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Speaking at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition last month, Texas oilman turned clean energy crusader T. Boone Pickens related an incident that occurred while he was listening to a focus group that tested ads promoting his plan to wean the United States off imported oil. One of the participants asked, “Is this guy terminal? Is he going to die, and trying to fix it before he goes?” On another occasion, he said, a reporter asked him if he was “kind of repenting” (presumably for the crime of membership in Big Oil) by promoting wind farms and a high-tech, expanded electrical grid after spending decades engineering oil and gas deals. Such seems to be the state of public discourse in the US with regard to energy; you can’t be for renewable energy without being against oil and gas. It’s an assumption that, for those who hold it, renders incomprehensible the Pickens Plan’s dual focus on increased electricity from wind and increased Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for transportation. And—although Pickens assured his AAPG audience that he is in regular contact with the Obama administration and that he and the president have similar energy goals for the US—it

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