T. Boone Pickens Promises to “Call Out Special Interests” That Oppose His Special Interest

by William Yeatman on January 31, 2012

in Blog

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It’s wholly untrue to claim that President Barack Obama is picking and choosing winners in the energy industry, because this administration seems to only pick losers…

…Like the Pickens Plan. Last week, in the immediate wake of a populist State of the Union address, President Barack Obama threw his weight behind H.R. 1380, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (a.k.a., the NAT GAS Act, a.k.a., “The T. Boone Pickens Earmark Bill,” a.k.a., the “Pickens-Your-Pocket Boondoggle Bill,” a.k.a the “Billionaire’s Bailout.” This legislation was written by billionaire natural gas magnate T. Boone Pickens, in order to compel Americans to use more natural gas, and thereby further pad Pickens’s pockets.

The NATGAS Act would be an unprecedented special interest giveaway. I cannot recall legislation pitched by a billionaire for the benefit of that billionaire. So my jaw hit the floor when I read Pickens’s press release applauding the President’s decision to pick the Pickens Plan, in which “legendary energy executive T. Boone Pickens” says:

“While Washington appears to now understand the issue, make no mistake. I will continue to be outspoken on this subject, and continue to call out the special interests that are working to undermine this bold and important agenda.”

What chutzpah! T. Boone is the ultimate special interest. He’s the king of rent-seekers. Most industries work through their trade associations to enact policies that tilt the playing field in their favor; T. Boone, on the other hand, is a one-man show. He’s personally financing the jingoistic advertisements supporting the NATGAS Act. He’s personally lobbying the Congress and the President. The legislation is known as the PICKENS Plan—it is effectively named after a billionaire, its author. T. Boone claiming that he will continue to call out “special interests” is like O.J. Simpson promising to find the murderer.


Bill Yarber January 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I’m not sure what you have against switching our transportation fleet to natural gas (NG) other than T. Boone is the most vocal and visible promoter. Because crude is fungible and NG is land locked, the current relative value of NG is significantly below the 6:1 BTU ratio between crude ($100/barrel) and NG ($2.50/1,000 cubic feet). Our transportaion fleet, primarily the long haul truckers, comsumes 40%+ of the crude oil our country consumes, or nearly 80% of the crude oil we import every year. Running our transportation fleet on primarily NG will significantly benefit the US economy: reduce our energy costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create domestic, high paying jobs – all of which our country desparately needs. So tell me, why are you so dumb you can’t see the benefits of domesticly produced NG over foreign oil?

Bill Yarber

WILLIAM WRIGHT January 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I agree 100% with Mr. Yarber. The ultra conservative dumbass Republicans are the party of the rich so how can they criticize Pickens? You are against abortion but support handguns, you are anti-gay but supported Senator Craig, you are for family values but support Gingrich, you criticize President Obama on jobs but you won’t allow a vote on the Nat. Gas Act which would not only create multiple high-paying jobs but also foster a renewed spirit of optimism in OUR country.

William Yeatman January 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I am “for” abortion, in that I’m pro-choice. I didn’t support Sen. Craig, as I don’t support either party. I love guns, but I don’t have any, and I haven’t fired one since camp. I hate Gingrich. I like family values. I am radically pro gay. I criticize Obama, for supporting the Billionaire’s Bailout.

crikescrikes February 1, 2012 at 1:55 am

To those against Pickens lobbying for nat gas: Would your opinion be different if it was a “poor” person that was convincing Americans to use more nat gas?? The nat gas act is great for our economy and for our environment, and it doesn’t matter who is lobbying for it. In most cases, the rich are the ones who create lots of jobs that help poor people move into the middle class. Are those who are against everything that Pickens does just envious that he has billions. The American way is to look for opportunities, and a great opportunity would be to buy nat gas companies like wprt, clne, cmi, fsys. — instead of complaining about everything.

chickiebid February 1, 2012 at 6:06 am

Why does abortion and handguns always come up when there is a discussion about energy policy?

jes February 1, 2012 at 8:36 am

The only special interest T. Boone Pickens has is to help this country get off of foreign oil. Why can’t liberals see this? I guess it’s because selfishness is blinding. Here’s a fact that might help you to see: H.R. 1380 & S.1863 are intended to (at first) get big rig trucks off diesel and on to LNG. Just the savings from “not buying” OPEC oil to run these trucks is close to a $trillion a year. wwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaakkkkkkkeeeeeee uuuuuuuuuuupppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Mumford February 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

Governments, private industries and individuals all share the responsibility to advance agendas that they feel will benefit society. Then voters and consumers get to choose. While you have made a strong vote against the transition to Natgas for transportation being supported by the Natgas Act I haven’t heard if you advocate an alternative plan or if you support the status quo. We both agree the correct course is to let the market decide. Mr. Pickens is simply doing his best job to influence the market. As are you.

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