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Live Q&A with T. Boone Pickens: Let's transform energy -- with natural gas.

This conversation will go Live at 11 am CT/ 12 pm EST. on March 20th, 2012.

I will be answering your questions/comments about my TEDtalk for 1 hour. Please submit your questions below.

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    Mar 20 2012: Sir, how can we know that in the long run natural gas will not give the world problems akin to what crude oil is giving namely high prices, polluting, insecurity, upheavals at point of production, exhaustible, etc.
    • Mar 20 2012: If we are afraid of those things then let's not do it. And stay dependent on OPEC oil. We have to use our own resources and manage as we go. But you can't take a 'give up' attitude and just resolve yourself to the staus quo. But we have a 100 year supply and that buys us a lot of time.
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        Mar 20 2012: I'm 100% for alternative energy and if natural gas can do that, then that's all good. At the back of my mind has been the urgent need for a better alternative preferably based on inexhaustible natural source. That will answer the problem of sustainability. I can see Africa joining Asia to be energy use intensive as USA and EU within the next 50 years. That will certainly put unbearable strain on supplies.
        • Mar 20 2012: I am solving most of my problems by producing my own power and growing most of my own food. If everyone took that step much of the demand would go down and we could make the big switch as a Nation.
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        Mar 20 2012: With all due respect Mr. Pickens, that is logical fallacy and you know it. you are limiting the choices to follow your plan or keep things the same, completely ignoring wind, solar, tidal, wave, and geothermal power. why is natural gas so much better then those infinite resources?
        • Mar 20 2012: He did say in his talk that renewables will not in the near term solve the national security issues poised by our dependance on oil. Natural gas, even if it is only used as a fuel by the 8 million semi's in the US, would essentially mean that the US would be oil INDEPENDENT. We could leave the middle east.
        • Mar 20 2012: Because in the USA it is cheaper. In other places where there is limted to nat gas wind, solar, geothermal might compete. Wind's cost curves were close in the USA when nag gas was $10-14 pmmbtu range, but shale plays made wind uneconomic.
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          Mar 20 2012: I am not an expert, but I suppose gas is more reliable than sun, wind, and tidal power, and probably cheaper to harvest than geothermal power. Also, if you consider that sun energy can best be "harvested" in desert regions, you are dependent on locations in zones that are still difficult to control... although I completely agree that a mix of all sorts of renewable energies, algae, and gas would be the most promising solution.
  • Mar 20 2012: With 2 mins left I wanted to say THANKS so much to TED and Mr. Pickens for this chat! This was great!
  • Mar 20 2012: T. Boone Pickens, would you be willing to write an article detailing your experience with fracking over the past 60 years? This seems to be the number one hesitation people have to natural gas. If we had a well articulated explanation about the process of fracking and it's history, perhaps it could alleviate some public concern. If not, do you have any references to solid articles addressing this?
    • Mar 20 2012: My best recommendation is to read all the facts out there and not just the New York Times. For example, visit www.anga.us (America's Natural Gas Alliance).
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    Mar 20 2012: There are new methods of natural gas storage being developed. We may be getting vehicles with longer ranges. If you want to talk about natural gas as a bridge fuel, you might want to look into natural gas as a bridge to hydrogen.

    Basically, by using the right lattice structures, one can store a lot more methane because the tanks the gas is filled with has far more surface area, which allows for more gas storage, since gas gathers around the surface of something while hectically bouncing around the larger areas of a container.

    So, the technology natural gas storage provides may be a bridge to hydrogen. Northwestern University is doing this research, so if you want to make a strong argument about natural gas being a bridge fuel, those scientists might be able to help.

