May 2, 2010

There are so many things wrong with this interview with T. Boone Pickens it's hard to know where to begin, but let's start with this statement:

Pickens: This is a sad accident that happened but this is, you know, an unusual case but there've been others like this so I think way too much is being made of the... of the oil that's being... that's coming out there in the Gulf. All of that will get cleaned up and we'll be back... we'll be back to normal, the world hasn't changed because of this blowout.

As Mike Papantonio noted on Ed's show, "in a perfect world, we're going to be lucky to get twenty percent of the oil from the Gulf [cleaned up]". His concerns are mirrored at Live Science's site.

Experts: Most of the Gulf Oil Spill Won't Be Cleaned Up:

However, for an oil spill at sea, typically only 10 to 15 percent of the oil is recovered, Gerald Graham, president of Worldocean Consulting, a marine oil spill prevention and response planning firm based in British Columbia, told LiveScience.

So far, BP claims it has recovered 685,062 gallons (more than 2.5 million liters) of an oil-and-water mix. That mix is almost entirely water, with oil stirred in like vinaigrette. Until the entire recovery process finishes, it will be impossible to tell how much crude oil BP has recovered, Graham said.

The rest of the oil that doesn't get cleaned up evaporates, breaks up and floats on the surface, or sinks to the bottom, Graham said. "It's kind of overwhelming," U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory Mendenhall said of the cleanup effort.

"A lot of it cannot be collected," Mendenhall said. "95 percent [of the oil] is a rainbow-y sheen. It's too thin to scoop up. Most of that breaks up naturally, so about 3 percent of the oil is what people think of as big globs of oil that you can skim off the water. Now, how much of that 3 percent has been collected is still unsure."

History attests to the lingering problem of oil spills. Exxon Valdez, one of the worst oil spills ever, dumped more than 10 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989. And there's still a lot of oil that didn't get cleaned up, which has continued to impact wildlife in the area for the past 20 years, experts say.

"Despite spending $2 billion dollars and using every known clean-up method there was, they recovered 8 percent of the spilled Exxon Valdez oil," said Jeffrey Short, Pacific science director for Oceana, a Washington, D.C.–based ocean conservation organization. "That is typical of these exercises when you have a large marine oil spill. You're doing really great if you [get] 20 percent."

So in other words, T. Boone Pickens is full of crap on the cleanup. Here's my other problem with the main stream media continually allowing Pickens on as an advocate for alternative energy. His real motivation for wanting his wind farms is for a water grab in Texas. Something the media and apparently the Democrats who are working with him are blissfully unaware of or know about and just don't care and think he's worth listening to anyway. This guy's got a terrible record as someone who should not be trusted yet they're bringing him in to advise on energy policy.

T. Boone Pickens Plan — Bidding for Renewable Energies or Water Grab?

A Second Look at the Pickens Plan Not surprisingly – and as at least a couple of comments posted on that previous Pickens blog entry mentioned – the Pickens Plan doesn’t do good just ’cause it’s good. Might there be an ulterior motive? A July 25, 2008 Popular Mechanics magazine article says that Pickens has another, lesser-talked about plan in mind:

“ Pickens is in the planning stages of a $1.5 billion initiative to pump billions of gallons of water from an ancient aquifer beneath the Texas Panhandle and build pipelines to ship them to thirsty cities such as Dallas… “Company officials and experts agree that a continuation of the drought impacting large portions of the United States could turn Pickens into something of a water baron.”

In a co-written op-ed piece by Republican State Senators Ken Seliger (Amarillo) and Robert Duncan (Lubbock), published July 12 at, the pair writes of Pickens strong-arming his way to a land and water grab, a move they dub unequivocally negative for West Texans.

“The brand-new Roberts County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1, acting as an alter ego of businessman T. Boone Pickens and Mesa Power Pampa, LLC, has launched a private venture that may force landowners in 11 counties to submit to the power of eminent domain so they can pump water from the shrinking Ogallala Aquifer and sell wind-generated electricity. This new governmental entity is composed of only five people, all employees or associates of Mr. Pickens.”

...A Couple of Questions:

  • Does Pickens’ holy-dollar, billionaire focus on wronging folks in Texas to grab water mean his plan to build a massive swath of wind turbines up and down the plains is a sham?
  • Or are these two things somehow separable? Is he perhaps still a leader in guiding corporate and government leaders – and the public – away from oil dependence?

(Not that I at all support the land and water grab, and certainly not via a concocted eminent domain swindle!) But I am trying to parse out the deeds here. In short… Do we go ahead and fully dismiss T. Boone Pickens’ plan for wind and natural gas and energy self-reliance? Maybe this comment by Duncan and Seliger offers a partial answer:

“There is an undeniable demand growing for renewable energy. Wind power is coming to Texas and it will be developed in the Panhandle and West Texas, regardless of whether Mr. Pickens’ latest venture succeeds.”

As Democracy Now pointed out, this guy just moved from oil to water with where to make his money.

AMY GOODMAN: What does T. Boone Pickens have to do with this?

MAUDE BARLOW: He didn’t make enough money, I guess, out of energy, so he’s now buying up water rights, and he is going to build a pipeline and is buying up the property that he will need for this pipeline to transport water that he’s going to sell. And he’s holding onto it until it’s worth even more money than it’s worth now, so when blue gold may be blue platinum—I don’t what we’d call it next.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And he’s also advertising heavily now on television for his supposed wind power projects.

MAUDE BARLOW: Wind. Yeah, but it’s all connected, because the wind project is very connected to his water pipeline that he wants to build. And he’s trying to green himself, but you can’t green yourself by privatizing water.

Given that he's also the manager of the hedge fund BP Capital, why does anyone in the media treat him as some unbiased commenter on the subject of this spill? From their site:

Mr. Boone Pickens is the founder of BP Capital and is a principal of TBP and BPC. Mr. Pickens is active in the management of both the Equity Fund and the Energy Fund. Specifically, Mr. Pickens is principally responsible for the formulation of the energy futures investment strategy of the Energy Fund and the Equity Fund. Mr. Pickens frequently utilizes his wealth of experience in the oil and gas industry in the evaluation of potential equity investments and energy sector themes. He also participates in the marketing of the Equity Fund to certain groups of potential investors. Mr. Pickens was the founder of Mesa Petroleum in its various forms beginning in 1956. Mr. Pickens’ career at Mesa spanned four decades. Under his leadership, Mesa grew to become one of the largest and most well-known independent exploration and production companies in the U.S.

Nothing like the mainstream media turning to an "unbiased" opinion like Boone's on this oil spill. Bravo MSNBC and anyone else who puts him on the air without disclosing his conflicts of interest.

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