Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Town hall discusses Pickens Plan

T. Boone Pickens, an American financier, created the Pickens Plan to wean America off its dependence on foreign oil.

Pickens will promote his plan at a town hall event tonight at 6 at The Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

To accomplish this goal, natural gas deposits on domestic soil should be harnessed to power heavy-duty transport units, Pickens said.

Pickens said the consumption of foreign oil derived from the OPEC cartel has continued to climb over the decades and has reached a level incompatible with national security initiatives.            The money spent on foreign oil trickles down to terrorist groups in the Middle East who profit from the sale of OPEC diesel fuel, which is the chief fuel of heavy-duty transport fleets such as eighteen-wheelers, Pickens said. He added that domestic sources of natural gas can supply the heavy duty transport units for more than 100 years.

“The fueling will come with the trucks,” he said. “Go back to when Henry Ford told people how he would mass produce the Model T. No one said he couldn’t do that because there were no fueling stations.”

Pickens said the logistics of the shift in focus to natural gas will impose a trivial inconvenience on the transport industry.

“We’re going to have to be innovative and inconvenient because right now we’re buying from the enemy,” he said. “And so, around the world, we look pretty stupid.”

Pickens said natural gas burns 30 percent cleaner than diesel fuel, which would lessen the adverse impact the heavy duty transport units leave on the environment.

He also said he has enjoyed a good measure of support for his platform.

“I don’t find many people against me,” he said. “It seems like everyone’s for me… If I can’t sell it, then you’re going to get foreign oil… My case is pretty simple.”

Dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration Barry Mason said Pickens hopes to contribute to energy independence.

“He has something he is promoting as the Pickens Plan to make the nation energy independent over time,” he said.

Mason said people are welcome to attend the event even if they find they disagree with Pickens.

“We’d be happy to see a lot of students come out, even if they may not agree with his viewpoints,” Mason said.

Asher Elbin, a freshman in New College, said he discredits the sincerity of Pickens’ platform.

“I think that the plan is not sincere,” he said. “It’s a business proposal. He’s organizing this as a method of promoting his business.”

Elbin said people will subscribe to Pickens’ platform because of his spotlight in the public eye.

“There’s always a problem when you have a public figure campaigning for something,” he said.

Elbin said the nature of information regarding fossil fuels and energy resources tends to confuse rather than clarify.

“There is such a smokescreen of information on fossil fuels,” he said. “It’s not really clear what’s actually going on. It becomes belief instead of reasoned debate.”

He said the Pickens Plan should not be perceived as a philanthropic effort.

“I don’t think he’s a bad man for doing what he’s doing,” Elbin said. “I think it’s important to recognize what he’s doing is for business and not for philanthropy.”

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