    • Mar 20 2012: Great. I'm for anything American.
      • Mar 20 2012: Hi Mr Pickens,Unfortunately it seems my previous comment about Liquid Fluoride Thoriium reactors was deleted... Is there any reason why you would not consider investing in LFTRs? It is an unutilised US technology that I have been reading a lot about and the USA is giving it away to China right now. Surely it is a better intermediate than natural gas. I can not find a single solid argument to support natural gas over LTFR. H2 and synthetic diesel replacements could be generated with bolt-on technology so are more feasible for transport. Please feel free to investigate the Weinberg Foundation and other related LFTR. The US has enough Thorium to meet all of its power requirements for centuries and the technology is superior to Uranium light water reactor expoitation in every conceivable manner as far as I have researched.
        What are your thoughts sir?
  • Mar 20 2012: What can we do via Social Media to bring this message to a greater awareness.. TED is amazing, but this is a very tight niche of folks. Is there a place to send people, a video to get viral? How do we get folks to begin to wake up? I want to make a difference for my son, and its going take the voices of many. Thanks for your leadership.
    I have been the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Center you graciously built. Its awesome.
  • Mar 20 2012: What I pose is really a simple question. What would be possible if we took all oil and gas subsidies, costs and losses from disasters like the BP oil spill, the hidden cost of wars fought for access to these resources and applied them to green energy solutions?
    • Mar 20 2012: This type of hypothetical question is not that simple. I believe that research and technology is going to yield a better future. What I fear is that oil markets will continue to spiral out of control in the meantime. That's why I suggest we use a superior fuel (natural gas) while we wait for a new technology to arrive.
  • Mar 20 2012: In conclusion to a great session, the politicians are on the TV with a ham on their should everyday. We have the cheapest energy in the world in this country. Our gasoline price is half of Europe, natural gas price here is $2.50, Beijing $16 mcf, Mideast is $15, and Europe is $13. And oil here is $106/bbl and global price is $123/bbl. I can't understand why we don't get on our own resources. Join me in putting political pressure on Washington.

    Thanks for joining me. Enjoyed your questions and the conversation.
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    Mar 20 2012: Don't you think thiere has been enough damage to the environment and water sytems already. Fracking is a disaster and more research needs to be done. Drillers claim fracking does not pollute ground water and underground water supplies, called aquifers. But growing numbers of Americans, many in rural communities, report that wells and other water sources have become unusable since fracking operations started up nearbyCompanies inject into each well up to 8 million gallons of water, chemicals and sand at high pressure to create underground fractures that free up trapped natural gas. Commonly used chemicals include: carcinogenic benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and other toxics.
    In December 2007, a Bainbridge, Ohio, home exploded after a natural gas company improperly drilled and fractured a nearby well. No one was injured, but releases of gas contaminated 23 water wells and forced evacuations of 19 homes.
    Fracking a single well produces up to several million gallons of wastewater. In 2008, Pennsylvania authorities took remedial measures after determining that a water pollution control plant had accepted drilling wastewater that contaminated the Monongahela River.
    Gas drilling in shale deposits requires heavy use of chemicals. Spills happen. Pennsylvania authorities fined Cabot Oil & Gas $56,650 for three spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid near the town of Dimock in September 2009. Two of the spills polluted a wetland and caused a fish kill.
    Drilling can require 1,300 truck trips per well, often in areas where roads do not exist or are not built to handle heavy trucks. Trucks cause significant air and noise pollution and can spill their loads, endangering water supplies.
  • Mar 20 2012: Why is there need for the government to push in this direction? Isn't the market capable of doing this by itself?
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    Mar 20 2012: Shouldn't people think twice-- and double that again, before giving blind support to a new private industry where there stands to made billions of dollars for a few, and with so many environmental questions yet to be cleared? Do we want this industry in our back yards? Is it a healthy industry-- We dont know-- cleaner? how much cleaner . . but still not clean , not renewable. On a world wide scale removing a natural resource changes enviromental balance-- smart or not smart? Are we not concentrating enough effort getting off oil, getting and going local with goods and supplys. The BIG money in NG is not local-- its supply massive transportation industries; marine, trucking, air. Bottom line , Big Money?
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    Mar 20 2012: It would make sense to me to try to save as much of our hydrocarbon materials for the future so they will be available for making composite materials (plastics) rather than burning them now and dispusing them into the atmosphere where they cause gloabal warming and will not be available for use by future generations.

    If a million generations might inhabit our planet in the future, should we not save some hydrocarbons for them?
  • Mar 20 2012: Are you in favor of the three suggestions below to wean the US off of OPEC oil and place more investment in "green" technologies?

    1. Ban all Oil and Gas contributions to Political parties which runs in the tens of millions of doallrs per year.

    2. Ban all Oil and Gas companies from exporting any fossil fuels obtained from within the US or place a tariff on US fossil fuel exports to make it more attractive to keep in the US.

    3. And eliminate the over $46 billion in subsidies that Oil and Gas companies receive and put those subsidies towards "green" technologies.
    • Mar 20 2012: Why do we all think the oil and gas companies are the bad guys? I am not in favor of these three options.
      • Mar 20 2012: Unfortunately, until there is serious political action taken to take financial contributions out the equation, you will have a hard time changing the OPEC policy.
  • Mar 20 2012: How do you feel about natural gas flaring? I'm not a fan, but perhaps with your experiences in the field you would see it very differently. I think we're wasting fuel at an astonishing rate. Would you like to see flaring decrease globally?
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    Mar 20 2012: Mr Pickens

    It seems paradoxical that you lost so much money in wind power.

