A Legacy of T. Boone Pickens: Political Capitalist

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 24, 2019 1 Comment

“Mr. Pickens was an early exponent of the peak oil theory, which held that the world would soon run out of oil to pump. The rise of fracking, which made hard-to-reach oil accessible, upended the theory.” (Washington Post, below)

“’It’s been valuable to have Boone as part of the team,’ said Carl Pope, who was executive director of the Sierra Club at the time, in response to the oilman’s backing of alternative energy sources. Former Vice President Al Gore also backed Mr. Pickens’s alternative energy campaign.” (New York Times, below)

Business leaders can help or hurt the capitalist system with their actions and rhetoric. Swashbuckling T. Boone Pickens (1928–2019) gained a reputation as a disrupter, shaking up a stodgy oil major (Gulf Oil, now part of Chevron), among others.

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T. Boone Picken’s Little Green Deal (remembering a stillborn crony scheme)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 19, 2019 5 Comments

Mr. Pickens’s original vision had something for everyone. First he would build a wind farm in Texas with 2,700 turbines costing upward of $10 billion. That would pump power into the national grid, allowing huge amounts of natural gas to be diverted from power plants to newly equipped cars and trucks. The result, he promised, would be a sharp reduction in the country’s dependence on Middle East crude.”

“‘This to me is like a war without guns,’ says Mr. Pickens….” 

– Neil King, Pickens’s Windmills Tilt Against Market Realities, Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2009.

A decade ago, a rent-seeking, vainglorious Texas oil man named T. Boone Pickens spent tens of millions of dollars to promote what today might be called the Little Green Deal. It was nicely summarized in the Wall Street Journal at the time by Neil King, Pickens’s Windmills Tilt Against Market Realities.

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T. Boone Pickens: Contra-Capitalist (a ‘man of system’ sought more fame and fortune)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 31, 2018 7 Comments

“The two greatest enemies of free enterprise in the United States … have been, on the one hand, my fellow intellectuals and, on the other hand, the business corporations of this country.”

– Milton Friedman. “Which Way for Capitalism?” Reason, May 1977, p. 21.

“To put it plainly, T. Boone Pickens is out to save America.”

– Carl Pope (Sierra Club). Quoted in Dean Calbreath, “Pickens Pitches Plans to Shift U.S. Away From Oil,” San Diego Union Tribune, June 25, 2008.

They are not against capitalism. They can be very charismatic, in the know, and mainstream. They may be industry leaders. They are always politically correct and receive good press. And they can, often do, pledge allegiance in the abstract to the American way of free enterprise.

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Halloween Thoughts from a Harvard Man (Holdren can play himself tonight)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 31, 2017 1 Comment

“Some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the [twentieth] century.”

– John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich (1971) [1]

Doom and gloom—repeatedly falsified—hallmark the long career of John P. Holdren, neo-Malthusian and President Obama’s start-to-finish science advisor. Back at Harvard University, the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy has been been quiet. He avoided making specific, apocalyptic predictions during his Obama years (January 2009– January 2017) and has rarely made the news since. But his many written and spoken statements beginning in the 1970s, never disowned, remain for the record.

Today is a good time to refresh memories of the man who just might be the scariest man in Boston/Cape Cod on this day.

Read—but don’t be frightened.

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Back to Climate Science: Obama’s EPA ‘Endangerment’ Finding Under Legal Review (TPPF plays offense re the green greenhouse gas)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 4, 2017 5 Comments Continue Reading

American Bird Conservancy: Wind Power, Solar Farms Must Play by Federal Rules, too

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 10, 2016 1 Comment Continue Reading

Model Wind Ordinance: Leveling the Playing Field

By -- April 7, 2016 No Comments Continue Reading

Resources for the Future: How Far Is Left? (energy statism on full display)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 20, 2016 2 Comments Continue Reading

T. Boone Pickens: Still More from the ‘Man of System’

By -- May 18, 2015 5 Comments Continue Reading

Carbon Taxation: Remembering When Ken Green (AEI) Went from Aye to Nay

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 13, 2015 6 Comments Continue Reading