Go to navigation Go to content

T. Boone Pickens to speak at UM System’s first energy summit


Christian Basi

February 26, 2009

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, architect of the "Pickens Plan" to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, is the keynote speaker for a statewide Energy Summit hosted by the University of Missouri's four campuses April 22-23 in Columbia.

Pickens' keynote address is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day) in Jesse Hall Auditorium on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The speech is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, registration is required. To register, visit www.missourisummits.com.

Pickens is the founder and chairman of BP Capital Management, one of the nation's most successful energy-oriented investment funds. His Pickens Plan calls for revamping U.S. energy policy to harness domestic energy alternatives while promoting the development of new technologies for alternative energy.

Pickens elevated energy reform into the national debate during the 2008 presidential campaign, with both candidates using direct facts and statistics provided by the Pickens Plan on the campaign trail. Many aspects of the Pickens Plan were included in President Obama's stimulus package, including incentives for advancement of wind, solar, and other alternative energy sources and a new transmission grid. Taking advantage of abundant domestic alternative fuels like natural gas to reduce our country's staggering dependence on foreign oil, which has reached nearly 70 percent, remains a top priority of Mr. Pickens as he continues his call for a comprehensive energy plan.

University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee announced in December that the Energy Summit would be one of two statewide economic development forums spearheaded this year by the university's four campuses. The second summit, slated for Oct. 7-8 in Kansas City, will focus on biological and life sciences.

"We want to bring together our state's best researchers, faculty, companies, entrepreneurs, investors, federal and state agencies, students and others who can help our state assume a leadership role in achieving energy and health advances for this century," Forsee said. "Cultivating renewable energy sources and improving human health are important goals in their own right, but they also can play a huge role in advancing our state's economy by creating more jobs."

Pickens' speech kicks off an afternoon lineup of leading national energy experts at the Energy Summit. First-day speakers include:

  • Dale Klein, chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Joan Woodard, Ph.D., executive vice president and deputy laboratories director, nuclear weapons program, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Gary Rainwater, chairman, CEO and president, AmerenUE
  • Fredrick D. Palmer, senior vice president, Peabody Energy
  • Richard Sayre, director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Bob Dixon, incoming chair, Alliance to Save Energy Board
  • Bob Kruse, executive director of global vehicle engineering for hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries, General Motors
  • Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy
  • Michael Chesser, chairman and CEO, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L
  • Research officers from the University of Missouri System's four campuses

Day two of the Missouri Energy Summit will feature presentations and panel discussions by researchers invited from public and private universities across the state, governmental and nonprofit agencies, energy companies, and others.

Missouri's Energy Summit will be chaired by Missouri University of Science and Technology Chancellor John F. Carney III, and co-hosted by Chancellor Brady Deaton at MU. The October Missouri Biological and Life Sciences Summit will be chaired by Deaton and co-hosted by UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton.

More information about the event is available online at www.missourisummits.com.

Media credentials: Journalists interested in attending Pickens' speech or any other portion of the Missouri Energy Summit should contact the MU News Bureau at (573) 882-6211 to request media credentials. Reporters who register for credentials may pick up media passes at 329 Jesse Hall during the conference. They should bring identification as a media representative when they pick up their passes.