Until recently, T. Boone Pickens was better known for greenmail than green energy. Pickens – oilman turned corporate raider – leveraged Mesa Petroleum and Michael Milliken’s junk bonds to make billions during the 1980’s hostile takeover craze.
But with his recent $10 billion tilt toward Texas wind farms and solar, who’s to say whether Pickens is an energy visionary or just the consummate frontrunning egomaniac? One thing is certain: Pickens has always had a plan, and he’s been spotting trends and making fortunes in energy for over half a century.
The “Pickens Plan” is basically a $58 million marketing campaign to wean the US off foreign oil within 10 years by using natural gas for vehicles, and wind and solar for utilities – and for Pickens to receive as much credit for it as possible.