We’ve got a continuing energy crisis in our world, and it is important we each take action to change the economic and political course we’ve been on for 40+ years which has led to our condition of foreign oil dependence. Today, April 1, 2009, is an excellent day to take concrete action with millions of others around the United States on this issue, by joining “The New Energy Army” organized by Boone Pickens under the banner of “The Pickens Plan” and participate in the virtual march on Washington.

In addition to joining the virtual march on Washington D.C. for alternative energy, U.S. citizens should use the Pickens Plan website link to send the following letter to President Obama and your elected federal representative and Senator, with the subject line “I support the NAT GAS Act of 2009:”

While the price per barrel of oil has fallen over the past nine months, the percentage of oil we import has not. Over the past 12 months we have continued to import nearly two-thirds of the oil we use.

Most of the oil we import is used as a transportation fuel – cars, trucks, aircraft, boats and trains. About one barrel out of every five is used as diesel fuel to power heavy trucks – 18-wheelers.

I am all for developing battery and fuel cell technology. Or some other technology which is still in the laboratory stage. But neither batteries nor hydrogen are ready for widespread distribution to our national fleet of approximately 250 million cars and light trucks. A battery also won’t push an 18-wheeler. The only fuel which is available to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is domestic natural gas.

Due to recent advances in technology, we now have the ability to recover natural gas from the enormous deposits in Texas, Louisiana and Appalachia in the lower 48 states. A recent CERA study showed there are enough proven reserves in the Continental United States to supply our needs for the foreseeable future.

Natural gas is cheaper than diesel fuel. Natural gas is cleaner than diesel. And it’s ours.

Congressmen Boren (D-OK), Larson (D-CT) and Sullivan (R-OK) recently introduced a bipartisan bill, the NAT GAS Act of 2009, to incentivize the industry to replace older diesel trucks with newer natural gas vehicles – it’s a great step in the right direction. It will provide the momentum for engine manufacturers, natural gas producers and natural gas distributors to ramp up and make a real difference in our dependence on foreign oil.

I hope you will support this important legislation. I will be watching your press and floor remarks for statements of support.

PickensPlan: Email Message Sent

Don’t just keep your advocacy virtual: check out the upcoming events section of the Pickens Plan Ning social network, to learn about face-to-face events near your area which you can join to learn more and share your support for this initiative. Tools are also provided so you an help host and organize face-to-face events in your area.

Social media tools should be used in constructive ways to promote needed social, economic, and political reforms. The Pickens Plan aims to do this, and IS doing it with the support of people like you and me. As you can read in more detail on the Ning site, the campaign is using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, and the project’s “Push website” (a Ning) to focus attention and recruit participants for this week’s virtual march on Washington DC. Use the Twitter hashtag #pickensplan when Tweeting about the march and the campaign.

If you have students in class working with and studying social media tools like these or the economic and environmental issues this initiative seeks to address, you might consider having some of them research the Pickens Plan and this current “virtual march” on Washington D.C. as a case study on the current use of social media tools to catalyze people for political action. If you have students do this and they publish their findings and work online, please let me know. Send me a link via a Twitter @reply or a comment here, and I’ll amplify/share their work with others in my network. :-)

Also take advantage of the different widgets and downloads available on the Pickens Plan Push website. Include these on your own blog and wiki sites to show support and share the project with others.

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