Presidential Keynote Speaker T. Boone Pickens, chairman and CEO of BP Capital Management, spoke to WASTECON attendees today about the Pickens Plan, a collection of coordinated steps that together form a comprehensive approach to America's energy needs.
Mr. Pickens has had a long career in the energy industry, beginning in 1951 with Phillips Petroleum Co. in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. After three and a half years, he struck out on his own and founded Mesa Petroleum in 1956. Pickens’ career at Mesa spanned four decades and saw Mesa grow to become one of the largest and most well known independent exploration and production companies in the United States. He left the company in 1996 and aimed his attention at lessening the United States’ dependence on foreign oil. In 1997 he formed the Pickens Fuel Corp., later reincorporated as Clean Energy, which now owns and operates natural gas fueling stations from British Columbia to the Mexican border.
The Pickens Plan was introduced in July 2008 and currently has 1.6 million supporters, including influential businessmen and members of Congress. The plan envisions a major shift from an energy system that is currently highly dependent on imported foreign oil to one that would rely mainly on domestic natural gas and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Mr. Pickens is supporting legislation H.R 1834 and S. 1408 that would require most long haul trucks to convert to natural gas and would also provide tax credits of $65,000 per truck to help defray some of the costs of that transition.
“The Pickens Plan could create a significant new market for landfill methane’s use as a vehicle fuel,” said John H. Skinner, SWANA’s Executive Director and CEO. “Waste-to-energy facilities could also play an important role in moving the energy system towards renewable energy supplies,” Skinner added.
Pickens encouraged WASTECON attendees to join the New Energy Army and show their support for reducing the United States’ dependence on foreign oil.
“You (SWANA) are looked on as a leader in your field,” said Pickens. “Any kind of leadership statement that you can make; it helps.”
Pickens’ presentation followed the WASTECON 2009 Lawrence Lecturer, Dr. Enzo Favoino, who shared with attendees the strategies and programs for managing organic wastes that have been successful in Europe. Favoino is the leader of the Department on Composting and Integrated Waste Management with Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza, Italy, as well as a member of the Board of ECN-European Compost Network and the Chair of the Working Group on Biological Treatment for the International Solid Waste Association.
At the Annual Business Meeting, the 2010 International Board officers were announced. Carl Newby of Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, now the Past President, officially handed over the gavel to John Hadfield, SWANA’s 2010 President. Sara Bixby of South Central Iowa Solid Waste Agency became Vice President, James Warner of Lancaster County Solid Waste Authority became Treasurer and Anne Germain of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority became Secretary.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For close to 60 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.