    Were you lobbying to get subsidized by the government?

    Did you not see the price drop coming because of fracking of natural gas?

    Doesn't the supply of a commodity become more prevalent as the price goes up and technology enters that market thus lowering the price as with fracking?
    • Mar 20 2012: Bad call on timing (wind power) and I'll be back with better timing. I may be a player in wind again.
  • Mar 20 2012: Looking at the numbers, if we double our natural gas consumption, we should be out in 20 years. Is it worth changing all the infrastructure for such a short-term project?
    • Mar 20 2012: So first off, I'm not talking about doubling our natural gas consumption, if all the 18 wheelers were converted it would be 15 bcf/day which would be about a 20% increase in demand. Second off, I think we have closer to 100 year supply, not the 40 year supply that you implied.
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        Mar 20 2012: running out in 40 or 100 is still running out. humans have been on this planet a very long time, and will be here a long time to come. we need to build a future for the species, not produce cheep fuel for industry.
      • Mar 20 2012: Mr. Pickens, the investment and energy required to convert all of the 18-wheelers to natural gas would not be worth the longterm commitment. Surely, as you admit that we must take action about CO2 emissions, it would be an inappropriate intermediate due to the effects of the required longterm commitment for NG conversion to be feasible. To hit the 80% targets we must consider realistic step-change technologies and methods rather than uncertain half measured steps. A 25%less CO2 is not satisfactory when looking for >80% reduction. Doesnt the math preclude the option?
  • Mar 20 2012: Good Morning everyone. I have basic question for you, We use a lot of Propane in our Vineyard. How does Natural Gas compare/compete with Propane?
  • Mar 20 2012: Please discuss initial cost and financing of moving truck fleets to the natural gas model. What kind of time frame do you project?

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    Mar 20 2012: Considering natural gas is a finite resource, and for all intents and purposes solar and wind are unlimited sources of energy; considering the negative environmental impact of fracking for natural gas and the minimal negative effects from roof top solar and wind turbines; considering the new more modern designs for 40 acre vertical axis wind turbines and turbines designs that produce energy in as low as 2mph wind, and new higher efficiency solar panels and modern solar coatings; how can you hope to classify natural gas solutions as anything more then a temporary fix for the energy problems of our planet?
    • Mar 20 2012: There is currently so much natural gas available this really is not a current issue. The reserves are so high, there is no further storage space available. In addition, the industry is finding new ways to extract gas from shale resources that are abundant and not tapped before due to lack of technology.
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        Mar 20 2012: with all due respect, it is an issue. other wise we will be having the same discussion in 50-100 years with natural gas taking the place of traditional fossil fuels as the depleted resource. we cant just keep jumping from finite resource to finite resource. we will be a plague on the planet until we learn that key lesson.
        • Mar 20 2012: This resource is being considered for a transitional time not a forever solution. And right now there is so much natural gas available it will allow for the transition. I don't believe any solution is infinite. All use finite resources...including solar and wind power. For transportation purposes, I see the wisdom of converting to a natural gas plan.
    • Mar 20 2012: I answered the fracking question a minute ago. I would encourage everyone to look at the facts for themselves and not only rely upon mass media reports on fracking. I do not believe there is any danger in fracking.

      You probably will not be having the same discussion because natural gas is a domestic resource. The world has a lot of natural gas that is able to bridge us to the next great fuel breakthrough.
      • Mar 20 2012: If this is so true, then why did fracking need to be exempted from EPA clean air and water oversight? Why are we not allowed to know what you're putting in the dirt near our groundwater?

        So, who do you suggest has the answers? The news media doesn't report a comprehensive view of the situation, to be sure. However, I'm not going to trust some Lobbyist or PR firm that's never seen what actually happens.

        However, there's these documentaries where people actually *Go* to the places where this fracking has been going on. "Gas Land" and "Frack Nation". They seek to portray this process as disgusting. I've gotta say, they're pretty convincing. I don't see any of these documentary filmmakers brought up on libel or slander charges - by that fact alone, aren't your employers admitting some level of guilt?

