here we sit today at 60% imported oil. And we are saying to ourselves, “Four bucks a gallon? Four bucks and fifty cents a gallon?”
And we that’s real?
Go take a look at what the Milken Institute in Los Angeles has to say about what it’s really costing all of us for a gallon of gas.
When you factor in deployments to the Middle East. When you factor in keeping the sea lanes open for the importation of imported oil. When you look at terminaling, storage, distribution costs, etc… It is $13 a gallon from what the analysts are saying.
And I say, “We ought to be outraged and we can do better in this country.”
You want to take a real cut at the trade imbalance? You want to do something that carries profoundly important national security implications? Get imported oil down. We can do it.
We’ve got a product in this country called natural gas. And I met an entrepreneur in the northern part of Utah as governor as I was tooling around visiting people in my Suburban. And he said, “I’d love to convert your Suburban to natural gas.”
I thought, “You can do that? You can drive a natural gas car?” I had no idea!
I paid out of pocket. I had it converted. And you know what? People would call in and say, “Gee, I’m really tired Mr. Governor of paying $4 a gallon for gasoline.” - as if the governor can somehow break up the cartel in the Middle East.
And I’d say, “Let me tell you what I paid this morning for gasoline. I paid the equivalent of $1. Natural gas.”
People started buying natural gas cars. It spawned a little revolution in our state and I saw the power of what alternative fuels and natural gas can do in this country.
It is ours. It is clean. It is cheap. And it has profoundly important national security implications. This is low hanging fruit and we should be seizing it.