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CNBC Exclusive: Pickens Targets Natural Gas Growth in China

Energy investor and financier Boone Pickens says natural gas is the biggest opportunity for his businesses in China now.

Speaking to Becky Quick in Beijing Wednesday, Pickens said one of the biggest things that struck him in his first trip to China was the sheer numbers of vehicles already powered by natural gas.

"Natural gas will be a side-by-side transportation fuel with diesel and gasoline," Pickens told "Squawk Box." "You're going to see the same thing in the United States too. It's cleaner, it's cheaper and it's a domestic fuel in the United States."

Pickens has already placed a bet on the natural gas market, taking Clean Energy Fuels public in May. The stock slumped after pricing below its expected range, but is up sharply in the past two weeks.

Shares of Clean Energy struggled at first because the story of the company is not fully understood, Pickens said, but more people are now finding out "and they like the story."

Moving away from energy, Pickens acknowledged he was approached to buy the Wall Street Journal, with Dow Jones facing a $5 billion takeover bid from News Corp., but he was "not at all" interested.

"I've got my hands full," he said.

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