Bob Barr

And there is no need for the Republicans to reinvent the wheel in this regard. Pickens has mapped it out for them. In the past four years, this legendary Texas entrepreneur has crisscrossed the country touting the need to develop alternate energy sources. The “Pickens Plan” provides a workable blueprint for unleashing the potential of resources sitting untapped inside the United States’ borders; at the same time offering diversity in sources of energy that could be utilized to keep the economy thriving.

As Pickens has noted, the U.S. currently relies heavily on oil produced by OPEC nations. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service in April, the United States spent “$327 billion on net oil imports in 2011.” Especially when considered in the context of the $1 trillion budget deficit the federal government will rack up this fiscal year, our reliance on foreign oil serves neither our national security nor our economic interests. It only empowers our allies-of-convenience and our potential adversaries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Is the Pickens Plan perfect? No. Would its author insist on rigid adherence to every jot and tittle as the price for helping the GOP craft and articulate a workable and comprehensive energy independence platform to present to the voters over the course of the coming campaign? Of course not; Pickens is too good a businessman to make such a demand.

A sit-down with Pickens would be a session from which both Romney and Ryan would emerge with a deeper understanding of the true cost of continuing the energy-policy status quo. More important, they would be learning from a man who has been phenomenally successful since the 1950s in identifying and implementing real solutions to the energy needs of American businesses and consumers.

Go ahead. Call Pickens. It could be one of the most important calls of the entire campaign.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.