Ripe for the Pickens

Has legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens really gone green?


the ads are startling. Standing before a windswept field, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens declares that a fifth of our electricity should come from wind in 10 years and natural gas should fuel our cars. But there’s more to the conversion than meets the eye. While Pickens plans to spend $10 billion to erect the world’s largest wind farm in West Texas and another $2 billion for the power lines to connect it to Dallas, he has also proposed using the same right of way to bring water from the Ogallala aquifer to cities downstate. (The pipeline is on hold until he finds a buyer.) “The wind is meant to sweeten the deal,” Warren Chisum, the area’s Republican State representative, told Business Week. “The big money for Pickens is in the water.” And in California, a Pickens company that builds natural gas filling stations is the main backer of a ballot measure to “enhance California’s energy independence” by offering $2.9 billion in rebates for those who buy alternative-fuel vehicles. “He’s going to try to control the channel” of natural gas distribution, says Anthony Rubenstein, founder of Californians for Clean Energy, who opposes the measure. “This is just a different version of the same deal he’s always done.”


THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.