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T. Boone Pickens why should we listen to him

Updated on September 11, 2008

why should we listen to T. Boone Pickens

America is dependent on foreign, that we all know.

We are in crisis right now over the price of oil, the

lack of oil and where our oil is coming from.

According to the T.Boone Pickens website,,

Everyday 85 million barrels of oil are produced worldwide.

21 million of those barrels are used here in the

United States. That is 25% of the world's oil

demand for 4% of the population. That is alot

of oil.

Unfortunatly we cannot just stop using oil right

at this moment. It is something that we all use

every day in some sort of way. Here are a few

of the ways that oil is used everyday.

1. Some medicines, such as penicillin, are made

by organisms, but most are manufactured from

chemicals, and many of these are made from

petroleum products. Acetylsalicylic acid, or

ASA, is the active ingredient in many of the

well-known, over-the-counter pain relievers.

ASA is manufactured from petrochemicals.

One of the first uses of oil, dating back

thousands of years, was as medicine.

2. Other early uses included illumination and as a

boat resin to help keep ships sea-worthy.

Synthetic shoes are made from a petroleum

product. Many rubber soles are also made from

petroleum. Natural rubber becomes sticky when

hot and stiff when cold, but man-made rubber

stays much more flexible. Car tires are made

from synthetic rubber, which makes them much

safer to drive on. Today, the demand for synthetic

rubber is four-times greater than for natural rubber.

3. The color of most pen ink is the result of dyes.

These dyes are made from petrochemicals.

You will probably be surprised to know that a

plastic bottle is made from the same petrochemical

as the fiber we call polyester! All plastic products,

many of the materials used to make the clothes you

wear, or the carpet you walk on, plus hundreds of the

other products we take for granted, are made from

petrochemicals. As the name implies,

a main ingredient in petrochemicals is oil.

4. Compact discs and casette tapes ae made using

petroleum products. All plastic products (many of the

materials used to make the clothes you wear, or the

carpet you walk on, plus hundreds of the other products

we take for granted) are made from petrochemicals. As

the name implies, a main ingredient in petrocehmicals is


5. Food additives are yet another petrochemical. Many of

these additives increase the shelf-life of canned food.

Tihs keeps the food fresh longer, and allows more people

throughout the world to eat healthy.

6. Detergents are substances that act as cleansing agents

when mixed with water. There are two main types of

detergents: soapy and soapless. Most soapless detergents

are made from oil products. The soapless detergents

include powders and liquids used to wash clothes and

dishes in a dishwasher. Some are made using petrochemicals,

while others are made using alcohols and ethylene oxide

that are petrochemical products.

7. Fertilizers increase crop yields, as well as make the

plants in your windowsill look nice. Some of the chemicals

in this fertilizer came from petroleum products. Pesticides

are among the many chemicals that my be used to protect

crops. Much like fertilizers, oil is an important ingredient

in many pesticides. Some people think that our food production

would only be half of what it is today if pesticides were not

used. Without the use of pesticides, food would cost much more than

at present, and many people would have to pay more to eat

nutritious meals.

8. A candle is made from wax. Wax is a raw petroleum product.

It is used to make candles, milk cartons and polishes.

Through refining, petroleum can be turned into many types of

petrochemicals. One of these is synthetic (man-made) fibers,

which can be woven into curtains and carpets. Man-made

fibers are often wrinkle-free, so they look better. Many also

do not absorb water, so mold and mildew are much less of a


9. Ethylene is one of the byproducts of distilling oil. (Distilling

simply means heating. Since oil is made of various substances,

these substances will boil off at different temperatures as oil

is heated). It can be made softer and used for film and garbage

bags, or harder to make milk crates.

10. The plastic of the bandage is made from oil. Also, the non-stick

pad that covers the wound is man-made cloth which is manufactured

from petrochemicals. The medical industry relies heavily on oil-based

products to improve much of their equipment and medicine.

11. Make-up, nail polish and lipstick are all made, at least partly,

from oil. They are mixtures of such compounds as oils, waxes, perfumes, and

colors, many of which can be made from petrochemicals. Nail polishes,

for instance, are mixtures of pigments, solids, and solvents. The

pigments give the polish its color, and the solids form the film that

sticks to the nail and provides gloss and flexibility. Hair dye is also

created using petroleum products.

