Legendary oil man T. Boone Pickens says that if the U.S. doesn’t take major steps to curb its reliance on foreign oil, the consequences will be drastic.
“Let’s say in 10 years, you do nothing,” Pickens tells Fortune.
“You will be importing 75 percent of your oil (up from 68 percent now), and you’ll be paying $300 a barrel.”
“That’s $2 trillion a year going out of this country.”
The problem today is that we’re importing 13 million barrels of oil a day, Pickens says.
“Over half of that comes from areas that are unstable, unfriendly in a lot of cases — Venezuela, the Middle East, Africa. … If we can cut down on oil from those areas, it would make me feel a lot better about security for this country.”
U.S. consumption is simply too high, Pickens maintains.
“There are 85 million barrels of oil produced every day in the world. We’re using 21 million of the 85 million,” he says.
“At some point, as prices get higher and higher … the countries that have the oil will say … you need to pay a higher price to kill your demand, or we need to cut you off on part of that.”
Other experts agree that oil prices are headed higher.
“In my estimate, oil prices will reach $100 a barrel next year,” economist Nouriel Roubini said at an economics conference cited by Bloomberg.
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