T. Boone Pickens is one of America’s richest men and a member of what Time magazine called one of the world’s 100 most influential people. He has long been pushing his Pickens Plan to wean America off gasoline and diesel and onto natural gas. Why? It’s clean. It’s abundant. It’s made in America. And it’s cheap.
Pickens is targeting the trucking industry as the place to make an immediate and lasting dent. The U.S. trucking industry is on track to spend in excess of $155 billion on fuel this year, which would be a record. If even as much as one-fourth of that diesel tab could be converted to an alternative fuel such as CNG, it would make a significant dent on this country’s reliance on unstable sources of important gasoline and diesel.
One of the reasons Pickens is pitching his CNG plan to trucking fleets is because of the infrastructure necessary to transport the fuel. It must be cooled to remain in a liquefied state. That means an entirely new network of transportation and distribution channels. It is easier to convert perhaps a couple of thousand of truck stop locations to handle CNG than it would be to convert a couple million mom-and-pop gasoline stations.
CDL LIfe coverage of Natural Gas Power in the Trucking Industry