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T Boone Pickens continues hard sell with blogger call

October 7th, 2008 · 19 Comments

T Boone Pickens continues his hard sell efforts when it comes to the flawed Pickens’ Plan. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of bloggers had a teleconference with T Boone. (Notably, this is just when a rush of advertisements are appearing across the blogosphere from T Boone.) If one listens through ‘the call’, several points might jump out:

1. The bloggers seem have an uneven understanding of energy issues based on their comments and questions. In fact, the “right wing” bloggers seem to have basically no knowledge of energy issues. From the “left”, several of the bloggers have legitimate claims to be energy/environmental experts, including Jerome a Paris, Devilstower, Plutonium Page, and Lowell Feld.

2. At the end of the day, T Boone Pickens was able to get away with half-truths and untruths in the session.

This was part of T Boone’s promotion of an “e-rally” to be held before and after the Presidential debate this evening, with Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope joining him, to seek to influence the national debate toward T Boone’s problem filled plan.

A brief review

The Pickens’ Plan calls for developing wind electricity over the next decade to over 20 percent of US electrical demand. That renewable electricity would then displace all of the natural gas in the electrical grid. The natural gas would be then used in “compressed natural gas” to operate vehicles, thus offsetting imported oil and reducing America’s dependence on imported oil.

T Boone is calling for a national focus on the roughly hundreds of billions of dollars that are exported overseas to pay for imported oil. (Very roughly: 12 million barrels/day of imports = $1.7 billion/day or $613 billion/year.)

His plan has good, bad, and ugly aspects that will come out, to a certain degree, in discussions of the blogger call.

From the call

This discussion will simply go through the conversation in order, not discussing all questions. (NOTE: Not a perfect transcript, although an effort to remain faithful to the blogger call.)

“No question that what we are working on has great appeal to the American people.” T Boone Pickens (TBP)

I would tend to agree that he is likely right. Like many ’sound bites’, The Pickens’ Plan can gain some real support, support that might dissipate if people understood its real implications.

“Just spent several days with 60 minutes. Will be on October 26th, just before the election.” TBP

T Boone Pickens is quite explicit about his desire to affect not just the national debate, but national decision-making. The $58 million (or so) being spent on the advertising and influence effort is clearly being well played. It is not just the mass of advertisements, not just the web site, not just T Boone’s travels.

And, whether meeting with Obama / Mccain / Palin, business leaders, liberal bloggers, media outlets, or otherwise, T Boone is having no problems gaining audiences.

Sadly, rather than beginning questions with core issues, at a large scale, the first question was in details of energy reserves and served to reinforce Pickens’ expertise. Sigh … Lowell Feld asked about natural gas reserves, relying on conservative data from the Department of Energy. T Boone Pickens was able to discuss, with great authority, how shale natural gas is expanding our very definition of reserves. “Only point that I’m making is that we’ve expanded our assets …” Score one for TBP and for establishing himself at the outset as “expert”.

Conservative blogger John Hinderocker tried to turn the conversation toward support of Drill, Baby, Drill and Drillusion. “I am right in that right figure is reserves in the ground.” TBP wasn’t interested in being drawn into this game and emphasized the difference between oil and natural gas: “Isn’t the same if you’re looking for oil. With Shale it’s well known [for natural gas].” [Don't worry, we'll return to drilling.]

Another conservative blogger, John Hawkins, also sought to undercut renewables, this time with the shibbeleth that wind turbines eat up lots of land and that environmentalists are the real problem fro the nation: “One of the things we focus … Wind mills can take up 85 times as much land as a traditional power plant. … environmentalists will opposed to them … How can we build enough?” TBP responded with, imho, disdain.: “Who’s going to block a plant? You have to become acquainted where you are going to put them. 98% people want them, because of royalty payments.” While NIMBYism is blocking wind turbines in much of the country, this simply isn’t the case in many of the best wind areas, including the ‘wind belt’ in the mid-west where The Pickens’ Plan proposes deploying wind turbines.

