“Honestly, I’m here for America,” T. Boone Pickens told Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes last night.
“What’s the balance between doing something for America and doing something for Boone?” retorts Rose.
“Oh, let’s not talk about that,” replies Pickens.
Oh, but let’s do. And, thankfully — finally — a mainstream journalist wanted to talk about it, too.
Pickens has received months of glowing coverage from shills like the New York Times’s Thomas Friedman and others in the MSM who seem blind to Pickens’ enormous self-interest as a wind and natural-gas mogul in mandating a wind and natural gas-powered America.
Rose’s eyes were wide open Sunday night when the billionaire owner of Clean Energy Fuels, the nation’s largest natural gas vehicle fueling company, laid out his rent-seeking scheme.
Step One: Pickens explained that, in the name of (cue trumpets) independence from foreign oil, all of America’s natural gas resources must be directed to transportation (beginning with the trucking industry), thus reducing oil consumption by 25 percent.
Step Two: Replace the resulting hole in the electricity market (natural gas is 23 percent of our electricity supply) with wind power. How to get utilities to accept wind power? asked Rose. “That may be a mandate,” Pickens sheepishly replied.
Rose smelled a rat. Pickens, he explained, “wants to be on the front lines and poised to make a profit.”
That would the understatement of the year. In fact it is hard to come up with a more cynical, self-serving plan by an industrialist. As one of the country’s largest natural-gas and wind-farm investors, Pickens plan sets himself up to make billions by having the government guarantee his risk and mandate a market for the vast resources he owns.
Given the inherent problems with his scheme, what Pickens is proposing amounts to the nationalization of U.S. energy.
How to get around natural gas’s inefficiency relative to diesel as a trucking fuel? Mandate that trucks use natural gas.
How to get wind from Texas and Middle America to national markets? Mandate eminent domain to locate expensive, interstate electrical lines.
In guzzling the Pickens Kool-aid, the Times’s Friedman wrote this summer:
If only we had a Congress and president who, instead of chasing crazy schemes like offshore drilling and releasing oil from our strategic reserve, just sat down with Boone and asked one question: “What laws do we need to enact to foster 1,000 more like you?” Then just do it, and get out of the way.
Well, it looks like we might just get that president. Disagree with Pickens’ plan? Get out of the way.