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New Pickens ad: “I say drill, drill, drill”

By Joe Romm on August 25, 2008 at 9:05 am

"New Pickens ad: “I say drill, drill, drill”"

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In his first TV ad, conservative billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens said “This Is One Emergency We Can’t Drill Our Way Out Of.” Although Pickens clearly still believes that, I’m sure he got beat up by his conservative Big Oil friends about how progressives were repeating “over and over again” to argue, correctly, as to how pointless offshore drilling is.

So in his new ad, here, Pickens says, “drill, drill, drill” even though it won’t solve the problem. Sad.

I interviewed Pickens for Salon and will be doing a big article on him later this week. The bottom line is that because he remains an uber-conservative at heart — he was a big funder of the Swift Boat ads — he simply cannot bring himself to support politically those who believe in his renewable energy vision.

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13 Responses to New Pickens ad: “I say drill, drill, drill”

  1. copper potts says:

    moving to natural gas for vehicles is not that good of an idea. it’s only popular in Utah. PHEVs are the way to go. the cars can still run on natural gas but it will be natural gas through a PHEV extension cord.

  2. Bob Wallace says:

    Google’s fleet of Prius PHEV conversions gets 90+ mpg in mixed city/highway driving.

    Moving from a 18-19 mpg fuel hog to a P-PHEV would make ones gas bill seem like they had found a station with $0.80 gas.

  3. Ronald says:

    This report at this link says that Europe will have 250 000 Electric Vehicles a year by 2015. That’s alot, still a way to go.

    http://www.batteryvehiclesociety.org.uk/wordpress/?p=429

    j

  4. Don Hollis says:

    Did you watch the entire ad? It’s online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ30c8IZQR8

    Pickens says “drill, drill, drill–but the debate misses the point.” He’s saying we SHOULDN’T drill. It won’t solve the problem. In fact, he says drilling domestically will sustain our dependence on foreign energy–meaning that more drilling will actually make the problem worse.

    He also says, “We need renewable fuels for transportation.” Natural gas is a “bridge” to better, cleaner, domestic renewables. That’s the goal, and offshore oil drilling isn’t part of it.

  5. Carol Lewis says:

    If T. Boone is getting beat up by his oil buddies, why his he still excluding oil from his plan? As I understand it, his plan calls for a mixture of wind, natural gas, and solar. He still clearly thinks–as you say–that we can’t drill our way out of this emergency. So how is he getting strong-armed by big oil?

  6. Brewster says:

    I thought that I had heard in one of Pickens’ pieces that he was now thinking that Natural Gas would be used to power commercial vehicles, not cars. That would make much more sense, as the infrastructure would be much less difficult, and PHEV’s would still be the answer for private cars…

    Did I misunderstand??

  7. Todd says:

    Pickens is basically right. Currently, we are slavishly dependent on oil, and the technologies needed to effectively mitigate that dependency are years away. That’s the gap he seeks to bridge.

    Pickens fails to mention, however, that the gap exists b/c for 20 years oil industry propaganda undermined, de-funded, and sabotaged alternative fuels research. Only now, and only b/c oil is no longer profitable, is the industry trying to spin itself as “part of the solution.”

    Pickens goal — the industry’s end game — is to maintain a crucial status quo: trust the big energy producers to keep producing energy. All they need is a little more time (and access to coal bed methane, i.e. natural gas). They need our complacency b/c one thing, more than other scares the bejeezes out of them.

    Solar power, especially, could *someday* allow consumers to produce their own energy, for the cost of a few panels at the local home center. And that means the end of “the grid.” Since it’s inception, making and selling electricity has required enormous and costly infrastructure. And like commercial flight dethroned the railway barons, the miniaturization of energy production threatens to overthrow our American royalty of the last 3 decades.

    So Pickens is basically right. But for everyone’s sake, don’t trust him. “Foreign oil” is something of a myth in today’s global economy. We have occupied Iraq and the Saudi’s are more or less our allies. Our real “dependence” is on the paradigm that energy production lies fully within the purview of mega-corporations. Our “freedom” depends on taking individual responsibility for meeting our energy needs.

  8. Bob Wallace says:

    It might be more useful to view Pickens as a “work in progress”.

    Here we’ve got a wildly successful oil man and a semi-far right winger who’s rethinking his basic positions.