Mark Sumner: “Since NG is far more efficient at heating homes than oil, shouldn’t we focus on ending home heating oil by replacing it with natural gas.” TBP: “Don’t think you’re going to get there that fast. In my conversation with Obama, I emphasized that we need to get real numbers. You’re proud of your one million plug-in hybrids in a decade, when there are 250 million cars on the road. We need to get numbers. $700 billion is a huge number and we won’t get there via home heating oil.” Note to T Boone: 7 percent of American homes are heated with home heating oil, often in inefficient structures, and the natural gas is a straight forward, high-efficiency substitute (along with, for example, biofuels). Would getting out of the home heating oil game solve America’s oil dependency? Absolutely not, but this response points to a weakness of The Pickens’ Plan: it is stove-piped and not holistic. There is no good reason why T Boone could not have incorporated this as part of his plan to reduce America’s oil dependency. But, perhaps this has something to do with the fact that T Boone’s key natural gas play is in the business of providing compressed natural gas (and compressor systems) for transportation and not in the retail supply of natural gas for heating, cooling, cooking, etc …

TBP was asked to speak about his “Energy Army Initiative”. TBP: “We’ve signed up 600,000 people via the website. I have a lot more influence with 600,000 people behind me when I go to Washington than just being an oilman from Texas. … being a billionaire, when I go to Washington, I don’t have to wait to see anybody due to my wealth. But, with a million people supporting me, I think that I’ll be listened to more closely.” Pickens is mobilizing an “army” in support of his flawed plan. Let me be clear, no aggravation from me if he makes $billions from this, the problem is that it won’t solve the nation’s problems when it comes to energy and global warming. And, pursuit of this flawed plan could doom efforts to make meaningful change.

Conservative blogger David Hall asked about TBP’s meeting with Sarah Palin. TBP: “The conversation was 98 percent about energy, She’s very knowledgeable about energy in Alaska. But she hasn’t had the opportunity to learn much about energy outside Alaska. … She’s had more experience with energy than Senator Obama or McCain.” Amusing that the person who, supposedly, is the nation’s top energy expert doesn’t know much about energy outside Alaska. If she has “more experience”, that doesn’t make up for the fact that Sarah is no energy expert and is deceptive when she talks about energy.

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake asked, basically, “Why?” TBP: “I’ve seen the problem from Richard Nixon forward that politicians say “elect me and we’ll be energy independent”. … Over 35 years we’ve never had an energy plan. … I’m 85 years old …This is our opportunity to get out of the trap.” Okay, there have been energy plans, most significantly Jimmy Carter’s. There is, as T Boone says, a “leadership vacuum”, but it is not because there haven’t been plans and concepts.

Jane asked about profits from the deal. TBP: “With the financial situation of the country, there is no way that I can pull off what I was planning alone and will need partners. … I don’t make any investment without an intention to make money.” My thought: What is the problem with someone making profits? Profiteering is a problem. But, at the root of it, whether or not someone makes a lot of money is irrelevant as to whether it is the right thing for the nation looking forward. Profits for T Boone Pickens aren’t the problem with The Pickens’ Plan.

Mark Sumner: If I said “When you said you’re not interested in the environment and you’re funding James Inhofe, do you understand that there are those of us who are concerned about energy and the environment who find problems with this?” PICKENS: “In conversations with Al Gore, I said that #1 for me was the $700 billion and Global Warming is #2. My record is a very good record on the environment. The natural gas that I am proposing as a bridge fuel is 80% cleaner than gasoline. So, I don’t step back from the green-clean position, I’m right up there with that … I do not think it is realistic to go directly to the battery or the hyrdrogen. … In discussions that I’ve had with Gore, I don’t find ourselves far apart. … Just so happens that the cleaner fuel is natural gas, which we have in abundance in this country. Now, if the Saudis had natural gas and we had oil, I would be supporting drilling because of problem #1.” That last bit lays the situation out clearly, global warming is — at best — an afterthought for T Boone Pickens rather than an integrated issue with trying to deal with Peak Oil and Global Warming in an integrated fashion.

