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Atlanta Business Chronicle - Chambliss Endorses Pickens Energy Plan

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Atlanta Business Chronicle - Chambliss Endorses Pickens Energy Plan

by Dave Williams Staff Writer

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., pledged Tuesday to push for congressional passage of an energy independence plan being pushed by billionaire Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens.

Chambliss said Pickens' proposals to develop new domestic sources of energy while expanding proven American technology share much in common with bipartisan energy legislation he is sponsoring in the Senate.

"Boone's got great ideas," Chambliss said during a meeting with Atlanta Business Chronicle editors and reporters. "He knows I agree with him."

The bill introduced by Chambliss and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., last summer would expand offshore oil drilling and provide incentives to spur the expansion of nuclear power and the development of alternative sources of energy.

Pickens, the chairman of BP Capital Management, is calling on the 111th Congress, which takes office in January, to enact an energy plan that reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil by at least 30 percent within a decade.

Specifically, the series of national television ads he is bankrolling trumpets renewable energy, particularly wind power, and developing technology to power cars and trucks with natural gas.

"His plan would be very expensive," Chambliss said. "We probably wouldn't be able to do all of it at one time. … (But) Democrats don't have a plan. Republicans don't have a plan."

Chambliss said he would sign Pickens' Energy Independence Pledge to support Pickens' plan if Chambliss is re-elected to the Senate. He is running for a second term in November against Democrat Jim Martin.

For more information about Pickens' energy ideas, visit

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