Pickens Makes Pitch for Multifaceted Energy Plan
Investor Says Alternative Fuels and Strategies Will Ensure U.S. Needs are Met
Texas business legend T. Boone Pickens told a capacity crowd at UT Dallas on Thursday that one of the country’s top priorities should be to replace its thousands of diesel-fueled long-haul trucks with 18-wheelers powered by cleaner-burning, domestically produced natural gas.
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That’s a key component of his Pickens Plan, which is designed to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil in favor of renewable energy and natural gas.
He said the country’s 7 million long-haul trucks consume about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, and noted, “That’s a real target to go after.”
He predicted the changeover to natural gas among big trucks could be done in just seven years. Even so, he sees the use of natural gas, which is also a fossil fuel, as a temporary measure.
“It’s a bridge fuel for 25 or 30 years,” he said, “and then you have to figure out what comes next.”
He also urged people to press their elected representatives for change. Voters should demand that politicians include an energy plank in their platforms, he added, saying, “If you don’t have an energy plan, then your plan is foreign oil.”
Pickens' presentation was the inaugural lecture of the UT Dallas Forum on Energy Issues and Innovation. The Forum is a lecture series devoted to reflecting the growing emphasis at UT Dallas on the stewardship of energy and natural resources. The Texas Institute is the founding sponsor for this lecture.
The crowd gathered to hear Pickens quickly filled the main Conference Center auditorium. Organizers sent remaining attendees to watch the presentation by live video feed in the nearby Hoblitzelle Hall auditorium. That room was also filled.
The Texas business legend used the forum to try to drum up support for his multi-pronged Pickens Plan, which in addition to natural gas calls for expanded use of wind power to generate electricty and improvement in the nation's power grid system.
Pickens is the founder and chairman of BP Capital Management and is responsible for the formulation of the energy futures investment strategy of the BP Capital Commodity Fund and the BP Capital Equity Fund.
Texas investor and oilman Boone Pickens urged students to get involved in taking the nation toward an increased state of energy independence.
The overflow crowd at Conference Center auditorium required the use of the nearby Hoblitzelle Hall auditorium, which carried the presentation via live video feed.
Natural gas was a key point in Pickens' plan and the fuel that powered the Honda Civic he took to the appearance.