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Oklahoma Voices: Creating a National Energy Policy with T. Boone Pickens (Jan 12, 2009)
Last month, T. Boone Pickens kicked off the first annual Oklahoma Wind Energy Conference by delivering the keynote address. The man from Holdenville, who has made and lost and then made again fortunes in the oil and gas industry is now pushing for a substantive national energy policy. He has spent his own money to promote what has been dubbed "The Pickens Plan," a proposal that would use wind energy to create more electricity and divert natural gas supplies to use by motor vehicles.

Video of the Oklahoma Wind Energy Conference Keynote

The search for homegrown alternative sources of fuel initially focused on starch-based ethanol made from corn. But researchers are also working to make the fuel from non-food plants to create what's called cellulosic ethanol. One of the promising crops for this process is switchgrass. The perennial grass that is also naturally drought resistant and grows on marginal croplands, has become a star in the constellation of bio-fuels, especially after getting a mention in a presidential address. Former KGOU news director Scott Gurian took a tour of a large switchgrass test plot with the Noble Foundation's Steven Rhines late last summer. The foundation's acreage is one of the largest test fields in the nation.

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