T. Boone Pickens may be an oilman, but he isn't a climate change denier. During an event focused on American energy policy, Pickens and philanthropist Ted Turner spoke about energy, climate change and politics at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The two tycoons spoke in matter-of-fact tones and were even interrupted a few times with applause. Pickens was on the receiving end of one such ovation when he explained his desire to take on climate change.
“I’m a geologist,” Pickens began. “But I am one of the few geologists that believes in climate change.” To that, Pickens got a positive response from the normally buttoned-up Press Club crowd. When Pickens was pressed about what convinced him to take his climate change position, he talked about nature.
“I am pretty interested in polar bears, and that ice cap sure is disappearing fast. I don’t go for all that funny weather stuff, but the way that ice is disappearing fast, it’s not normal,” Pickens said.
Pickens, who is the chairman of BP Capital Management, may be interested in polar bears but he's also interested a politics. Pickens said he would be satisfied with the cash he has invested in his Pickens Plan if sees some action in Congress soon. “I feel like I will get my money’s worth when we pass H.R. 1380,” said Pickens.
House Resolution 1380 is making its way through the House of Representatives. It essentially calls for the United States to incentivize the transition to domestic energy sources, specifically natural gas, in the name of energy security. Pickens has a clear stake in the game, as H.R. 1380 includes a $60,000 tax credit to business for every new heavy-duty truck purchased that is fueled by compressed natural gas. Pickens owns companies that hold the patens for outfitting trucks with natural gas engines, not to mention huge stakes in natural gas companies.
Still, Pickens is on record wanting to take action to climate change. He may be able to profit from it — but he's not denying that either.