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T. Boone Pickens, Popular Man

By Michael D. Shear
Talk about odd couples.

T. Boone Pickens, the oilman turned environmental crusader, met this morning with Republican presidential nominee John McCain for an hour-and-a-half, using the time to peddle his Pickens Plan for energy independence.

"It was good meeting. It was very relaxed," Pickens said afterward. "I presented the Pickens Plan to him. It was a free flow of questions and answers."

But less than two hours later, Pickens was the featured guest on a conference call with Senate Majority Leader Harry S. Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate's top Democrat, praising Reid's environmental work and pledging to work hand-in-hand at an upcoming environmental summit.

"Who would have thought last year that T. Boone Pickens and Sen. Harry Reid would be in a boat pulling that oar the same way?" Reid joked on the conference call with reporters.

Who indeed?

McCain and Pickens are of a mind on oil drilling; both want to expand drilling off the U.S. coast to reduce reliance on foreign sources, though Pickens supports drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, while McCain does not.

Pickens is also a big proponent of alternative forms of energy, such as wind power. McCain has expressed support for renewable energy, but has also voted against tax credits that the young industries have deemed critical.

McCain and Pickens, a billionaire, met for breakfast at the Aspen Institute, where McCain and his team arrived to film television commercials.

Following the meeting, Pickens declined to compare McCain's commitment to his proposals with Sen. Barack Obama's. Pickens said he is scheduled to sit down with Obama on Sunday.

But Pickens said he was impressed that McCain was "very sensitive to security, and importing 70 percent of our oil now is a security question."

During the conference call with Reid, Pickens sang the praises of natural gas, saying that powering automobiles by natural gas would provide a bridge to even cleaner technologies in the future. He also urged a greater use of nuclear power.

And he said that he will seek to make energy the number one issue in the campaign this year.

"There's no question that this is uppermost in the minds of the American people and it has to be addressed in this presidential campaign," he said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 15, 2008; 5:54 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
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drill, drill, drill stop buying from brutal killers, wind won't fix any thing stop the demacratic leaders from saving something that will someday be a second or third choice!!! build more nuclear power plants and all other energy forms such as wind,wave and bio fuels natural gas heats our home and this has went way up in price and will only rise more if they use it for transportion,the russian are know starting to so the world they have the oil and gas and will turn off the flow if they don't get there way, wake up AMERICA

Posted by: linwood | August 17, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I can hardly believe Mr. Pickens was behind the Swift Boat stuff. Now I think his energy plan needs implementing immediately. He's certainly at ease with the dynamics of doing it, paying for it, and letting distribution make sense. Using natural gas to fuel trucks and leaving cars to gradually morph more to hybrids really solves one of my major problems. I don't think I can buy another car. Maybe I could retrofit my geriatric mercedes but I don't think I have got the resources for the environmentally more correct models. This probably isn't going to change for the better. So if Mr. Pickens can retrofit the trucking industry and let the gasoline dependent generation sort of die off, good thinking. And private money can pay for it all? Let's go!!!

Posted by: Gaias Child | August 16, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

We have to start somewhere and What he was saying is that we currently have natural gas technology fueling some cares, even HYDROGEN now in CA, What Obama has said is we the technology to be accessible, YES that means taxes, but that means good paying jobs.
WE can do this with Obama
He will bring people together, that is his niche!!

Posted by: Obama supporter from Illinois | August 16, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

T. Boone Pickens = Slimeball Swiftboater

This nutjob was the guy to fund all those Swiftboat lies.

What's his plan to steal the election for the Extremist Republican's this year?

Posted by: Anonymous

This is your typical Barry cult member

post. No intelligence, just insults. And of

course, no name for the coward who posted.

Pretty much like Barry.

Posted by: Jack Straw | August 16, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I have been looking into the Pickens Plan, and while I agree on the wind power. I'm not sure about going to natural gas for vehicles. That seems like trading one master (oil) for another master (natural gas). Neither one of these energy sources are renewable. Why not invest in renewable vehicle fuel?

Also, it's kind of hard to see Pickens are anything but a fat-cat trying to secure some more billions for his fat-cat friends and his children.

Posted by: Shannon | August 15, 2008 10:01 PM


Why? Because a vehicle that can depend solely on electricty or any other renewable source of energy is years awy from being main stream and affordable for regular folks like you and me.

Do not fall into the trap of having to choose one option over the other. There is no one true answer to solve the US energy depndence. The only solution is a "all of the above."

We need more renewable energy, yes, but while we work towards that goal, the use of oil, gas, nuclear in the US and the owrld will only increase (since the population will increase), hence we need to drill more until we can make renewables affordable for all, at the home, in the car, in the office, etc.

Posted by: Vic | August 16, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I have been looking into the Pickens Plan, and while I agree on the wind power. I'm not sure about going to natural gas for vehicles. That seems like trading one master (oil) for another master (natural gas). Neither one of these energy sources are renewable. Why not invest in renewable vehicle fuel?

Also, it's kind of hard to see Pickens are anything but a fat-cat trying to secure some more billions for his fat-cat friends and his children.

Posted by: Shannon | August 15, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Harry Reid is sincere and not using T. Boone Pickens for political cover because besides being in favor of wind and solar, Pickens is in favor of drilling everywhere. I hope that Reid will use his meeting with Pickens as a reason to drop his implausible opposition to opening up more areas for drilling and exploration.

Barack Obama dropped Pickens' name awhile ago as if it would increase his credibility on the energy issue. I hope for the best but I fear that Reid and Obama are just using Pickens for political cover without altering their views on domestic drilling and exploration.