        What, if anything in particular, can you point out to be different in your experience from these documentaries?
        • Mar 20 2012: Actually Frack Nation is setting out the facts that were ignored in Gas Land. Like in the areas where you can set the water on fire...that's been happening forever. Not a new thing.
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        Mar 20 2012: even if i were to believe the misleading data you are pointing me towards when it comes to fraking, what about the other concerns? what about still having energy in 100 years? why sell band aids to people who need heart transplants?
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    Mar 20 2012: Why invest in non-renewable technologies? What happened to your campaign and billion dollar investment in wind technology?
    • Mar 20 2012: As I've mentioned before, there is not a renewable source of energy that will do anything to address our national security issues in the short term. Even if we maximize wind and solar usage, they will only represent one component of the overall power generation mix. Wind and solar only run 30% of the time and are currently 2-4 times more expensive than conventional power.
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        Mar 20 2012: Again, if we just switch to the next finite resource we will simply be having a security discussion again in 50 years when some natural gas producing country has us on our knees. we must make the investment now in technology that will truly change the way we look at energy. not just keep looking for our next cheep fix like drug addicts looking to get high on the next hydrocarbon.
  • Mar 20 2012: Very interesting discussion regarding energy dependance. I feel that big oil is "all in" on their efforts of extracting, refining and distributing crude. Do you think that there would be a dramatic shift if the government was to heavily incentivize the quick transition to natural gas? For example, what if there was a 5 year, ZERO tax window on all domestic natural gas extraction, preparation and sales starting in 2013. Could we not also credit Big Oil for abandoning foreign and domestic crude operations with grants and/or subsidies? I'm not a huge fan of government intervention when it pertains to free markets but we have to be realistic and follow the money. Why not extend the same tax breaks to auto manufacturers that develop low emission, natural gas powered vehicles here in the US? And why stop there? How about a 10% income tax credit for anyone who converts to natural gas for their transportation needs? Couldn't these costs be easily made up by the economic boost that this cleaner energy initiative might bring to our economy? Let's start dangling the carrot in front of Big Oil and not the other way around.
    • Mar 20 2012: Great point.

      Boone mentions, in his talk, that the majority of the consumption of oil is spent on transportation. From what it seems, (pardon the caps) WE HAVE A TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM. In your comment you mentioned giving tax breaks, rewards, to companies that develop low emission, natural gas powered solutions. What would also be beneficial, in the long run, is to provide an incentive for cities or private institutions to create better infrastructures of living that would require less transportation.
      • Mar 20 2012: 100% agree with your point. Changes will not happen unless financial rewards are realistic. Let's incentivize everyone from cities and citizens to business and governments to take part in the paradigm shift. We overspend frivolously on military and foreign involvement yet it seems the majority of these issues could be righted or at least adressed by simply transitioning to local energy and smart development.
  • Mar 20 2012: Is there any real danger prevelant in fracking?
    • Mar 20 2012: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/frack_nation_W2iEGTptkM0ciT5EjyZJHO Excellent film being made called frack nation bringing about the facts regarding fracking.
    • Mar 20 2012: Practically no danger. Fracking has been going on for over 60 years. There have been over 800,000 wells fracked in OK and TX. We need to ensure public confidence. I'm for conducting operational audits on say 5% of those wells if that's what it takes to address public concerns, so long as it does not impede the development of this critical resource.
      • Mar 20 2012: This is why it is so important that the natural gas industry also focus on educating the public about these concerns. Frack Nation is working to do just that through an educational film about fracking.
      • Mar 20 2012: "So long as it doesn't impede the development of this critical resource?"

        Excuse me? If you want public confidence, submit to EPA regulation, just like the rest of the nation's industry does. We've seen companies "Self-regulate" in medicine, and we've noticed the myriad of drug recalls that follow.

        Submit to PUBLIC safety testing, or go home. If you want the country behind you, don't pretend that there is no conflict of interest in "self-testing."
  • Mar 20 2012: Thanks for encouraging a sensible approach to our energy problems. Where are we in establishing a retailing infrastructure to sell NG for vehicle fuel?
    • Mar 20 2012: We're focused on the heavy duty trucks (18 wheelers) and the infrastructure will come with the trucks and it's happening every day. And I have not found one trucker that has bought a truck that doesn't know where he is going to buy fuel. As far as retail infrastructure, the industry offers a garage refueling system that I have at my home. Retail usage is lagging commercial use right now but it will happen.
      • Mar 20 2012: I understand the cost of the garage refueling system is still pretty high. Is there something happening to support a lower cost so that it will be more appealing to the average user?
  • Mar 20 2012: Hey BIOGAS!

