Views and debates on climate change policy
Home | Panelists | Staff Blog | RSS

Post Carbon

Kerry and unlikely ally talk up climate bill

By David A. Fahrenthold

U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and T. Boone Pickens--the oilman who helped finance the "Swift Boat" ads against Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign--met the media today to discuss one thing they do agree on: the need to end dependence on foreign oil.

In an ornate committee room at the U.S. Capitol, Kerry talked up the climate bill he introduced with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on May 12. Pickens talked up his plan to use compressed natural gas instead of imported oil to power trucks and other motor vehicles.

The two goals overlap, at least partially. Kerry's bill would provide tax incentives for converting vehicles to burn natural gas.

Pickens said that, if the country doesn't move to use North American natural gas in place of imported oil, "We're going to go down in history as the dumbest...that ever showed up."

So, a reporter asked, would Pickens call on Republican Senators to ask them to support Kerry's bill?

"I hope he'll contact some," Kerry said.

"Well, uh, let me think about it," Pickens said. He paused. "I'm not sure how active I'm going to be on it."

He said he wanted to hear more about Republicans' reactions to the bill before doing any lobbying.


David A. Fahrenthold

 |  May 19, 2010; 7:15 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Figueres to run U.N. climate talks | Next: EPA demands less-toxic dispersant


Please report offensive comments below.

Australia instigated a cash subsidy for converstion to gas-to-liquid-sourced fuel in the middle of the Iraqi misadventure, but we've got a nation-wide distribution set-up that has been in place for years. Pull into a "gas station" and you can fill up with diesel, gasoline or gas. The vehicle conversion costs about $5,000 and the subsidy was something like $1,800, so to recover costs you had to see a decent price variation to reclaim the initial investment... I think it was something like three years of use before the cost-debt was cancelled out and savings could be made thereafter... Not really that beneficial to ordinary citizens who want to see a saving straight away, but very cost-productive for cab-fleet owners, and delivery businesses etc.

Certainly it lowers the carbon footprint, a little, but even better than that it can turn a profit for business, and that's the only reason it's a good idea. Without a profit motive the best ideas don't go far, environmental concerns are for other people to deal with... maybe the death of the Gulf of Mexico will change people's priorities... maybe not...

Posted by: icurhuman2 | May 23, 2010 1:37 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I've become pretty convinced that T.Boone is primarily interested in money and reputation first, and if it happens to help America along the way that would be good too.

The man has correctly identified and is very clear that peak oil is here and aims to profit off of it. He understands that quite a lot of money can be made converting gasoline cars to natural gas cars. I think his commitment to doing something positive to avert climate change runs pretty much skin deep. So much for caring for the ole' grandchildren.

Posted by: billSWS | May 22, 2010 12:58 PM
Report Offensive Comment


Sorry AGWSCEPTIC99... (you forgot the "K" in skeptic, BTW).

I've watched an interview with T. Boone on Charlie Rose in a few spots where it was very clear that he understands and agrees with the well supported scientific theory of Anthropogenic Climate Change. Your sense of what is going on is not based on the man's own public statements on the matter.

Posted by: billSWS | May 22, 2010 12:50 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Pickens is a smart business man who understands that dependence on foreign oil places the country at risk. He probably has also figured out that the AGW CO2 hypothesis isn't based on science or facts; it is created by fervent believers who are out to save the world.

Pickens would like to figure out how to change the focus to foreign oil. His difficulty is that the AGW CO2 believers want only to focus on carbon dioxide and their related fantasies that the polar ice is about to melt and the seas are about to swamp New York City.

The problem is how to get something useful done about foreign oil without alienating the people who believe in CO2 and AGW. He needs their votes but likely isn't a true believer in CO2.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 21, 2010 12:20 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Post a Comment

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company