Wednesday, July 09, 2008

T. Boone Pickens Has Gone with the Wind

My sister told me she saw T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil giant, talking about a solution to the energy problems facing the country. Within twenty-four hours I saw his TV ad spot on last night's NBC Evening News (instead of yet another load from Big Pharma) and ABC led with a story about Pickens' plan.

If the reader has not yet heard his schtick he soon will. Here is a brief summary I got from
Cernig's place.

I'm with it.
Let's do it.
Of course that's easy for me to say. I have no skin in the game.
But I like what Pickens said in response to someone suggesting he was just trying to make more money. "I'm eighty years old and have three billion dollars. I don't need any more money."

In this post-partisan world I'm trying to keep an open mind. I know this guy is a big Republican contributor. In fact, his money was behind the Swiftboating of John Kerry, a nasty piece of smear that contributed to his defeat. (I expect the same kind of yellow journalism to rear its ugly head when the presidential campaign starts in earnest. Obama will attract that kind of pollution like flies at a picnic.)

But I also know that being rich does not equate to being evil. I heard that when Obama was in town he had dinner with some heavy hitters to raise serious bucks to go with five dollar contributions from the lumpen-folk. Anyone watching the news from California understands about fighting fire with fire.

In the case of Pickens' Wind Venture it is important to look at the proposal on its merit, not its provenance.

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