TED Talks: T. Boone Pickens on the Future of Energy

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

T. Boone Pickens is an unlikely environmentalist. The native Oklahoman made his fortune in the oil business, and then, in 2008, shifted his focus to America's energy future. The result is the Pickens Plan, an energy policy to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil through alternative energy and natural gas. Pickens will detail his plan at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, this week, where John Hockenberry is also speaking. 

John caught up with T. Boone Pickens to discuss the future of U.S. energy policy, politicians' influence on our energy future and Pickens' controversial support of fracking. 


T. Boone Pickens

Produced by:

Ben Gottlieb, Sitara Nieves and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [7]

David Shakespeare

This was an extremely poor interview by John Hockenberry. It seemed like he made no attempt to prepare for the interview or challenge Pickens on any of his outrageous, self-serving, self-promoting arguments.

No leadership from Obama on energy independence? NYTs yesterday said we are moving closer to energy independence under Obama than any other president. No damage to the Oglalla aquifer from fracking? How does he know? Did he do any tests? To dismiss the potential impact of fracking on GHG emissions, aquifers, earthquakes is irresponsible. Then his statement that wind and solar can't be used for transportation. Hello?? He just mentioned the Chevy Volt 2 minutes before that. Where was Hockenberry?

Then to top it off the Takeaway decribes T Boone Pickens as an environmentalist. Give me a fricken break.

Mar. 23 2012 10:04 AM
Alfred Jeffries, III from Lowell, MA

Did Mr. Pickens as the residents of Washington & Greene counties in PA about the dead animals and water contamination caused by the fracking? And where were you..........the New York Times did an article about this and you did not mention it as I remember.

Mar. 02 2012 03:04 AM

The high volume slick water horizontal hydrofracturing process used to mine shale gas is not the same as the 'fracking' process that has been in use since the 1950's, Mr. Pickens. Carcinogenic chemicals are combined with millions of gallons of water, then pumped into the earth under tremendous pressure facilitating the release of the gas. The industry claims it is safe in order to justify 'clean energy independence' however, every day there are new reports of water and air contamination at drilling sites. The process is also linked to earthquake activity.

Additionally, natural gas is a commodity, traded on the futures market just as oil is. The U.S. is currently exporting natural gas, likely because of the current low value in the U.S., and the amount in reserve. Natural gas vehicles for the average citizen are not on the showroom floor--and if they were, they would be priced too high for the average citizen to purchase. Is the auto industry gearing up for the changeover to natural gas? No. That would mean less profits for them, and for the oil and gas industry. Like that's going to happen.

Kudos to Mr. Pickens for his plan to develop wind power, upgrade the grid, and provide tax incentives for home/business owners' energy saving upgrades.

Feb. 29 2012 07:49 PM
Dale Morehouse

This morning Pickens was asked if he agreed with the Obama administration policy. He answered "What plan?" then went on to say Obama is only interested in alternative energy.
In fact on Thursday January 26th Obama proposed a tax credit for businesses that buy natural gas poered trucks.
My question is should Pickens be ignored because he is misrepresenting the facts or should he be ignored because he doesn't know what he is taking about?

Feb. 29 2012 01:55 PM
Paul from Pelham

I have to agree with Dan from NYC. So I decided to do some fact checking on my own. I heard Pickens reference the number of aircraft carriers in the world in his defense of how much money is being spent protecting oil export routes. According to my research, there are currently 21 in-service aircraft carriers in the world. According to Pickens, there are only 12 and we (US) have 11 of them and one is being outfitted by the Chinese. If Pickens is off by a factor of almost 50%, how good is the rest of his math on this subject? He doesn't even recognize that the following countries currently have carriers: Uunited Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, India, Brazil, and Thailand. His position appears to be based on his gut feeling and not fact. Just sayin'

Feb. 29 2012 09:51 AM

I heard only the end of Mr. Boone's conversation with John re the Pickens energy plan. I wanted to clarify: I have heard that there is a difference between vertical & horizontal fracking and that it is horizontal fracking that it is feared might pose a threat to the aquifer - is he including the latter when he speaks of his extensive experience with fracking?

Feb. 29 2012 07:52 AM
Dan from NYC

I don't trust this guy.

Feb. 29 2012 07:27 AM

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