November 1, 2008

Will Smiley hit the gas?

According to a Sept. 17 e-mail communiqué from the T. Boone Pickens organization, Wal-Mart Stores CEO H. Lee Scott has commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of converting the retailer's 8,500 trucks from diesel to natural gas.

By Mark B. Solomon

T. Boone Pickens may have gotten the biggest boost yet for his plan to meet 20 percent of the nation's electricity needs with wind power and use the natural gas saved in the process for transportation fuel. According to a Sept. 17 e-mail communiqué from the Pickens organization, Wal-Mart Stores CEO H. Lee Scott has commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of converting the retailer's 8,500 trucks from diesel to natural gas.

In the e-mail, the Pickens group confirmed that the oilman and alternative-energy entrepreneur had met with Scott and other Wal-Mart executives earlier in the month to outline details of his plan. Following the presentation, Scott ordered a study to explore the requirements and potential costs of converting Wal-Mart's dieselpowered fleet to compressed natural gas.

Wal-Mart executives did not return phone calls seeking comment.

More articles by Mark B. Solomon

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