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T. Boone Pickens will speak at governor’s energy conference next month

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A Texas oilman pushing for America’s energy independence from foreign oil will give the keynote address next month at the first Governor’s Conference on Energy.

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens will speak on the evening of Oct. 13, during a three-day conference called by Gov. Bob McDonnell to examine the business of energy in the commonwealth. The governor will address the conference during a luncheon on that day.

“Virginia: The Energy Capital of the East Coast,” will be held Oct 12-14 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. 

Pickens started a grassroots movement in July, known as the Pickens Plan, which favors a transition to natural gas as the fuel of the future. More than 1.6 million people have shown support for his plan through a Pickens website. In his monthly update on the volume of foreign oil imports to the U.S, Pickens said in a press release Tuesday that the U.S. imported 63 percent of its oil, or 382 million barrels in August, sending about $29.3 billion to foreign countries. 

“We import more oil than any other country in the world. To make matters worse, 40 percent of that oil is from countries that are not friendly to us, meaning U.S. dollars are being sent to the Middle East to fund terrorists and the Taliban,” Pickens said in a statement circulated to news outlets by Business Wire.

Pickens comments were tamer in the press release the governor’s office put out Tuesday about the conference. “Gov. McDonnell understands that we have to get serious about our energy challenges, problems and opportunities in this country. It’s going to take leadership, new thinking, big ideas and serious innovation to achieve greater energy independence and help transition to a more sustainable and economical energy model. Conferences like this one are an important part of that effort, and I’m pleased to be a part of it. “

Sponsors include Virginia Commonwealth University, Dominion, Appalachian Power Co., Honeywell, Alpha Natural Resources, AGL Resources, Consol Energy/ CNX, API, and Johnson Controls.  The conference is being organized with the assistance of VCU, the Virginia Renewable Energy Association, the Virginia Sustainable Building Network, McGuireWoods Consulting, Dominion Virginia Power, ODEC and Virginia Natural Gas.


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