    Why not use gas from our organic waste? And create fertilizer in the process?

    There is a company in Munchen which is putting biogas into the networks. Bloody expensive though, even by the bloated standards of private utility companies.
    • Mar 20 2012: We are using landfill gas right now. Problem is, it is expensive and it's not as big as you might think.
  • Mar 20 2012: Hi T. Boone. Why not look into something more sensible like solar? We can run out of natural gas, just as we are oil... and water..
    • Mar 20 2012: They are not feasible solutions for the time being. It does not mean that alternative solutions such as solar, wind, and others shouldn't be extensively researched, tried, and tested.

      What Boone is providing is a feasible solution to provide energy now, for the time being, until we find that alternative energy solution that will supply to our demands.
    • Mar 20 2012: How does solar solve our national security issue? Remember oil accounts for 2/3 of our transportation use and a battery doesn't move an 18 wheeler. Having said that, I do believe that solar has a future in power generation but that is not the crisis I am trying to fix right now.
  • Mar 20 2012: Boone, OSU and SAE alumni here, thank you for all your generous donations. What is the main reason or reasons you believe the government isn't making a more concerted effort to move away from OPEC?
    • Mar 20 2012: Mr Brown. I dunno about other countries (ironically even mine). But as for morocco, they are making efforts to move away from Opec.
  • Mar 20 2012: Mr PIckens As a proud Oklahoman the two Senators Coburn and Inhofe have called global warming a hoax, debunked evolution and thereby questioning Einstein. What are you views and on these issues and how can we trust a our government if psuedo science is given preference?
  • Mar 20 2012: I can imagine it isn't as big as possibly hoped for.
    But if a city's entire organic-waste was cooked, couldn't that contribute sizeably?

    Also if gas-usage was limited to certain feilds, perhaps heating water or cooking or industrial process. A process in which that intense instant heating is required?

    Limit the need not only the supply?

    also - the more there is the cheaper it becomes, no? isn't that the entire theory behind the capitalists' arguments for world betterment through business?
  • Mar 20 2012: Where is the evidence that fracking is safe, besides "we've been doing it for years"?
  • Mar 20 2012: Is it feasible to run a residence off of multiple energy sources?
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    Mar 20 2012: If we were to convert such a large group of consumers (trucking industry) over to a domestic fuel source would the direct effect be that oil prices also drop significantly due to an increased supply for the rest of us that drive light vehicles? That may be just another bonus to your excellent plan!
  • Mar 20 2012: Do you think if we emphasized the past use of natural gas in the USA we could change peoples' minds about using it in the future- now that we have too much. You mentioned the "margin" that energy prices are tied to the lowest cost competitor, how come most people don't grasp how important that is? Is it the lag between saying nat. gas is the right choice and when they see a nat. gas fueling station or have a nat. gas car?
  • Mar 20 2012: Hi, Thanks for your work in pushing for alternative fuels. Basic question: How quickly could the heavy haul truck fleet be converted to natural gas if there was a significant effort to do so?
  • Mar 20 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phelim_McAleer

    The director of Frack Nation also directed Not Evil Just Wrong, a film opposing An Inconvenient Truth. Are we supposed to believe that someone that doesn't believe in global warming is qualified to speak on fracking? Seems awfully convenient.
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    Mar 20 2012: I think we are going to need as much energy as possible for the future, that is true. I think the future of energy is a DECENTRALIZED one, one where every home owner is also an independent producer, and seller of energy. Fracking gas extraction is dangerous and can have serious environmental consequences. Do we really want to sacrifice our well being and health in order to squeeze out another dollar before the renewable paradigm finally takes over? In the end this is about making money, not about the absolute NEED to have access to this energy. Japan has shut down 52 of 54 nuclear power plants because they realize its a risk to their well being to continue to operate. How many contaminated water supplies will it take to put an end to fracking?

    This article was published yesterday: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/9153228/Fracking-could-pose-health-threat.html
  • Mar 20 2012: Where do I put my money today to take advantage of the transition to natural gas?
  • Mar 20 2012: I have a lot of respect for you persistence on this issue Mr. Pickens. My question is... isn't the current power structure in gasoline/crude oil a tremendous limiting factor in creating the change we need in energy since they make so much money with the current situation? How do we get these companies on board with your concepts and move away from a strategy that has made these companies the largest and most profitable businesses in the world? The special interest delimma seems to be a major limiting factor in my opinion.
  • Mar 20 2012: To me the ruining millions of gallons of water for the sake of fracking individual wells is obscene. I believe I am correct in saying that at some point there are millions of gallons per well that can no longer be used for any human purpose.

