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In Memoriam, T. Boone Pickens

NGVAmerica salutes the life and legacy of Mr. T. Boone Pickens.

A former chairman (1992-1993) and active member of NGVAmerica’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Pickens’ longtime advocacy and support led to the early growth and development of the natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry.

Pickens with then President George HW Bush and future President George W Bush demonstrating the ease of NGV refueling systems at his home in Texas (September 1991).

His endless passion, energy, and entrepreneurship laid the groundwork for the alternative fuel vehicle revolution.

In 1988, Pickens recognized that American natural gas was a cleaner, less expensive transportation fuel and that the most impactful conversion would be with commercial fleet trucks and buses that consume high volumes of diesel and gasoline, much of which comes from foreign countries.

In 1997, he founded Pickens Fuel Corporation, the predecessor company to Clean Energy Fuels. Today Clean Energy operates over 530 natural gas fueling stations in 43 states and Canada. Previously Pickens had founded Mesa Petroleum and was its CEO and Chairman for 40 years.

In July 2008, Mr. Pickens launched a self-funded, $100 million, grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing the United States’ crippling dependence on OPEC oil.

Pickens with future House Speaker Newt Gingrich at a Capitol Hill NGV Rally in 1991.

Pickens’ earlier backing of efforts in Southern California to address smog-forming and toxic emissions generated by medium- and heavy-duty trucks led to the establishment of clean air rules that would help power public and private fleets with clean natural gas as a transportation fuel: a fuel that continues to provide significant emission reductions, climate benefits and cost savings at the pump compared to diesel.

NGVAmerica salutes Mr. Pickens’ widely-recognized role as a leader in the NGV industry – along with his career-long, generous philanthropic work with charitable donations in excess of $1 billion – that has made our nation and this world a better place.