T. Boone Pickens, oil man, billionaire, philanthropist, financier and outspoken advocate for energy independence, will hold a "town hall" meeting in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development Auditorium of the University of Arkansas, from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Monday, April 6. Pickens, who has become widely known for his "white board" presentations on the national energy crisis, will answer questions from the audience during the session. Denise Bode, president of the American Wind Energy Association and a partner in Pickens' energy campaign, will also attend the presentation.
The event is sponsored by the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. in conjunction with the Supply Chain Management Research Center and the Applied Sustainability Center at Walton College.
This town hall meeting is free and open to the public. Overflow seating will be available in rooms 103 and 111 of the Reynolds Center and the First Security Auditorium of Willard Walker Hall. A rebroadcast of the event will also be available on the Web. No login will be required
In July 2008, Pickens launched an ambitious, self-funded grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing the United States' dependence on imported oil. He has promoted this campaign in television ads, on his PickensPlan.com Web site, and in personal appearances. Pickens says dependence on foreign oil is an addiction that threatens the U.S. economy, environment and national security, and he offers a plan to achieve energy independence.
Pickens latest business interests reflect his new concerns: Mesa Power is planning the world's largest wind farm in the Texas panhandle; Clean Energy, which went public in 2007, is advancing the use of natural gas as an alternative to gasoline and diesel; and Mesa Water, the largest private holder of permitted groundwater rights in the United States.
Pickens earned a degree in geology from what is now Oklahoma State University. In 1956 he founded the company that has evolved into Mesa Petroleum, one of the largest independent exploration and production companies in the United States.
Pickens is also founder and chairman of BP Capital Management, one of the nation's most successful energy-oriented investment funds.