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Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens claimed to have convinced the head of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to consider the possibility of switching the fuel for the retailer's fleet of delivery trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas.
Wal-Mart officials confirmed that Pickens was a guest speaker at a monthly associates meeting Sept. 13 in Bentonville, Ark., with the company's chief executive Lee Scott and thousands of employees.
In a weekly email update that promotes wind power and the use of natural gas for transportation to cut U.S. reliance on imported crude, Pickens said Wal-Mart's Scott was "impressed by the Pickens Plan."
According to Scott Pickens, Scott asked a Wal-Mart executive to study what would be involved in replacing the retailer's fleet of 8,500 trucks with vehicles that run on natural gas. "To have America's largest retailer looking into shifting their trucking fleet to run on natural gas is a major step towards our country's energy independence," Pickens said in his email newsletter.
The merchant has already launched a variety of efforts to meet Scott's goal of reducing his company's energy consumption and waste while increasing its recycling efforts. Switching to compressed natural gas is one of many ideas the company is reviewing to meet its efficiency and renewable targets, said Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter.