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Where does former oil magnate T. Boone Pickens turn to help implement his Pickens Plan after the difficult debt markets put a cramp in his wind power plans, the fallen price of fuel slashed his hedge fund, and the voters of California rejected an alternative vehicle […]

Where does former oil magnate T. Boone Pickens turn to help implement his Pickens Plan after the difficult debt markets put a cramp in his wind power plans, the fallen price of fuel slashed his hedge fund, and the voters of California rejected an alternative vehicle funding proposal? Like everyone else who wants to fund green projects: the economic stimulus package. Pickens is reportedly asking for as much as $28 billion to convert diesel trucks to run on natural gas, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Say what?! If the stimulus package ends up at $800 billion that would be 3.5 percent of it to convert 350,000 trucks from diesel to natural gas, at a cost of around $75,000 per vehicle. The benefits, Pickens says, is that it would create about 454,470 jobs and reduce oil imports by 5.14 percent.

But natural gas is still a fossil fuel, and according to the Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVA) natural gas vehicles only reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent over a standard gas vehicle. Cleantech venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has called the natural gas vehicle plan “a dead-end” because of the lack of serious emissions reductions. In the short term those diesel trucks could run on biodiesel, and in the long run the government should spend that kind of money on a cleaner form of alternative transportation like electric vehicles.

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By Katie Fehrenbacher

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  1. Pickens Plan Media Coverage 1.14.09 | This Home is Green Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] T. Boone Calls for $28B of Stimulus for Natural Gas Vehicles – Earth2Tech – 1/14/09 [...]

  2. Boone is a good businessman, but I disagree with him here.

    A push for natural gas vehicles is pointless when technologies for biofuels and fuel cells are progressing so rapidly. Those industries need some funding instead.

    biofuels: http://optimism.thorscave.com/?p=58
    Fuel cells: http://optimism.thorscave.com/?p=63

  3. We are seeing Pickens for what he really is – a salesman. He wants to wean the country off one fossil fuel for another. How is that going to help the country in the long run? It will make him immensely rich but he doesn’t care that it will cost the country long term. That money could be better use to build solar farms.

  4. While it is true that Natural Gas is a fossil fuel, it’s abundant in the United States and it is widely considered a perfect bridge to better alternative fuel systems.

    Natural gas can be created from other sources, such as landfill methane.

    Natural gas can be blended with hydrogen to begin transitioning to hydrogen fuel cell technology using the same systems – a further reduction in emissions AND foreign oil dependency.

    Electric vehicles, hydrogen and more are all viable, yet distant technologies not ready to be widely implemented today.

    Natural gas is the only option to offer an immediate impact TODAY both environmentally and economically.

    Waiting another 10-15 years for a better technology while we continue to fill the earth with GhG and funnel enormous quantities of money to countries which, frankly, abhor Americans is not the answer.

    Pickens has lost over $2b as Americans “forget” the $4 and $5 gas of just 6 months ago. He’s one of the wealthiest men in the country. I don’t think “getting rich” is his primary objective here.

    I’m supporting this initiative. I believe it will strengthen the American economy while reducing GhG and allowing a better spent period of time to develop superior alternatives.

    Driving your gasoline guzzling and polluting SUV for another 10 years while sending billions to OPEC countries who aim to control and weaken our economy is a far worse concept and I’m frankly shocked that anyone would disagree.

  5. MyPriceWizard Friday, January 16, 2009

    T. Boone has always talked about Natural Gas as a transition fuel and transition is what we need. Bio fuel (corn) is not the answer, it just increases food costs among other things. No other bio fuel is realistic in the short term. If Saudi Arabia can switch to nat gas vehicles so can we.

    We have a ton of nat gas and an existing infrastructure to tap it. Wind is ready and can be thrown onto the grid. Lines are really the only thing that need to be developed. In terms of scale, this is the most cost effective plan.

    No other plan that anyone has proposed is as logical and realistic as Picken’s Plan. In addition, I agree with Christine, Pickens has one foot in the grave and doesn’t care about the potential profits to be made by this transition. He will be long gone before any profit could be realized.

  6. T. Boone’s Wind Farm: At Least 2-3 Years Off « Earth2Tech Thursday, January 22, 2009

    [...] Pickens says with $28 billion the U.S. could convert 350,000 diesel trucks to natural gas, which as he’s noted before, could create 454,470 jobs and reduce oil imports by 5.14 percent. He wants to address the heavy-duty vehicles [...]

  7. Pickens: ‘I’m for Anything American’ : CleanTechnica Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    [...] also called for ,000 incentivesfor trucking companies to gradually switch heavy-duty trucks to natural-gas versions, whenever the [...]

  8. AT&T to Make Massive Natural Gas Vehicle Purchase « Earth2Tech Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    [...] building a massive wind farm in Texas, but the credit markets have stalled that idea for now.) Pickens has estimated that it will cost $28 billion to convert 350,000 trucks from diesel to natural gas, which he says [...]

  9. T. Boones plan is the best bridge out there plain and simple. Who in their right mind will pay Chevy $40k for a Volt? not me.

    1,000 cubic feet of natural gas contains 1 million Btu. It takes 8 gallons of gasoline to produce 1 million btu. According to NYMEX 1 Mcf of NG is $4.78, 8 gallons of gasoline is roughly $16.

    Not only would switching to natural gas save americans money, it would keep money away from countries that loathe the US and help american companies profit, create tax dollars and jobs.

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