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

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 on Sept. 18 at 10 a.m.

Boone Pickens

Photo by Boyd Harris Photographs

T. Boone Pickens

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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."

Pickens' speech will be presented live on the Internet at An archived videostream of the speech will be available online by Sept. 22.

"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," said Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School of Business. "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."

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.