Jonathan Singer of MyDD to to a core issue: “Can we drill our way out of it? Whether oil or natural gas? Can we produce our way out of it or does there have to be efficiency and conservation?” PICKENS: “We have to do something about conservation and there are lots of good ideas out there, but I don’t want to get into it. All the ideas about drilling don’t look at the scale of the problem. We’re importing 12 million barrels / day, but there is no way We’re producing 5 million barrels / day of oil and 2 million / day of NG liquids. How much can we do? If we could get 2 million / day for ANWR and off the coasts, would I take it? In a minute …” This points to one of the most serious problems of The Pickens’ Plan. It is a stove-piped focus on supply, with no discussion of or focus on attacking the demand-side of the equation. Staying within TBP’s focus on natural gas, The Picken’s Plan focuses on conversion of cars to running on compressed natural gas (CNG), rather than talking about the need for more efficient vehicles that will run on natural gas. If we think about “fleet” vehicles, there are many buses running on CNG. If using CNG, why not ‘hybrid’ buses that would use less CNG, thus enabling more vehicles to use CNG and reducing total emissions even more? Oops, again, that would provide a path toward reducing T Boone’s future profits, no?

Jerome Guillet, , Oil Drum, focused on technical issues related to wind and wind financing. “What is the value added in your campaign, the only limit is industrial capacity which is constrained by the PTC. The only other obstacle to wind developing is the grid, which is something that needs to be dealt with by regulators. You don’t bring anything to the table other than natural gas. Wind has all the investment it needs, but the problem is manufacturing capacity which is undercut by inconsistent US government policy on the production tax credits (PTC).” PICKENS: “What I am providing is a path to “I don’t see anybody else with a plan.” This turned into a back-and-forth between Guillet and Pickens, with Pickens basically stating that Guillet is a negativist, looking backward, not offering solutions while Pickens is looking forward. This was a sad interchange to listen to considering that Guillet was one of the founding inspirations for and leading actors in what might have been the first serious effort to use the web to develop energy policy: Energize America. This point, not discussed in the blogger call, highlights as disingenous a key Pickens point: that nobody else has a plan. In fact, there are many (MANY) plans out there, such as Apollo Alliance, Energize America, the Democratic Party candidates in the presidential primaries (such as Bill Richardson), and so on.

Conservative blogger John Hinderocker asked about wind turbines: “I must confess that I haven’t spent the time to look at your plan and don’t have an intuitive sense of how much energy you can produce by wind. … “ Pickens: “You could do whatever you want to with wind if you have the desire to do it and the money to do it …” JH: “I am very familiar with those large wind mills and I’m assuming that is what we’re talking about. How many would take?” TBP: “My 4000 MW would take 2500, so take 50 times that would be over 100,000. Just imagine how many jobs that would create.” This last points to the value of Green Jobs and how moving toward a renewable (and energy efficient) future could provide a boost to the economy.

A brief recap

This blogger call highlights several things:

  • T Boone Pickens’ sophisticated effort to influence energy policy.
  • That T Boone Pickens has no interest, it seems, in learning from others.

    This is a major weakness in TBP’s approach and makes it hard to take The Pickens’ Plan seriously: there is no indication that T Boone has any interest in learning from others and in adopting good ideas from others to strengthen The Pickens Plan. He is pushing his flawed and dangerous plan, with utter disregard for reality as to its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Brief selection of blogosphere discussions of The Pickens Plan

    The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: T Boone Pickens, 8/26, A Siegel

    Pickens’ Plan vs Pickens’ Problem, 8/21, A Siegel

    Picking at Pickens’ Plan, 7/8, A Siegel

    The Big Green Tent, 8/24, A Siegel

    T. Boone Pickens Loves You and Wants to Use Your Credit Card, 8/30, JohnnyRook

    T Boone Pickens trying to pick Californians Pockets, 9/9, JohnnyRook

    T Boone Pickens Fancy Sales Pitch, 8/27, Plutonium Page

    Is T Boone Pickens selling you shinola, or something else?, 8/26, ApolloGonzales

    Sarah Palin and Boone Pickens: Birds of a Feather, 10/7, Josh Nelson

    Memo to T Boone Pickens: Your energy plan is half-baked, 7/8, Joe Romm, Climate Progress (former Assistant Secretary Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, DOE)

    Pickens learns the hard truth: drill-only GOP hates alternative energy, 9/23, Joe Romm

    Why T Boone Pickens’ ‘Clean Energy’ Plan is a Ponzi Scheme, 8/21, Scott Thill

    Pickens’ Natural Gas Plan Makes No Sense and will never happen, 9/26, Earl Killian

    Mr Pickens Half-Right Plan, 7/25, Bill Becker, Presidential Climate Action Plan

    Tags: Energy · politics · the pickens plan

    19 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Johnny // Oct 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks for this very informative piece Adam. I’m glad you’re continuing to cover T. Boone Pickens. I think Jerome a Paris hit in on the head. What does Pickens bring to the table, that we don’t have already, other than natural gas, which he gets wrong?

