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T. Boone Pickens on Bloomberg: Why Crony Capitalists Need Spokesmen


Ever since these two interviews in Forbes Magazine, in which CEOs of rent-seeking utilities blurted out that that of course they were behind the cap-and-trade/global warming legislative agenda, because they receive a large wealth transfer in return for helping the statists grow the state, I have maintained the following very basic principle: crony capitalists, when engaged in behavior the public would be less than pleased with were it brought to their attention, ought to not allow their CEOs to give interviews.

But here we go again. Today, T. Boone Pickens went on the air with Bloomberg and proved way too much about his latest great idea — on the heels of also pushing the global warming agenda, specifically a national windmill mandate — to mandate a market for his huge natural gas investments (windmills generally don’t work so require a gas plant to be built for ‘backup’. Windmill mandates failed, politically, but he had a backup ready there, too).

This is, naturally, a backdoor for the climate agenda. As Christine Todd Whitman recently and precisely admitted about the whole ‘clean energy’ Plan B, incidentally, in defending President Obama from Al Gore’s barbs.

His next Pickens Plan is at root a cash or clunkers scheme gone stark raving mad. And remember, this was considered less appealing than a windmill mandate. It seeks to force the transport sector onto natural gas where that is not in fact economic. Hence the big ol’, new government scheme a la ethanol and wind and solar subsidies and preferences, and the mélange of ethanol subsidies and mandates which it more closely resembles. Requiring, e.g., auto dealers to float not five grand or so but up to $64,000 per vehicle, to ultimately be paid back by you and I, it is little wonder Pickens thought a windmill mandate was the less-bad bet.

T. Boone is of course not alone among gas interests to have bet big and come up short on the global warming agenda, seeking to scare people into allowing the state to for all intents and purposes regulate coal, our most abundant energy supply, out of existence.

Another is Chesapeake Energy, which rushed into the embrace of Chinese financiers recently to keep the lights on, so big was its bet on getting the ‘climate’ agenda adopted by now. Having bought a television network, started an ‘environmentalist’ group, and otherwise replicated Enron’s failed lobbying agenda to impose this regime, today we read how they just doubled down.

So Chesapeake’s CEO, Aubrey McClendon, and Pickens are increasingly desperate. Which brings us to today’s interview. Pickens, proving yet again that crony capitalists among all people need media flacks to keep them from what we call a ‘gaffe’ in Washington — uttering the truth about your agenda. As transcribed by E&E News PM (subscription required) :

“They do much better if you have cheap natural gas,” Pickens said of Charles and David Koch, the two brothers who steer the privately held company. Charging that Charles Koch declined to discuss the natural gas bill with him, Pickens added: “He does not want natural gas prices to move up. Charles Koch is working for Koch and Boone Pickens is working for America.”

Oh, those awful men, preferring an abundant commodity reflect a market-based price without artificial, state-created price spikes! But still, what a moment: Pickens (oh, yes, and his colleague: George Soros) is arguing for higher gas prices. Which is good for America. Or at least for Pickens and Soros. And maybe you are too dumb to think otherwise; after all, a bunch of politicians fell for it.

Now, the only reason others ‘do much better if you have cheap natural gas’ — like the chemical, fertilizer, agriculture, plastics and other industries which use natural gas as a feedstock…and the odd American consumer or business that purchases the output of such industries…which collectively do sound quite a bit like ‘America’ — is because it makes them economically healthier. Pish posh.

Like so many on Wall Street and elsewhere confused the end of their world with the end of the world, Pickens is convinced (maybe) that what would benefit him would be a boon for us. Even if it means a) massive debt to fund a scheme, b) designed to cause energy prices to increase. But he ought to learn to keep quiet about it. I mean, the things that I am told he says are pretty disturbing.

Hubris, thy name is Boone. I’m no fan of media handlers. But, boy, do some people need them.


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