Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens picks natural gas. What happened to wind, solar and oil?

May 4, 2011

Three years ago, oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens was the darling of the green movement–an oil-baron-turned-environmentalist, who, as then Sierra Club Director Carl Pope put it, was "out to save America." At the time, Pickens was touting an ambitious plan to wean the U.S. off foreign oil by building a $1 trillion network of wind farms to replace domestic natural gas used to generate electricity and use that excess compressed natural gas to power American trucks and cars. The plan fizzled out in a year or so, but now Pickens is back on the clean energy stage, this time with a plan that might not be as green and relies on some controversial methods of natural gas extraction. President Obama is a fan, as are several legislators who have introduced a bill in the House that would provide tax credits for cars and trucks that convert to compressed natural gas. But is the plan what's best for the environment, for the U.S. economy or for T. Boone Pickens?

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