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Pickens' natural-gas plan may prove boon to truck builders

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T. Boone Pickens, founder and chairman of Dallas-based BP Capital LLC, said converting the U.S. trucking industry to natural gas will benefit manufacturers including Columbus-based Cummins Inc. and Paccar Inc.’s Peterbilt.

Pickens wants buses and trucks that run on natural gas to replace the diesel and gasoline engines that some think contribute to global warming and increase U.S. oil imports that cost the country about $1 billion a day.

Legislation to spur investment in natural gas vehicles over diesel, which doubles a 2005 tax incentive, has enough support in the House and Senate to pass by the end of May, Pickens said Thursday during an interview in New York. Truck makers with natural gas technology will boost production when the bill passes.

“Kenworth’s got it, Peterbilt’s got it, Volvo, Cummins, they’ve all got it,” Pickens said. “This is going to happen.”

Peterbilt in August began taking orders for two new natural gas truck models made in Texas that use Cummins Westport engines. Cummins Westport is a venture with Westport Innovations Inc. Paccar, based in Bellevue, Wash., builds Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.

Sweden’s Volvo AB, the world’s second-largest truckmaker, also makes trucks that run on natural gas, as well as flex-fuel vehicles that use either gas or diesel, the company said on its Web site.

The bill offers tax credits to cover 80 percent of the added cost to buy natural gas-fueled vehicles over conventional engines. The credits would reach as high as $12,500 for passenger cars and light trucks and as much as $64,000 for heavy vehicles, according to a summary of the legislation. Filling station tax credits would be doubled to as much as $100,000.

There are more than 250 million vehicles on the road in the United States and, of those, 142,000 are powered by natural gas, Pickens said. Pickens, whose plan for autos would initially emphasize heavy-duty trucks, said he’d like to see 1.3 million trucks running on natural gas by 2014.

Pickens in 2008 started a $60 million promotion for a national energy plan that relies on domestically produced natural gas and wind energy to cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Now he’s focused on replacing fleet cars and trucks that run on gasoline with those that use cleaner-burning natural gas.

The Pickens measure has the support of Senator Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat and the majority leader, as well as Senators Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican.

Pickens said the investment in refueling stations would pay off in decreased dependence on oil from overseas. While a proliferation of natural-gas vehicles would raise the price of the fuel, he said it would still be cheaper than using gasoline or diesel.

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  • fracking
    Watch the Movie GASLAND its about Fracking and the damage it does
  • contact for T. Boone Pickens
    Can anyone provide a link that will get data to Mr. T. Boone Pickens? I am developing a system that will assist in his efforts to reduce the use of diesel, natural gas, or any type of fuel.
  • Fractoring
    I would like to know more about sending thousands of gallons of water into the earth to recover the natural gas and the dangers it will do to our drinking water.
    m

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    1. Now if he'd just stay there...

    2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

    3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

    4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

    5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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