    • 2 T. Boone Pickens Caught in Two Lies in One Short Interview - The Seminal :: Independent Media and Politics // Oct 7, 2008 at 6:00 pm

      [...] A. Siegel points out there are plenty of other energy plans. Here are a few off the top of my [...]

    • 3 Wonk Room » Sierra Club Helps Promote Pickens Plan On Debate Night // Oct 7, 2008 at 9:15 pm

      [...] Carl Pope and right-wing oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens began a live-streamed chat that had been advertised across the Internet as an “e-rally” in response to the presidential debate. Pickens and Pope previously met [...]

    • 4 Eric Lykins // Oct 8, 2008 at 6:12 am

      I think you guys are missing the point with your criticisms of the natural gas aspect of this plan.

      No one is advocating building CNG stations in every city for personal passenger vehicles. No one yet makes a 500 horsepower hydrogen or plug in hybrid engine to put into trucks in order to reduce emissions on the San Pedro Bay Ports. Look up the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan of November 2006 and you will see how the Pickens is a reaction to this market shift which is already happening and accelerating. Boone saw 16,000 trucks on those ports with very inefficient gasoline powered engines which were suddenly being made obsolete.

      As far as personal vehicles, electric power (for a battery or for producing hydrogen) is coming into play sooner rather than later even if people have to go down to 2 wheels to participate. Electricity production will have to rely on increasingly diverse processes in order to meet increasing power demand in the face of a shrinking supply of fossil fuels. Wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, anything American.

      Natural gas is going into large trucks for the next 10 or 20 years until battery, hydrogen, electric whatever technology can get together and make a 500 hp engine for dumptrucks and school buses.

      Your links to “problem filled” and “flawed” plan lead back to the same blog. You’re really running with that Climate Progress blog post that uses a “half dumb” (readers: words in quotes are from title of CP blog post) analysis based primarily on 2002 price comparisons between NG and oil. $2 gallon equivalent CNG looks pretty sexy in 2008.

      I like your blog. You have well structured information with cited sources and you seem willing to use it. How ev er, it is easy to slide down the easy path of reporting on what is wrong in the world, and I know you are not a hater at heart. “The truth is really pretty simple. It’s the mechanics of making it work that break men down.” -HST

      So how do we make it work? So far, it’s working. Push.pickensplan.com is pretty much where an energy policy for the country is being created, in open source fashion. I have watched the national dialogue increasingly parrot things that I heard first at an 80 year old oil man’s online social networking site. Weird? Certainly.

      For the first time in my knowledge, the concerns of the public hold more sway with Congress than does big oil. We need a paradigm shift and we need leadership and follow through to make it happen, make it work. I invite you to the table. Sign up at Pickensplan.com and join the people willing to work toward energy independence instead of believing someone else will eventually fix it.

    • 5 A Siegel // Oct 8, 2008 at 6:19 am

      Eric

      I welcome your joining into the discussion and appreciate compliments.

      Yes, I am linking partially back to my own previous work dissecting the plan — but there are what, about 10 links into other sites.

      Joe Romm’s (Climate Progress) Half-Dumb is basically on target. Want to note that he is a PhD (Physicist?), has been in the business for decades, and was Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. His analysis comes from a basis.

      As for ‘energy policy’ being developed at Pickens Plan website. 1. My first write-up praised the website and its open nature. I think this is of high interest … but I question whether it is of high value. 2. Have you seen T Boone Pickens change what he is proposing (other than a temporary back off from water distribution). As per this phone call with bloggers, he is showing no interest in learning from others, adopting others’ ideas into his own plan, etc … I’d welcome learning of it … show me where T Boone Pickens is modifying his plan and proposal based on the good work of people using his blog space. Again, I just haven’t seen it.

    • 6 Scholars and Rogues » T. Boone Pickens Caught in Two Lies in One Short Interview // Oct 8, 2008 at 7:33 am

      [...] A. Siegel points out there are plenty of other energy plans. Here are a few off the top of my [...]

