Brokaw and Crow on Civilian Leadership

Tom Brokaw, legendary journalist with NBC News, and Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University, are my guests on this week’s episode of the Pickens Podcast. They have teamed up to build a world-class Public Service Academy to create a next-gen class of young Americans who want to change the arc of civilian service to America.

The idea is to produce civilian leadership in the same way we produce military leaders from West Point, Annapolis, and the other military service academies.

In the same way that attendance at a military academy is fully funded, students at the civilian academy are granted full scholarships – all the costs of attending. According to President Crow, that amounts to $35,000 for every out-of-state student per year. And in the same way, the students agree to serve two years in public service.

Tom Brokaw added that less than one percent of the population is in the active military and “sent into harm’s way.” He said that was undemocratic and the leadership institute will spread the concept of public service to a far broader segment of the population. That will allow civilians to make “some sacrifices” on behalf of the nation without having to join the military.

At ASU, the students train side-by-side with ROTC members to cross-pollinate between the civilians and military.

When the system is fully up and running, graduates of public service academies can add a dimension to the work that the military does with local populations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the subject of college education generally, President Crow said that 50% of young people who start college never finish. Half of those who have received Pell Grants (“a half-trillion dollars”) leave school with no degree and no certificate of any kind. This program, if adopted across the nation, can add thousands per year to the rolls of young people whose college career ended with success instead of failure.

Tune in for this important discussion about the future of higher education and the future of public service. Subscribe to the Pickens Podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes.


Oct 17 2016

A Service Academy for Civilians?

Oct 17, 2016

Legendary journalist Tom Brokaw and Arizona State University President Michael Crow have come up with a concept that deserves your attention. It’s certainly got mine. It’s called the Next Generation Service Corps, and it’s already up and running at Arizona State. Here are insights from Tom and Michael on this great idea.

Young people don’t feel a connection to our institutions. There’s a big disconnect with kids coming out of college. Our country must develop new forms of public service for young people who don’t attend a military academy. That’s what the Next Generation Service Corps addresses.

Can big state universities help get the idea of national service leadership off the ground? The answer is yes. Arizona State enrolled 100 students in the Next Generation Service Corps in year one and another 150 in year two. The target for the next class is 350.

Free college isn’t the answer. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and the Next Generation Service Corps recognizes that. Corps Members get full four-year scholarships, but once they graduate they spend several years in service to our country.

The biggest problem in higher education isn’t access. It’s completion. More than half the people who have started a college degree in the United States have no degree at all. They never finished. Corps Members are goal-oriented leaders with a mission in mind. It’s not a guarantee of a college degree, but it’s a big step.

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Oct 16 2016

FedEx and Clean Energy Celebrate New CNG Station in Oklahoma City

Oct 16, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA. – October 11, 2016 – The leaders of FedEx Corp, Clean Energy Fuels Corp., (NASDAQ: CLNE) and the State of Oklahoma cut a giant ribbon today to officially open a state-of-the art compressed natural gas (CNG) station that will allow over 100 FedEx Freight Class 8 trucks to use the convenience of fast-fueling as well as money-saving time-fueling. Also at today’s ceremony, Clean Energy announced that it expects to supply the station with its Redeem™ renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicle fuel in the near future. This will expand the use of Redeem, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 70% as compared to diesel, to yet another state and demonstrates the growing popularity of the fuel to meet companies’ and municipalities’ sustainability goals.

The event at the FedEx Freight Oklahoma City Service Center was attended by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith, Clean Energy co-founder Boone Pickens, and Clean Energy president and CEO Andrew Littlefair, as well as many other federal, state and local and industry officials.

“As one of the largest logistics companies in the world, FedEx does its homework when charting a new course and their decision to open up a major CNG fueling center was no different,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, CEO and president of Clean Energy. ““Led by Fred’s vision, the company has always had a commitment to operate on the highest sustainable level. Transitioning a portion of FedEx Freight’s fleet to a fuel that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions is another example of their leadership.”

FedEx purchased more than 100 CNG powered tractors and contracted Clean Energy to design build and maintain the station. The FedEx Freight facility includes a four-lane, fast-fill station as well as a time-fill station which has six zones and 18 hoses. The fueling station is estimated to dispense approximately 2.5 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) per year, and uses Clean Energy’s new CleanCNG™ compressors, which produce the cleanest downstream gas, ensuring cleaner combustion at the vehicle.

To kick off the event, NGVAmerica President Matt Godlewski presented the annual NGV Achievement Award to Michael Ducker, president and CEO of FedEx Freight for his company’s leadership in alternative fuel transportation.

“It was an honor for NGVAmerica to be at such an important event to recognize Mike Ducker and FedEx Freight for their commitment to natural gas fueling,” said Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica. “As we continue to advocate for the industry to legislators in Washington and businesses around the nation, it’s important that we can point to transportation service providers like FedEx Freight, as an example of leadership when it comes to reducing GHG emissions.”

Redeem™, often referred to as biomethane, reduces the impact on the environment because it is captured from sources like landfills and dairy farms before it is released into the atmosphere, turning that methane into a safe, useable fuel. Redeem™ is already offered in California, Oregon, and Texas and used by fleets in the refuse, transit and trucking industries. Renewable natural gas is available in commercial quantities today and can meet 100 percent of the fuel requirements of an 18-wheeler while achieving as much as a 70 percent greenhouse gas reduction. Clean Energy launched Redeem™ in 2013 and has rapidly increased sales as more fleets want to realize the significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) that Redeem™ offers as compared to diesel fuel

About Clean Energy
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) is the leading provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America. We build and operate CNG and LNG fueling stations; manufacture CNG and LNG equipment and technologies; develop RNG production facilities; and deliver more CNG, LNG and Redeem RNG fuel than any other company in the U.S. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including without limitation statements about amounts and types of natural gas fuel expected to be consumed and the benefits of natural gas relative to gasoline and diesel. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this press release and, unless otherwise required by law, Clean Energy undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Additionally, the reports and other documents Clean Energy files with the SEC (available at contain risk factors, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this news release.

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Sep 21 2016

Get smart on transportation and energy issues before Election Day!

Sep 21, 2016

In case you missed it, earlier this week T. Boone Pickens participated in a Transport Topics discussion presented by American Trucking Associations and Securing America’s Future Energy. The webcast featured Boone along with FedEx’s Fred Smith and Natural Gas Vehicles for America’s Matt Godlewski.

Listening to this insightful conversation is a great way to quickly get up to speed on current challenges and opportunities in the transportation and energy sectors and the important issues we should be thinking about as Election Day approaches.

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