The 1.6 million members of the Pickens Plan Army already know my New Year's resolution: as soon as health care wraps up in Congress, to see that Washington's number one public policy issue becomes winning approval of a plan to end our dangerous and costly dependence on foreign oil. Since July 2008, getting America the energy plan it needs and deserves has been the principal focus of my Pickens Plan, and the Christmas Day airline-bombing attempt only increased my determination.
Can you believe that the world's leading superpower funds both sides in the war on terror? Each month the U.S. government spends billions supporting our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet we spend even more money buying oil from governments that pay protection money to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Does this make sense? Of course it doesn't, particularly when we have the energy we need right here in our own backyard.
It is imperative that we utilize this country's enormous natural gas reserves as quickly as possible. In June, the Potential Gas Committee completed its biennial survey and announced that technological advances coupled with new discoveries had increased our domestic gas resources by an astonishing 39 percent. Not only do we have reserves capable of seeing us through the 21st century, but natural gas can put a huge dent in the amount of oil we import almost immediately. Corporations such as AT&T and cities such as Dallas are already switching their fleets to this cleaner burning, less expensive fuel.
Natural gas is cleaner. It's cheaper. And it's ours. No wonder the NAT GAS Act enjoys broad bipartisan support in the House. At last count H.R. 1835 has 126 cosponsors, ample evidence of why passing this bill needs to be a top priority in 2010.
There is no simple solution to winning the war on terrorism. Like any massive military campaign, battles must be waged in many theaters. Our fighting men and women are on the front lines, engaging an elusive enemy, and I support our troops through my own giving. I also support President Obama's directive to review watchlisting files and procedures as well as aviation screening technology. But all of us can contribute by doing our utmost to end this country's dangerous addiction to foreign oil. Our economy will benefit. Our environment will be better off. The real loser will be the terrorists.
Now that's a New Year's resolution.