T.Boone Pickens, the new Ross Perot

September 10, 2008

When you see Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens spend millions of dollars on television ads warning Americans about the danger of oil dependency it can mean only one of two things, either we are in deep trouble or Mr. Pickens is running for something. In the ads Pickens tells viewers that we are annually sending to the Middle East and other countries over $ 700 billion of our national wealth because quite simply we are addicted to oil and have not developed a policy of alternative energy. Pickens has a plan, which includes natural gas ( which we have a lot of ) along with wind and solar ( which are in endless supply ). He says nothing about conservation, ethanol or a carbon tax.

Pickens is right that we are responsible for making desert sheikdoms some of the richest countries in the world, while we languish with a sluggish economy, a weak dollar, ever growing inflation and a trade deficit that is in the trillions. Like a good salesman, T. Boone is confident that he has the answer to our energy problems and like an angry father he lectures us on our addiction.

What’s with these billionaires from Texas? In the 80s it was Ross Perot with his charts showing how the economy was going to hell in a handbasket and how NAFTA would create that ” giant sucking sound”. Now this year a new Texan with a great sounding name is pushing George Bush off the center stage by presenting his own version of energy policy. The fact that a private citizen comes along with an energy proposal shows how vacant the Washington power center is and how the Bush White House has turned to cliches and false promises to solve our nation’s most critical domestic issue.

I must admit that I am a little wary of T. Boone Pickens, since he is the guy who supplied the cash to the Swift boat veterans, who then destroyed the reputation of John Kerry isn 2004 with slimy television spots. What’s worse Pickens said he would pay out $ 1 million to anyone who could disprove the Swifties. When a whole slew of people came forward to disprove the claims debunking Kerry’s heroism, Pickens renigged on the bet. Why should anyone listen to a guy who can’t keep a promise?

But one thing about Pickens, he does have it right about oil dependency and our failed national energy policy. But as it turns out ol’T. Boone wants Congress to give him tax breaks to build a wind farm in Texas, a farm that he will eventually be able to market around the country. This is no energy patriot, this is a business guy trying to make a buck.