    • 7 McCain DisDain for being truthful: energy / global warming // Oct 8, 2008 at 8:06 am

      [...] his campaign’s lies about energy issues.. Dealt with time after time on this pages, with T Boone Pickens and other Republican oil men calling it [...]

    • 8 Larry Coleman // Oct 8, 2008 at 10:12 am

      The basic flaw in Pickens’ plan is using NG to replace oil instead of coal, the bad guy in global warming. NG is a precious resource and we need to use it carefully and wisely, not for whatever makes TBP the most money.

    • 9 Eric Lykins // Oct 9, 2008 at 3:33 am

      Thanks, A. Siegel,
      Regarding Pickens changes in proposal, the most obvious is that he now states that the grid must be repowered with wind and solar even though he has no money in solar. In his last commercial I saw a hydrogen powered car which is a very important piece of the dialogue that he had previously omitted. A few weeks ago, I ran into this blog: http://hydrogendiscoveries.wordpress.com/ , where CEO Greg Blencoe had posted the “Hydrogen Education Challenge” for Pickens and Al Gore because he said that they were unaware of the technology. His posts about Pickens were sensational and slanderous. However I convinced Greg to sign up to Pickensplan.com and start or join groups devoted to the hydrogen cause. He is still a member.

      The basis for Dr. Romm’s analysis is the under $30 2002 price of light, sweet crude. Natural gas was at that time still cleaner and more domestic than oil, but now that it is far cheaper, it is being used more. “The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have launched a Clean Trucks Program that will reduce air pollution from harbor trucks by more than 80 percent within five years. ” -http://www.cleanairactionplan.org/strategies/cleantrucks/default.asp –That’s a drastic reduction in a very short amount of time and the biggest hope of fulfilling this mandate within 5 years is natural gas. I HIGHLY recommend once again doing some research into this California law to get a feel for why you are hearing so much about natural gas these days.

      T.Boone Pickens didn’t invent the idea to use natural gas for transportation, and he doesn’t really care what you or I drive to work. He wants the trucks and understands that natural gas is currently being used a a “bridge fuel” between petroleum and hydrogen or electric. He also understands that petroleum produces a lot of electricity and we can’t just immediately build a bunch of electric cars without including a lot of renewables into the power mix.

      Our energy needs must be met with a balanced approach, and to do that well will take a large discussion and action by the people of our nation. This is why when I find a blogger that is active and resourceful but has negative posts about Pickens Plan, I try to assimilate them into our community:) Adam. We have a lot of resources in our people and we want to change the energy infrastructure. To do this will take pretty much everybody.

      http://push.pickensplan.com/

      http://push.pickensplan.com/group/easttennesseeforsustainableinfrastructure
      I have posted a link to this blog at the above link in the discussion titled “OPB(other people’s blogs)”

      I just noticed comment #8 above, and why, Larry Coleman, would you say that Pickens’ Plan is using NG to replace oil instead of coal? I have never heard of an eighteen-wheeler, city bus, trash truck or Honda that ran on coal, but I hope you had fun trying to jump on the hater bandwagon. What are you doing today to reduce your dependency on foreign oil?

    • 10 A Siegel // Oct 9, 2008 at 4:57 am

      Eric,

      1. Larry is advocating that the wind power going into the grid, in essence, work with natural gas to replace coal rather than be diverted into the transportation grid.

      2. Re trucks/California, I have relatively little problem with natural gas going into some fleet transportation. A far more efficient route would be to combine the CNG with hybridization, even bettter plug-in hybridization, so as to gain fuel efficiency in the use of fossil fuel in transportation. I am familiar with and supporter of the efforts to clean up California ports.

      2. T Boone only wants the trucks? This is the first time that I’ve heard this, at all.

      3. Sigh … pushing hydrogen for transportation? That is not a sign of great moves forward in the plan. That is not a ‘very important part’ of the discussion. Hydrogen has niche roles today and could be critical into the future, but I do not see how it is a critical portion of answering our energy challenges in the near term.

      4. “Assimilate into your community …” I don’t think that you mean it in this manner, but sounds like ‘pod people’ or such. I have no intention to sign up, blindly, in support of someone who so clearly is promoting policies that are not in the long-term interests of the nation. Again: Energy Efficiency has to be a critical part of the discussion. is T. Boone emphasizing it? The issue is not simply transmission lines for stranded resources but also power management (Smart Grid / intelligent energy system). Is T Boone discussing / promoting Smart Grid?

