When the price of fuel goes up, we feel the pain. Two summers ago this happened and it helped derail our economy. Now prices are down again — adjusted for inflation, gasoline and diesel are cheap.

There are advantages to cheap fuel: Our economy functions with less pain when we pay less for the energy that moves people and products.

Yet what is the true cost of our addiction to oil? Consider this: Two-thirds of U.S. oil is imported. In October, we spent $26.5 billion on foreign oil, just under $600,000 per minute. In 2008, the prices hit historic highs. We sent $700 billion dollars of our nation's wealth overseas. Boone Pickens calls this the greatest transfer of wealth in human history.

Where does our money go? As you insert your credit or debit card at the pump or place down your hard-earned cash a high percentage of your money goes to the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela. Oil has been a miracle commodity that has propelled our economy to new heights, but since the 1970s our addiction to oil has become problematic, especially as we have become increasingly dependent on oil from foreign nations.

This is where the Pickens Plan comes into play. Pickens is an octogenarian and a former Texas oil man who understands the energy landscape. He is alarmed for his country. Over a year ago he launched a public awareness campaign to motivate his fellow citizens to do something about the situation before we bankrupt ourselves by sending our hard-earned wealth overseas. Pickens made his money in oil, but he sees clearly that the future lies in alternative fuels. He is promoting wind energy and natural gas as two of the most important energy sources of the future.

The Pickens Plan offers not only a bridge to an energy future that keeps American dollars at home, it offers an elegant and simple solution that is being embraced by people across the political spectrum. Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jim Matheson have officially come on board behind the Natural Gas Act — the most important legislation currently in front of Congress in relation to the Pickens Plan. I've been told that Utah's entire congressional delegation supports the Natural Gas Act, but so far only these two of our five representatives in Washington have taken a public stand. Please learn more about the Natural Gas Act and the Pickens Plan at www.pickensplan.com.

If you agree with the goals of the plan, take the Pickens Pledge. Then contact Bob Bennett, Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop and encourage them to publicly take the pledge as well and support the Natural Gas Act. America's future depends on quickly breaking our addiction to foreign oil. Alternatives exist today. Let's keep our money at home, rebuild our economy and sustain the American way of life.

Jim Breitinger works at Riester in Salt Lake City and is the Utah leader of the Pickens Plan.