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George Vlahakis
University Communications

Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Monday, August 24, 2009

T. Boone Pickens visiting IU Sept. 18 to discuss 'America's Foreign Oil Dependency Crisis'

Aug. 24, 2009

Editors: A 30-minute news conference with Pickens is set for 9:15 a.m. backstage at IU Auditorium. Proper media identification will be required when checking in at the north stage door. Reporters also will be welcome at his speech, which will begin at 10 a.m. Arrangements have been made for electronic media. Contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or for more information.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- T. Boone Pickens, one of America's most successful businessmen and the founder of an ambitious, self-funded grassroots campaign aimed at reducing the nation's dependence on imported oil, will speak at Indiana University Bloomington Sept. 18.

Boone Pickens

Photo by Boyd Harris Photographs

T. Boone Pickens

Print-Quality Photo

Pickens will be a guest of IU's Kelley School of Business and will speak to university students, faculty and guests at IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St. He also will meet with reporters beforehand. IU President Michael A. McRobbie will introduce Pickens. The title of his speech will be "America's Foreign Oil Dependency Crisis."

"At the Kelley School, we want our students to engage with the most compelling leaders in the world. T. Boone Pickens is certainly such a figure," said Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School of Business. "We are grateful to Gary Anderson, a member of the Kelley Dean's Council, for his help in bringing Mr. Pickens to IU.

"Mr. Pickens has accumulated an interesting set of facts related to sustainability and our nation's dependence on petroleum as well as feasible alternatives to fossil fuels as an energy source. I have read a number of essays by Mr. Pickens on this topic and am certain that this will be an extremely interesting and thought-provoking event," Smith said.

Bill Brown, IU's director of sustainability, added, "T. Boone Pickens brings a unique and valuable perspective to the campaign for wind energy and energy security as a former Texas oilman. This is a great opportunity for IU Bloomington students, faculty and staff to learn about the business case for clean energy from a businessman who has earned his fortune in the energy industry."

For four decades, Pickens led Mesa Petroleum, an independent oil company that he founded in 1956, which went on to become one of the nation's largest and most well known independent oil exploration and production companies.

He subsequently became one of the most successful investment fund operators with BP Capital Management, which is valued at more than $4 billion and is principally responsible for the formulation of the energy futures investment strategy of the BP Capital Commodity Fund and the BP Capital Equity Fund.

The Holdenville, Okla., native also aggressively pursues a wide range of other business interests, from water marketing and ranch development initiatives to Clean Energy, a company he founded (he is also the company's largest shareholder). Through Mesa Water, Pickens is the largest private holder of permitted groundwater rights in the United States. Clean Energy is advancing the use of natural gas as a cleaner-burning and more cost-effective transportation fuel alternative to gasoline and diesel.

In 2008, Pickens launched a $58 million national advertising campaign to promote his energy plan, which also promotes building new wind generation facilities to produce 20 percent of America's electricity and using its domestic natural gas supply as transportation and power generation fuels. More information about the Pickens Plan is available at

Coined by CNBC as the "Oracle of Oil, " Pickens also is the author of several books, including a 2008 New York Times bestseller, The First Billion is the Hardest, in which he details what America must do to win back its energy independence. The book will be released as a paperback on Sept. 9.

His many professional honors include membership in the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In 1998, Oil & Gas Investor listed him as one of the "100 Most Influential People of the Petroleum Century." He was named one of world's 100 most influential people in 2009 by Time magazine.