Pickens Adds Propane to Plan

On June 10, 2009, at the Propane Days industry gathering in Washington, T. Boone Pickens and PERC President and CEO Roy Willis announced the addition of propane to the Pickens Plan—the broadly supported energy plan which, until now, has focused exclusively on natural gas and electricity from wind.

Introduced nearly a year ago, the goals of the Pickens Plan are to create new jobs by building capacity to generate up to 22 percent of American energy from wind, to provide incentives for homeowners and the owners of commercial buildings to upgrade their insulation and make other energy-saving improvements, and to develop domestic production of energy resources to replace imported oil.

Although Pickens originally only endorsed wind energy and natural gas infrastructure development to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign resources, propane's domestic availability makes it a natural fit for the proposal. "Propane, no question is ours," Pickens noted, referring to propane's domestic production. "It's a great fuel and we're gonna use it. We are Americans and we're gonna use American fuel."

The addition of propane to the short list of energy sources endorsed by the Pickens Plan is also a recognition of propane's favorable environmental profile when compared to traditional fossil fuels. On this point, Pickens was characteristically blunt, stating, "We can cut emissions of greenhouse gases today, this week, this weekend — by expanding our use of clean, low-carbon propane."

Occurring naturally as a result of natural gas processing and crude oil refining, 95 percent of propane is produced in North America, the majority of it from domestically produced natural gas. Yet, despite the environmental and domestic advantages of propane, advocates have often observed its omission in the national energy conversation.

With the inclusion of propane, the Pickens Plan expands its relevance to homes and businesses located beyond natural gas lines, as well as to industries using equipment that can be fueled by propane, such as mowers, trimmers, generators, farm irrigation equipment, and light trucks. Material-handling vehicles and equipment, such as forklifts, have been increasingly fueled by propane in recent years.

For more information about the Pickens Plan, visit www.pickensplan.com.

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