    I saw the other day that the cost of natural gas has fallen by a third since 2005 thanks to fracking. Doesn't it make sense to close the Halliburton loophole before we pursue this avenue further?
  • Mar 20 2012: What about the Bloom Box Mr Pickens?
  • Mar 20 2012: Mr. Pickens’s conversation didn’t touch on the desirability of a liquid fuel compared with a compressed (or refrigerated) gas. Back in the 80’s there was a project in New Zealand called “Gas-to-Gasoline” which used chemical means to make a synthetic gasoline-like liquid fuel from natural gas. It was later shut down as uneconomical based on gas prices and the cost of the process. Now that gas has become cheap, is it time to resurrect “GTG.” The process is fully developed and could be implemented virtually anywhere.
  • Mar 20 2012: I wonder what you think about the Oil Boom in ND and do you think it will spill into SD making the alternative energy less appealing to Midwest?
    • Mar 20 2012: You may see derivative affects - but the Williston Basin doesn't really go into SD.
      • Mar 20 2012: Actually many people in SD believe it does.... BTW, I used to live in Belmont MA :-) small world.
  • Mar 20 2012: My question is, if NG is a bridge solution, how can we ensure that we find the real solution while on it? I think the US is like a heart attack patient who gets an emergency fix, like a bipass, but then just resumes bad habits until another crisis. As soon as energy is no longer an emergency maybe people will forget that we have to find a permanent alternative and we will be in the same mess again in 20 years. What real incentives can we build into the plan (ie, economic) that will cause the shift?
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    Mar 20 2012: Can you elaborate why the freight industry is slow to adopt natural gas if at all. Also, why is there political opposition to using natural gas as a bridge fuel when it seems like such a great alternative in terms of environmental safety and foreign security?
    • Mar 20 2012: It has been a classic chicken and egg scenario but that is changing rapidly. The economics of natural gas -- $1.50 per gallon cheaper -- cannot be ignored.
    • Mar 20 2012: Engine sizes have been a problem - but Westport should be tackling that challenge in short order.
  • Mar 20 2012: In other countries that have already gotten into natural gas as a fuel for transportation, the market drives this movement mostly because it's actually cheaper. I believe that an energy plan is definitely desireable to push this move harder, but the natural market is capable of moving ahead by itself because consumers enjoy the very low pricing that it has. A normal combustion engine requires very little modification to use this fuel and the savings are very considerable.
  • Mar 20 2012: I am a Libertarian who is going off grid with my own power gen system. I know I will need propane or CNG for the Refrigerator , range and hot water. My question is if a majority of Americans took this self reliant approach could we as a nation only use CNG with the reduced demand on the grid?
  • Mar 20 2012: Has anyone figured out how to mine methane hydrates? Are the majors mining any yet?
  • Mar 20 2012: Sir, in your experience, have you been able to determine if we as humans are becoming more energy efficient per capita as we develop (hence making investment in energy ore focused on efficiency rather than plain output) or is the growing population also growing its per capita energy demands?
  • Mar 20 2012: Thanks for encouraging a sensible approach to our energy problems , i m asking about your plan towards developing countries
  • Mar 20 2012: With GM who just came out with their commercial EV charging station, Chevy who came with the Volt, and other car makers coming out with electric vehicles, doesn't it seem that we moving toward fueling our transportation with electricity? Therefore, wouldn't investing in smart grid technology and sustainable energy solutions would be smarter than investing in natural gas? With the environmental concerns of fracking and the consumer trend toward electric/hybrid vehicles, I just do not see how natural gas can be considered a bridge fuel. Can you please expand on that topic? Thank you.
    • Mar 20 2012: The electricity for the electric cars has to come from somewhere. Renewables only run 30% of the time so they have to be baseloaded with a fossil fuel. Would you prefer coal or natural gas?

