At 10 PM tonight, the Sierra Club’s Carl Pope and right-wing oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens began a live-streamed chat that had been advertised across the Internet as an “e-rally” in response to the presidential debate. Pickens and Pope previously met in a discussion moderated by Center for American Progress Action Fund president John Podesta, in which the three found common ground on the question of getting off our dependence on oil.
Under the banner of the Pickens Plan to increase wind and natural gas use, Pickens and other natural gas titans are fueling a major campaign to support Proposition 10 in California, which would give $5 billion in taxpayer money to natural gas companies. Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a Pickens company, has spent $3.8 million directly pushing Prop 10.
Although the Sierra Club opposes Prop 10, it has raised no money to block the measure, according to state records.
At the Huffington Post, Josh Nelson notes that Pickens met with Sarah Palin last week and said, “she gets this energy situation.” As the Wonk Room has pointed out before, this is an absurd claim. Pickens’ early emphasis on wind power has faded to a message primarily pushing natural gas. Sadly, like Palin, Pickens also refuses to accept that man-made global warming is a crisis. He has refused to work with Al Gore, saying “global warming is on page two for me.”
The “e-rally” site allows visitors to send an endorsement of the problem-filled Pickens Plan to the presidential candidates.
UPDATE: On the Sierra Club’s Wild Blog, Matt Kirby wrote this July about Pickens:
He has no interest in conservation and no interest in greening our energy supply. He’s merely interested in energy independence and if that involves renewable energy, not to mention if he can make billions off of it, then so be it. He made it clear that he wants more domestic drilling than even John McCain. In his own words: “McCain says, ‘OK off the east and west coast.’ I say east, west coast and ANWR—get it all!”
So let me get this straight. We can’t drill our way out of this problem, but we should drill everything anyway? Could there perhaps be some lingering vested interests for T. Boone?