Pickens may turn out to be another Ross Perot and not in a good way.

Posted by: danielhancock | August 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

isn't this one of the signs of the apocolypse?

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 15, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

So I heard John McCain met with T. Boon Pickens this morning
and it seems that McCain will be adopting the Pickens Plan?
I wonder if a vice president Pickens is in the works.

Posted by: John | August 15, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"America. Sh*t. I'm still only in America. Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the desert. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my girl, until I said 'yes' to our break-up. When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the desert. I'm here a week now. I'm waiting for a mission - getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker. And every minute the Hadji squats in the desert, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter."

Posted by: Capt. Willard | August 15, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"Because there's a conflict in every human heart between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes the Dark Side overcomes what Lincoln called 'the better angels of our nature.' Every man has got a breaking point. You and I have. Capt. John McCain has reached his. And very obviously, he has gone insane."

Posted by: Col. Kurtz | August 15, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream, it's my nightmare. Crawling, slipping along the edge of a straight razor and surviving....But we must kill them, we must incinerate them, pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army, and they call me an assassin. What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin? They lie. They lie and we have to be merciful for those who lie, for those nabobs. I hate them. I do hate them." -- One of the most outstanding officers ever produced by the US Army, yet somehow...

Posted by: Col. Kurtz | August 15, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The Republican's ongoing war to wedge yet another massive corporate giveaway into the remaining months of Bush's abominable presidency, is that faster extraction of our domestic oil supply -- even if it actually happened, which isn't at all clear -- isn't just an environmental consideration, but a serious energy and national security question.

Put simply: we know oil is peaking. Unless you're a nutcase like Jerome Corsi, who believes oil comes from underground Jesus factories or the like, everyone can agree that there's never going to be more of it. Prices are going to continue to fluctuate wildly based on world events and speculation, but it's always going to be trending up. And as the years go by, more and more oilfields are going to pass their peak production, then dwindle, then run dry, and prices are going to start skyrocketing to an extent that makes our current bubble look like child's play.

It's that time, a few decades from now, that things are going to get dicey, especially if we haven't weaned ourselves substantially from oil by then. It's that time that's got experts worried, from economists to the Pentagon, as the nations of the world fight (probably quite literally) for the last large supplies of the black stuff. Other countries are planning for it: Middle Eastern nations are going to great lengths to invest their current oil profits into diversifying their economies, creating business, shipping and tourist havens. America? In general, we're not doing squat. We're doing worse than squat, because the Republicans and the current administration are actively opposed to any energy policy that does not revolve around momentary profits for the large oil companies. It's the Grasshopper and the Ant, being played out on the floor of the House of Representatives.

As a matter of policy, however, I think we should be able to agree on a few key things. First: when the oil crunch comes, we want to be one of the last countries to run out of domestic supplies. We want to still have untapped oil in Alaska, California, the Gulf, etc. after the fields of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq run dry. If we're going to go begging because of lack of planning, better to beg at our own doorstep than in the future hotspots of the world. And has been pointed out repeatedly, those domestic supplies aren't very large to begin with.

Second, the longer that oil sits underground, the more valuable it becomes. Forget $4.00 gasoline -- what about $10.00? $20.00? If we're really ever going to be forced to drill in pristine areas, it'd be better to do it when gasoline is $500 a barrel than $200. And we'll be able to extract much more stringent environmental protections from the companies, as well as better lease rates, etc. That oil is our piggy bank -- yours and mine. It doesn't belong to Exxon, or Chevron, or anyone else until and unless we hand it over, which is what the Republicans are bound and determined to do.

Our coastlines aren't just pretty to look at. They're also a vast Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We'd do ourselves well not to worsen our future oil deficit at the same time we've so badly mismanaged the rest of the nation's finances.

Posted by: Bush + Cheney = McCain | August 15, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

T. Boone Pickens = Slimeball Swiftboater

This nutjob was the guy to fund all those Swiftboat lies.

What's his plan to steal the election for the Extremist Republican's this year?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have us at war in two countries as a result of Republican lies and deceptions, and we might be in two more wars--Iran and Pakistan--by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of the rest.

The dollar has lost 60% of its value against the euro, and the once mighty dollar is losing its reserve currency role.

The Republicans' policies have driven up the price of both oil and gold by 400%.

Inflation is in double digits. Employment is falling.

The Republican economy in the 21st century has been unable to create net new jobs for Americans except for low wage domestic services such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and hospital orderlies.

Republican deregulation brought about fraud in mortgage lending and dangerous financial instruments which have collapsed the housing market, leaving a million or more homeowners facing foreclosure. The financial system is in disarray and might collapse from insolvency.

The trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.

The US can no longer finance its wars or its own government and relies on foreign loans to function day to day. To pay for its consumption, the US sells its existing assets--companies, real estate, toll roads, whatever it can offer--to foreigners.

Republicans have run roughshod over the US Constitution, Congress, the courts and civil liberties. Republicans have made it perfectly clear that they believe that our civil liberties make us unsafe--precisely the opposite view of our Founding Fathers. Yet, Republicans regard themselves as the Patriotic Party.

The Republicans have violated the Nuremberg prohibitions against war crimes, and they have violated the Geneva Conventions against torture and abuse of prisoners. Republican disregard for human rights ranks with that of history's great tyrants.

The Republicans have put in place the foundation for a police state, which they have no problem using against fellow citizens!

We must get the Republicans totally out of power, or we will have no country left for any of us!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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