      I agree the light duty vehicles will have a battery component but it is still years away. Why don't we start making progress today with the heavy duty vehicles.
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        Mar 20 2012: Only some renewables are 30% of the time, the core of the earth doesn't stop producing geothermal for 70% of the day, the power of the ocean doesn't just vanish 70% of the time, those should become our baselines, most people live with in 100 miles of a shore line anyways. you offer a bandaid for the heavy trucking industry, something that is poorly designed to begin with. look beyond the short fixes.
    • Mar 20 2012: Most baseload electricty today comes from coal so today electric cars are coal cars. Further in the future alot of electricity will be generated by nat gas turbines - if you burn nat gas to generate electrcity then send it down a power line, you will have ~30% line losses. If you burn nat gas in your vehcile, you don't have line losses - nat gas doesn't escape from a pipeline.
  • Mar 20 2012: Any interest in converting ships to run on LNG? I understand it is cheaper than bunker fuel and lighter.
  • Mar 20 2012: Would you say we have a transportation problem? If so, would it be ideal not only to work on finding a solution to our energy independence, but also to our energy consumption?

    What if we could work on better infrastructures that would facilitate transportation? Mass transportation systems are an option, but I'm sure there are better solutions out there.

    [Just an idea]
    What if cities were engineered/designed to encourage less transportation...
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    Mar 20 2012: Natural gas is directly related to petroleum deposits unless we are talking about methane digestors and we make our own natural gas-- so which is it we are talking about? Natural gas deposits or methane production? We don't need to push any more rampant, consumptive and irresponsible industries that are all about $$$$$$$$$$$$, placating communities and whitewashing irrevocable damage and industrial development -- we need to learn that lesson yesterday.
  • Mar 20 2012: I am a proud Oklahoman and diehard O-State Cowboy, a staunch environmentalist and a proponent of natural gas. I see NG as a bridge fuel to a greener economy powered by solar, wind, nuclear and NG when needed. The problem is our inefficient grid system, which I believe can be supported by a fleet of electric cars as mini transformers / energy tanks and more efficient energy usage. My question is, regardless of your fracking record and expertise, do you believe the NG industry can function as a profitable and pragmatic replacement for the oil industry while protecting the environment even when cost-benefit analysis suggests not partaking in certain measures i.e. methane capture, leak-proof pipelines and leak-proof casings?
  • Mar 20 2012: Starting with fleets looks easier, but it failed for hybrids. When the Prius came out, people bought them and proved them, while taxi companies did not. Now taxis run prius a lot. Make it easy for folks to convert their cars, bring down the price of home fueling stations, and you will develop a groundswell and a movement. Then the fleets will be interested in change.
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    Mar 20 2012: Would, in your oppinion, an increased American demand for natural gas, reduce the need for burning it off?

    With Best Regards.
  • Mar 20 2012: The benefits of switching to a home grown source of energy (natural gas) are abundant - Job creation, keeping money at home, security, lower costs for consumers, etc... What are some of the drawbacks or downsides to making a switch to natural gas?
    • Mar 20 2012: Nothing is perfect but I don't see any drawbacks right now. It's cheaper, cleaner and abundant. And we own it. The only missing link is leadership in Washington.
      • Mar 20 2012: Why do you insist on leadership from Washington? Why not talk to Big Auto to start producing options, and to Big Oil to start supplying gas? People will buy them if they turn out to be cheaper to run. And do not allow any subsidies for any kind of fuel. Won't the market correct itself?
  • Mar 20 2012: The Pickens Plan website says that 1.7 million people agree, but the NAT GAS bill still failed on March 15th. You obviously have a chunk of grass root support and can get the attention of policy makers. What specifically are you hoping the Ted community will do? Is this a regrouping of the Pickens Plan with different people in the push for a success-full NAT GAS Act?
  • Mar 20 2012: Hey Boone, other countries, like Colombia, have already been pushing for natural gas in their transportation. Maybe you guys should take a look at what they've already done.
    • Mar 20 2012: I agree. In fact there are 13 million natural gas vehicles in the world and the US has 200,000. Yet we have more natural gas than anybody. If we don't use our own natural gas, we'll go down in history as the dumbest crowd to ever come to town.
  • Mar 20 2012: Hey Boone,

