Legendary oil man T. Boone Pickens warned at Oil and Gas Investor's Energy Capital Forum that the U.S. is facing an energy crisis that is being swept under the rug by other political issues. Pickens, who made his fortune in the oil industry and has recently been investing in wind energy projects, warns that at $125 oil, the U.S. is spending $700 billion on energy needs. Of the 21 million barrels of oil used by the U.S. daily, about 71%, or 16 million barrels, come from foreign sources. That's insane, America. And the politicians don't have any realistic answers. The U.S. Congress recently paraded the oil company execs in front of subcommittees for a show trial, but when ExxonMobil only accounts for 2% of the world's oil production, just what are they hoping to accomplish? Barack Obama is threatening to impose windfall taxes on the industry, which Pickens sees as just opening the door for similar legislation that can be imposed against any industry leaders who are benefiting during an up cycle in their sector. He also warns that the song and dance the candidates run on about making the country energy independent is old hat. Every politicians since Richard Nixon has run on a platform of reducing dependence on foreign energy. And that was back when we were only getting 21% of our energy from abroad. The solution he sees is switching from oil to gas in automobiles, and reducing gas usage in power plants by switching to wind energy. He referred to the success in Sweetwater, Texas, as an example of how a community can be an effective wind energy producer, and suggested the creation of several wind farms along a wind corridor running from Texas up to Canada. While these sorts of warnings have fallen on deaf ears in the past, Pickens says he plans to take the message to the people, advertising on national television the country's energy problems and bringing the issue into the national debate to be discussed in a realistic way instead of the same old empty campaign rhetoric. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com