      5. Going back to your comment re Larry .. “hater bandwagon”? And, that last question … want to engage seriously, that isn’t the way to do it.

    • 11 Pat Jack // Oct 10, 2008 at 2:48 am

      Mr. Siegel,

      1. Yes, this has been discussed at length on the Pickens Plan by leaders in science and energy business. I don’t claim to understand it as well as most of our expert members on the Pickens Plan.

      2. Yes, and I’m glad the Pickens Plan is more concrete in this area. There are a lot of different trucks. Dockside “trucks” of all shapes and sizes, Coach busses like the ones that took Gustav evacuees cheaper and further per GGE than any other coaches available, a bitter irony. Small, truck, big trucks, cool truck, stepside, utility, wow, there are a lot of fleet trucking solutions. Coke and Pepsi and water trucks, Fed Ex trucks. Garbage trucks that run on french fry juice, it’s all good.

      3. I like Negre’s air powered car solution and that’s later. Boone has a plan and it’s the natural gas solution to bridge us into our responsibilities. Grandpa’s penkife to peel the apple we will get to eat as it falls from the trees of our diligence. Hydrogen from Wind Farms for fuel cells, I watched lots of fuel cells go into cellular towers for backup power years ago as they sprouted up on I-10 under the direction of the company for which I worked. If there were VAWT, (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine), on these celluar towers that would be sweet, but Boone has a plan and it opens wonderful opportunities for everyone. Come join us, it’s a lot of fun.

      4. There are people on the Pickens Plan, like your truly, that are some of the harshest critics of Boone, and indeed his every move as he roles out his plan. I will support and protect your right to say anything within the terms of service of ning, and of the Pickens Plan. That’s part of my job as an ambassador, to protect your reputation on the Pickens Plan. Check out my friend’s list, they are a great folks, all of them have value to me.

      5. It it the way to operate in a politically charged environment. We ambassadors draw fire to focus the flame on ourselves. In a time of highly partisan thought, we must look our fellow Americans square in the eye with our convictions. Subtle flames can incite terrific search engine optimization and activity and if necessary we are extremely good at this in our blogging labs we maintain on Pickens Plan. We prepare well to then welcome you warmly into Marc Andresson’s community, ning, and the Pickens Plan as well. We have battles to fight and we have very strong members with passionate ideals that they want to share with you.

      Pat Jack
      Pickens Plan Ambassador

    • 12 Natural Gas Burns T. Boon Pickens in California: Proposition 10 Goes Down in Flames « Johnny Rook’s Climaticide Chronicles // Nov 5, 2008 at 12:43 pm

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      [...] for example, rumors that Duke’s Ed Rogers or a long-shot of T Boone Pickens would be selected for Secretary of Energy, one would have to conclude that Barack Obama is not [...]

    • 14 California Divorce Lawyer // Feb 1, 2009 at 11:05 pm

      Was that last comment supposed to make sense?

    • 15 Axis of Perpetuating Pollution: Peabody-Pickens // Feb 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm

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    • 16 Climate Progress » Blog Archive » Pickens suckered by Palin: “She gets this energy situation” // Apr 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm

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    • 18 CAP’s American Fuel: Flawed on so many levels // Apr 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      [...] for the taxpayer, bad for the nation, and bad for the climate. It would, however, be quite good for T Boone Pickens who has expended significant resources in seeking to sell it and who has been embraced by (too) many Democratic Party leaders in the past several years.  It is [...]

    • 19 The White House’s Energy-Dumb Policy and Tone-Deaf Politics? // Mar 30, 2011 at 4:10 am

      [...] T Boone Picken’s snake oil salesmanship has clearly paid off. From Senator Reid to Republicans to Nancy Pelosi to President Obama, the economically, energy, and environmentally unsound concept of committing significant resources to creating another fossil foolish dependency in our transportation sector is among the most bipartisan of policy concepts outside, well, perhaps support to the military and a drive to cut the Federal government’s budgetary expenditures no matter the economic impacts on the nation.  Analysis shows that there are far more cost effective paths to cut U.S. oil demand, faster with much lower pollution impacts and with lower risk.   (For examples, see T. Boone’s Shell Game — one look at the numbers …) [...]

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