    I know this is off topic from your talk, but what are three tips you'd give young & ambitious entrepreneurs today?
    • Mar 20 2012: 1. Be prepared to convey the most complex issues in 5 minutes or less or you'll miss out on lots of opportunities.
      2. Don't ever try to figure out how much you are making by the hour - that is heartbreaking.
      3. Know what you're talking about.
      • Mar 20 2012: I like your response, may I share this quote on Facebook?
      • Mar 20 2012: Also don't fall victim to the aim aim aim syndrome.... Right Boone?
  • Mar 20 2012: I agree with the Plan to move towards CNG. Do you think it would be better served to convert autos over directly or convert the CNG to electricty. as the grid is already here. Would electric cars require too much of the excising grid??
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    Mar 20 2012: I have heard that there is an abundance of shale oil and natural gas under Canadian soil. Any idea on what kind of developments are pending in harnessing the same?
  • Mar 20 2012: Yesterday you mentioned starting with the semi truck transportation market to move to natural gas - what are their greatest challenges in doing so?
  • Mar 20 2012: Hello Mr. Pickens,

    If natural gas is to be the transitional energy source, which I believe is the right way to go for strategic reasons, how do you see the automotive industry transitioning in the meantime? Clearly the word "transition" means that something comes next. In that case, it would be tremendously wasteful to replace our automotive fueling infrastructure *twice* in the process of arriving at the next long-term solution. Do you see the market pushing the automotive industry through the transition with natural gas, or do we continue to use gasoline while the electrical generation and industrial power sectors transition through natural gas, and replace gasoline (in cars) with a longer-term solution once it becomes available (e.g. renewable electricity)?
    • Mar 20 2012: This is why I am focused on the commercial fleets. It only takes a few thousand stations to fuel the entire over the road program. Don't forget, the country has transitioned from one fuel to another several times (gasoline to diesel for trucks). I also want to remind everyone that the government is not going to pay for this transition. It is all done through market forces.
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  • Mar 20 2012: Mr. Pickens...I just want to say that I believe in your plan and would love to see it move forward. There is an abundance of natural gas in our country. We just need to promote its benefits, be aware of the need to proceed safely, and help educate. What is one thing that an individual can do to support this process?
  • Mar 20 2012: assuming this is just chat and not live conversation?
  • Mar 20 2012: Is this just a chatting convo or are people also able to hear a convo?
  • Mar 20 2012: Good question. Phi Alpha Brother. They don't do it because there has never been enough pressure to get an energy plan. So we just go along doing what we've always done. Keep in mind, the US does not have a state owned oil company. 70% of all oil in the world is in the hands of state owned oil companies so for the US it is totally market driven. We need more public pressure on Washington
    • Mar 20 2012: I thought it was because they seemed to think it costs a lotta money. At the previous meeting In Denmark (if recall well) It seemed like The US government didn't seem to care much about that. At least, the chinese delegation complained about them.
    • Mar 20 2012: "They don't do it because there has never been enough pressure to get an energy plan" --- with all your money and power why are you NOT putting pressure on Washington to do something that makes more sense? Rather than allowing them to just "go along doing what we've always done" you, one who wants to envoke change should assist with just that. Change - for the better.. not linear.
  • Mar 20 2012: Hello. I watched your TedTalk yesterday and let me say that I enjoyed it. You mentioned that you are concerned about the environment and that Natural Gas is a bridge fuel between crude oil and whatever is next. What are some other steps that you feel need to be taken to effectively reduce global warming?
    • Mar 20 2012: My primary goal is national security as it relates to OPEC oil. Natural gas is cleaner so the global warming benefit is important but secondary to my goals. Clearly renewables will have an impact on global warming and gas will be part of that solution.
  • Mar 20 2012: Like the idea to have an energy plan and step by step approach before the old market is completely replaced by the new. Wonder who are the big players practical and potential in the policy maker's mind. He seems a down to earth, seasoned enough southern fellow who knows what he's doing - T. Boone Pickens. However, news today says Germany is offering $263 billion on wind power innovations. “Germany is like a big energy laboratory,” Reimelt said in an interview. “The country has a political and societal consensus to drop nuclear power but lacks a clear technological solution.” What is your take on the Germany's new move, Mr.Pickens?

    News link: http://globalenergysecurity.blogspot.ca/
    • Mar 20 2012: Germany has to have the power, they do not have oil and gas like the US does. So they look to the Russians to import natural gas and they don't want to be overly dependent on Russia so they look to wind. It's a national security issue.
      • Mar 20 2012: Technically speaking, there's a chance that could work for Germany in spite of the fact that the unstable player, the natural phenomenon like wind, would or would not corporate with them?
  • Mar 20 2012: Hi. Boone Pickens here. Ready to take your questions.
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      • Mar 20 2012: A recent PBS program, 'Frontline' , discusses this at length. Probably available online at PBS. They note that in their move away from nuclear power, they need a 'bridge' fuel to get there. They said their bridge fuel is natural gas.