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Billionaire Shares ‘Pickens Plan’ to Wean America Off Oil Imports

T. Boone Pickens shares with a Community Arts Center audience his plan to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.Billionaire “oil man” T. Boone Pickens, the founder of one of the largest independent oil companies in the United States and chair of B.P. Capital Management, spoke Friday at the Community Arts Center, where he advocated for what he feels are the virtues of natural gas as part of his “Pickens Plan.”

The energy plan aims to end the nation’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil, which Pickens says makes up 5 million of the 13 million barrels of oil the United States imports each day.

T. Boone Pickens shakes hands with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett during a roundtable discussion.The plan includes replacing foreign-oil use with American energy sources, including wind and solar. Pickens is pushing legislation in Congress that would provide a five-year tax incentive to companies that convert their 18-wheeler diesel fleets to natural gas. The move, he says, would quickly reduce the nation’s use of oil while “buying time” to develop technologies for other domestic energy sources.

In addition to a talk and question-and-answer session for the public, Pickens participated in an early-evening, invitation-only panel discussion with Gov. Tom Corbett; state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer; state Sen. Gene Yaw (also a member of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors); Rob Broen, president of Talisman Energy USA; Alan McKim, president of Clean Harbors Inc.; and Doug Miller, president of Exco Resources Inc.

Participants in a panel discussion are, from left, moderator Vince Matteo, president of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce; Alan McKim, president of Clean Harbors Inc.; state Sen. Gene Yaw; T. Boone Pickens; Gov. Tom Corbett; state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer; Doug Miller, president of Exco Resources Inc,; and Rob Broen, president of Talisman Energy USA.

The featured speaker greets Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour and her husband Fred, an alumnus and retired college faculty member.