Rich Galen

Boone's vision is to spend the next seven-or-so years moving our national fleet of eight million 18-wheelers off foreign diesel and onto domestic natural gas. Over-the-road trucks tend to run the same routes back and forth so the issue of building a refueling infrastructure for America's 250 million passenger cars and light trucks is not difficult to solve.

Why not go right to batteries? Because batteries won't push an 18-wheeler. There is no current substitute for heavy-duty trucks running on foreign oil but domestic natural gas.

We continue to import oil to power our national fleets at the rate of about a billion dollars a day. Oil imports account for a huge proportion of our trade deficit and our money is funding the infrastructure and social programs of countries which are unstable, don't have our interests at heart, or both.

Boone told me the other day that he was too young for World War II, was not eligible for Korea and was too old for Vietnam. He said that spending the past two years (and all that money) trying to get Americans familiar with the dangers of our dependence on foreign oil was his way of repaying the debt to his country of not having served in uniform.

I understand that.

As anyone who has ever dealt with the Congress knows, until a bill has been voted on, passed by the House and the Senate, and signed by the President it is nothing more than a hope and a prayer.

I hope Boone gets his bill. For him, and for us.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at