T. Boone Pickens, known for The Pickens Plan which calls for increased use of natural gas in the U.S. in order to get the country off of expensive foreign oil imports, announced earlier this month that America’s Natural Gas Highway is now open coast-to-coast. Trucks utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG – find out more here) can now travel across the nation from one coast to the other and back again and have fueling points to keep them running.
The process has only taken about five years and has gone from one man’s idea to a national sea change. Boone calls the people working on this the Pickens Plan Army and now believes that heavy-duty vehicles running LNG will begin to proliferate in a big way, which will knock out a large chunk of petroleum use in the nation.
The map below shows the network so far, with all fueling points within range of one another so that a fully loaded 18-wheeler can stay fueled in a trip across country:
I have a website, GreenBigTruck.com (“green” as in eco-friendly, “big truck” is slang for anything with more than 2 axles), where I talk about the alternative fuel revolution happening in commercial vehicles.
In the video below, Pickens talks about the plan and this natural gas infrastructure and what he thinks will happen next. Love him or hate him, Pickens is having a big impact on the nation’s energy policy and cannot be ignored.
In the video, he mentions several things about the industry. It should be noted that the first production big rigs running on natural gas were delivered in May to a company in George (read about that here) and many others are ordering their rigs now (one large transportation company ordered 50 of them in one go). It’s a fast-changing world in commercial transportation!