mong the important mix of alternative fuels promoted by the Pickens plan, to assist in reducing the U.S.’s dependence on foreign oil, is now propane. Propane, which has been used in many small engines and is largely produced as a byproduct of natural gas, along with other important forms of energy such as solar, wind and bio-methane, will now play a bigger role in our nation’s battle for energy independence.

Introduced in July 2008 by T. Boone Pickens, the Pickens Plan is a comprehensive approach to ending America’s growing dependence on foreign oil, while also reducing the environmental impact of gasoline and diesel. Although propane hasn’t been a much publicized form of energy to this point, it could contribute to America’s energy independence.

Propane Truck

Propane powered truck. Picture courtesy of NREL.

“America has the opportunity today to reduce its dependence on foreign oil while protecting the environment by making the most of domestic energy sources,” commented Mr. Pickens concerning the use of propane.

Propane being an easily portable form of energy has been used for years in small engines such as in lawn mowers, generators and fork lifts. These engines are often small, but when powered with gasoline can release more harmful air emissions than an automobile. The continued and increased use of propane, a clean and domestic fuel, will help the U.S. to decrease its need for imported oil, which at present is more than 2/3 of the oil used domestically.

Propane, along with the use of powering automobiles and various forms of equipment is also an efficient source of energy for heating homes in the U.S., reducing heating costs and utilizing a less harmful alternative to oil. Over 97% of propane used by Americans is actually produced in the U.S.

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