Natural Gas Highway is OPEN!
Natural Gas Highway is OPEN! | Conversations with T. Boone Pickens
T. Boone Pickens I really feel like I am helping do something for this country. When you get down to it, it’s very, very simple. This is all about us.
Brian Bradshaw Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m here with Boone Pickens, part of an ongoing discussion series we have about energy. Boone, today is pretty near the fifth anniversary of you launching the Pickens Plan. Um, could you bring us up to speed, talk about some of the progress we’ve made and where you stand today?
T. Boone Pickens You know what, five years passed pretty fast, and if you go back to July the 8th, uh, uh, five years ago, that I was talking about natural gas, there was great resource in America, ample supply in America, uh, cheap, clean the best fuel of the hydrocarbon group. Okay, and you know it caught on. I … I built an army, uh, we put it together. Now, progress, what has happened? We are moving to natural gas as a transportation fuel. Uh, a … it … in the heavy duty trucks is where I want to go. That’s where we’re going. All that is happening. Uh, the oil and gas industry has done an unbelievable job in the United States of developing oil and natural gas both, but we’ve gone up on supply of oil. Uh, we have a tremendous amount of natural gas. It’s all very cheap. Cheapest fuel in the world is in the United States. Oil by 20% cheaper than the global price. Natural gas 75% cheaper and gasoline 50% of a general gasoline price around the world. So, yes, a lot has happened in five years.
The real central part of your plan was always natural gas for heavy duty trucks. When you look at some of the announcements that have made … been made here recently by some of these truck operators, UPS or Wal-Mart or
T. Boone Pickens AT&T.
Brian Bradshaw AT&T for sure.
T. Boone Pickens Fed-Ex.
It’s … it’s an incredible, incredible shift from where you were in ’08. None of these companies were doing this in ’08, so there … there has been real, real progress.
T. Boone Pickens There has been. And, uh, the … that your moving to it, no question, and it’s $2 a gallon cheaper than diesel. It is a domestic fuel. It’s 30% cleaner. All the reasons to do it are causing it to happen now. And in the states, you’ve got some antiquated laws in the states that actually hurt the use of natural gas. Those are getting wiped off. Uh, the Pickens Plan army has been the crowd that has pressed for that and gotten results. And so, working together, it’s all happened. Now, if we had government help … you don’t need to have subsidies. I’m not asking for that. But if the government just said all federal vehicles purchased in the future would be on domestic fuel, there the education process starts. And so, it’s … if the … if the government would focus on demand, we could further cut imports of foreign oil, especially from the Mideast.
Five years ago, if we were sitting here and I wanted to go out and … and … and buy an 18-wheeler, jump in it and drive across the country, could I have done it?
T. Boone Pickens No.
Can I do it today?
T. Boone Pickens Yes, you can, because the … the natural gas highway has been put in place now, uh, on the interstates and you can. Uh, is it everywhere? No. But you have got it in place where yes, you could drive across the United States with an 18-wheeler.
Brian Bradshaw What do you foresee over the next five years?
T. Boone Pickens It will move quickly, uh, to natural gas for heavy duty. No question that will happen. Uh …
Brian Bradshaw Because the heavy lifting’s already been done.
T. Boone Pickens You sh …
You spent the last five years building the infrastructure, [00:04:00] getting yourself ready. Am I … am I right?
T. Boone Pickens And … and you have the engine, the missing engine, which was the 12 liter. That … that engine has now come in … into play and there’ll be others too, but Cummings is the one with the 12 liter right now, and that was the size engine. You had a 9.8 and a 15.2 liter engine, but the 12 liter engine is … is the key, uh, engine to fulfill exactly what you want to accomplish.
Which is being rolled out, my understanding is, right now.
T. Boone Pickens Yes it is.
Brian Bradshaw I mean, right now.
T. Boone Pickens It’s … it’s been on the road for the two years being tested, so it’s ready to go, yes. So, it’s … you know, all this is … is happening and all for the right reasons. So the Pickens Plan fifth anniversary, we can … we can really stand up and say we did it. We moved, in five years, to where we have to be and we helped the country on the way and the things that we said could be accomplished have been accomplished.
Brian Bradshaw Boone, how … how important has the … a role has the army played in this process over the last five years?
T. Boone Pickens Uh, you know, we have … we called for the army five years ago and the army came. We put it together. We, uh … hundreds of thousands and then we get up to a million, but a lot … a lot of people. And I couldn’t have done what we’ve done. It’s not me, it’s us, that we did together. And, uh, it’s … it’s been great working with army. I see people all over the United States. I’m in a restaurant and somebody comes up … San Francisco restaurant, I never will forget. Waiter came over and he said, “Mr. Pickens …” he said, “… we’re in a Pickens Plan army,” and I said, uh, “Now, who are you talking about?” He said, “Every waiter in this restaurant.” And I said, [00:06:00] “Can I shake hands with all of them?” And I did, with all the waiters, and there were six, eight waiters in the restaurant. They were all onboard. But I get pockets of that all over the United States, so it’s been great working with you. We are … we have been successful. There’s no question about that. And we will even be more successful in the next five years.