    He’s seen the end of the petroleum and coal as our major energy sources, largely I suspect, from a purely economic/supply viewpoint and not as an environmental perspective. And I think he is somewhat, if not totally sincere about doing something positive during the last part of his life in helping us move past fossil fuels. This may well be his version of Buffett and Gates using their enormous wealth to do good.

    I think we should welcome Pickens involvement in fixing our energy problems. But we should not automatically appoint him a guru.

    He understands doing things on a big scale. He has extraordinary resources, both financial and access, that should allow him to move things along much more rapidly than could be done by an “ordinary mortal”. But I doubt that he has a deep understanding of how close we are to a electric powered personal transportation system.

    Get the Volt on the market with its ability to carry us 80% of the time on electricity alone or a plug-in Prius with equal or better performance and lots of oil people like Pickens will start to “get it”.

    In the meantime Pickens will accelerate our move away from coal by building huge wind farms and the transmission lines needed to ship the power and we will be more ready for our future.

  9. mitilda cairnes says:

    Of course Pickens isn’t against drilling. He doesn’t attempt to hide the fact that he has been an oil man all his life, and that drilling is still necessary in some capacity in our world; however, he definitely emphasizes that drilling is not what we should prioritize. As his TV ad continues to say, we need to put our efforts, research, and money into renewable technologies that will wean us off of our reliance on foreign oil. I think it’s pretty clear: he knows we have to drill for a certain amount of time (and he’s not morally opposed to it) but that focusing on energy policies that only include drilling will most definitely not help our country become energy independent. His campaign is not providing any funding for domestic drilling, so I think it’s pretty clear that his money is where his mouth is in terms of increasing infrastructure for wind and solar power, and natural gas

  10. jim mara says:

    Although T. Boone is an oil man, his plan does not call for drilling. He is personally not against drilling for oil. He wants what is best for the United States, and if drilling means not importing oil from other countries that is fine with him. If you look at his plan it has nothing to do with drilling for oil. He supports wind power used for electricity and natural gas and bio-fuels used for transportation. Keep in mind that we are shipping $700 billion overseas for oil per year. In ten years we could give $7 trillion to foreign nations for oil, or we could give American farming communities $1.2 trillion to create wind facilities. Which seems more sensible?

  11. Kye Goodwin says:

    The climate insider wrote:

    “So in his new ad, here, Pickens says, “drill, drill, drill” even though it won’t solve the problem. Sad.”

    I disagree, It is not sad it is smart. All progressives should be saying something like: ” Sure lets drill. But then we should also start doing something that has a chance of solving our energy problem.” As long as drilling is banned in any of the US many naive voters will imagine, with help from deceptive advertising, that the ban is the problem. I’m an environmentalist, but I can see that the entire oil-based world energy system is more than half over and no longer really worth trying to shrink on what is now more of a principle than a practical reality. Worldwide drilling and tanker traffic are already declining and will continue to do so “naturally” from now on no matter how frantically humans scramble to produce more oil. Just the shock of being told to go ahead and drill by environmentalists might wake people up to the reality that the oil age is passing into history of necessity. We never got to choose this transition but nature is now imposing it.

  12. rob says:

    Give the man some credit! He has made his money in big oil. While, I am not sure he the actual argument correct, he’s close. Algore or al gore if u like, says that global warming, resulting from fossil fuels is the big problem, others say that sending all of our cash to the middle east to support thier ideals and economy is the problem, others say that this is a national security problem, since we cant supply our own energy..others like sean hannity and glen beck just want to keep on the buying the biggest suv/ark-(a stretch excursion/hummer only longer and wider and less fuel efficient if possible) money can buy. While it will take an increasing larger car and more oil or energy to transport sean hannity’s ever increasing ass down the street, there are better ways to acheive this goal. It seems that most rational people are actually on the same page. As for Hannity and beck, I visualize a giant catapult, ideally, sending them both into la brea tar pits. Feathers to follow.

  13. shop says:

    “This Is One Emergency We Can’t Drill Our Way Out Of.” Although Pickens clearly still believes that, I’m sure he got beat up by his conservative Big Oil friends about how progressives were repeating “over and over again” to argue, correctly, as to how pointless offshore drilling is.