Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has in recent years been involved in efforts to develop alternative energy. He has even developed his own energy independence plan, dubbed “The Pickens Plan,” which on its website proudly pledges to reduce “our dependence on foreign oil” and enhance our national security. Yet in remarks to Congress yesterday, Pickens revealed that he is just as interested as ever in tying our national security to oil interests in the Middle East, suggesting that American oil companies are “entitled” to Iraq’s oil because we spent blood and treasure invading the Arab country:
T. Boone Pickens told Congress on Wednesday that U.S. energy companies are “entitled” to some of Iraq’s crude because of the large number of American troops that lost their lives fighting in the country and the U.S. taxpayer money spent in Iraq.
Boone, speaking to the newly formed Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, complained that the Iraqi government has awarded contracts to foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, to develop Iraq’s vast reserves while American companies have mostly been shut out.
“They’re opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world … We’re entitled to it,” Pickens said of Iraq’s oil. “Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars.”
Unfortunately for Pickens and others who feel that the U.S. can freely exploit Iraq’s oil because we invaded it, the U.S. is a signatory to the Hague Conventions, which specifically bar the confiscation of private property by occupying powers. And while Pickens is right that the invasion cost us tremendously in both blood and treasure, it is Iraqis who have suffered the most. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed in the war, millions fled the country, and the nation’s infrastructure remains in tatters.