T. Boone Pickens’ Big Plan

March/02/2012 16:52PM
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T. Boone Pickens is a very smart man. He has made billions by being on the right side of most options. He is both right and wrong on is idea to push CNG into the transportation fuel segment. It’s a good idea, no question about it. But, he wants billions of your tax dollars transferred to push the idea faster. Boone’s getting old. He doesn’t want to wait to let the marketplace get this done.

With gasoline at 5 times the cost of natural gas on a BTU equivalent, and even higher with diesel fuel, the incentive is there. Let Obama shove incentives into electric cars, wind, and solar. Let the diesel users do it on their own. The costs are not prohibitive. It will start first with local fleets that fuel at a central facility. They can convert those fleets to CNG and put in a fueling station and get a quick payback with the cost incentive.

Next, let the big over-the-road truckers go at it. Their fueling technology is very sophisticated. They track the lowest diesel prices and notify drivers where to fuel as they drive. The truck stops across the country are very competitive and will go fast to capture the CNG business quickly. It’s a low cost conversion. Even Pickens only wants them(truck stops) to get a $100,000 tax credit. That’s chump change to a truck stop. He who gets there first gets the business. Someone else’s business in many cases.

Next, let the car companies jump in. Honda has, and will produce the first factory CNG vehicle. Buyers, like truckers will invest in the in-home fueling stations.

Finally, let the retail gasoline outlets do their things. The company I worked for raced to be the first to invest in unleaded regular gasoline at a cost of millions of dollars. We had been the first with unleaded premium and the first with mid-grade unleaded giving up leaded regular to get there. All were good decisions from both a consumer and financial perspective. It created a long-running competitive advantage.

My advice to Pickens, should I be so presumptive, just keep working out like you do and taking good care of yourself and it will happen in your lifetime without you giving up your capitalistic principles.

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