The message from T. Boone Pickens when he speaks in Park City on Friday will be simple: the United States must develop domestic energy sources.
Pickens, a widely known figure in the national debate about energy, sees doing so as critical. It would make the country more secure and reduce the dependence on oil from the Middle East, he says.
In an interview on Monday in anticipation of his upcoming remarks at a gathering of the Western Governors' Association in Deer Valley, Pickens said the United States lacks an energy plan, calling the country the "only one in the world" without one.
"I'm for anything American. The Pickens plan is get on your own resources and get off OPEC oil," Pickens said, indicating that oil purchases add significantly to the trade deficit of the country.
Pickens, the chairman of BP Capital Management, devised what is known as the Pickens Plan for energy, relying on natural gas as an alternate to imported oil and developing cleaner energy sources like wind power and solar power. He said energy is the only topic he knows and his remarks on Friday will center on the subject. He is scheduled to speak for 45 minutes.
"If you look around the world, any country that's on their own resources is doing very well," he said.
He talked about what he sees as the risk of a reliance on imported oil, saying part of the money goes to groups that are unfriendly to the United States.
"It's actually buying oil from the enemy. There's some danger to that. Some part of what you pay for OPEC oil goes to the Taliban and al Qaeda. You don't need to do that," he said.
Pickens said he would like a "North American energy alliance" made of the United States, Canada and Mexico as a means to reduce the need for imports from OPEC members.
In the United States, he said, cleaner-burning energies like wind power, solar power and natural gas are available, but they must be priced correctly. He said he once was in the wind-energy industry and could return. There are limitations, he said.
"You need to understand what wind and solar does. It's not a transportation fuel. It doesn't move an 18-wheeler," he said.
Pickens will deliver his remarks to an audience that is expected to include 10 governors or Canadian premiers. The Western Governors' Association annual meeting is anticipated to draw upward of 400 people to Park City. Pickens was selected to deliver a keynote address.
The secretary of the interior, Sally Jewell, is one of the other featured speakers on Friday. Congressman Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican whose district includes Park City and surrounding Summit County, is scheduled to take part in a roundtable discussion about public lands. The event will be held at the Montage Deer Valley.
Some of the other topics Pickens discussed in the interview included:
"You're sitting in the Persian Gulf with the 5th Fleet and you usher 17 million barrels of oil out of there a day, and 10 percent of it comes to the United States. So you're getting 10 percent of the oil. Kind of stupid to me to be over there protecting the oil for China and Europe," he said.