12. Many household rugs are made from man-made petro-chemicals.

These man-made rugs are constructed with synthetic fibers. Man-made

fibers have many advantages over natural fibers. They do not absorb

water, so they drip-dry very easily and quickly. For this reason, they

do not rot.

Some examples of man-made fibers are polyester, nylon, and acrylic.

Acrylic can be made into a number of products, including rope and


So what can we do to cut our depency on oil, foreign and domestic.

I unfortunatley do not have the answer to this question, but I think

I know of a man who does. Who is this man? He is T. Boone Pickens.

Some of you may Know him from his commercials or some may know him as

a giant in the oil industry, and If you are from Oklahoma you may

know him as one of the Biggest contributors to OSU.

Let me give you a little history of this man first. The breadth of

T. Boone Pickens' career is staggering. He built the largest independent

oil company in the United States and flourished as an entrepreneur after

leaving it, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

Among his lengthy accolades, Financial World named him CEO of the Decade

in 1989 and the Oil and Gas Investor listed him as one of the "100 Most

Influential People of the Petroleum Century.

"The thing you have to understand about Boone is that it's all about action,

" longtime associate Bobby Stillwell told Grant's Interest Rate Observer in

2004. "There's no sitting around." Pickens is afflicted with the inherent

restlessness that drives most entrepreneurs. That restlessness manifested

itself early in his life. While he was still a teen, the Holdenville, Oklahoma,

native expanded his newspaper route sales by acquiring surrounding routes

one by one.

Traditional corporate life chafed Pickens. The Oklahoma State University

graduate left his first adult employer, Phillips Petroleum, and started what

would become Mesa Petroleum with $2,500 and a healthy dose of moxey. He

built his company into an independent powerhouse that challenged and changed

the good-old-boy corporate culture in America. During this time, his face

appeared regularly on every significant business publication in America. He

put a spotlight on the rights of the true owners of American businesses, its

shareholders. He pounded on the doors of Japanese boardrooms, demanding that

American investors have the same access to Japan and other foreign markets

as foreign investors have in the United States. When at 68 he left the

independent oil company he had nurtured for forty years, he reinvented himself,

built a new, highly successful company, and made more money than he ever had

before. During the past few years, his uncanny on-the-mark forecasts on the price

of oil have made him the focus of major news programs and led CNBC to label him

the "Oracle of Oil."

During the span of his career, Pickens has made hundreds of millions of dollars-

for others as well as himself - and he isn't timid about spreading it around. "I

like making money. I like giving it away," he has often said. The breadth of his

philanthropy - more than $600 million - includes medical research, athletics, and

academic projects. In 2006, his charitable activities, which included $175 million

and the establishment of the T. Boone Pickens Foundation, placed him on the

Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of top U.S. philanthropists for the second

straight year. His Foundation is focused on improving lives through grants

supporting educational programs, health and medical research and services,

athletics and corporate wellness, the entrepreneurial process, at-risk youth,

and conservation and wildlife initiatives.

"Entrepreneurs search for - and create - value," Pickens wrote in Boone Pickens:

the Luckiest Guy in the World. "That underlying value is what my life is all

about - whether the focus is the energy business or some other endeavor. Today,

we enjoy a robust economy and significant shareholders' say in the companies

they own. Takeovers, solicited or otherwise, have become an accepted business

practice; today, the Business Roundtable does not attack the acquirers, win or

lose. Countless gambles played a part in bringing that combination together.

Our role in the journey was worth the risks."

His life, stunning achievements and stinging losses alike, is chock full of

lessons, most of which he has readily shared over the years. His impact on

American culture reflects his many interests and passions, including his

unyielding belief in the entrepreneurial spirit, his leadership in corporate

fitness, the need for alternative fuel development, and his prudent stewardship

of American lands. Pickens, a proud alum of OSU (it was operating as Oklahoma

A&M when he graduated), has donated the gist of his professional papers to his

alma mater.

America is addicted to foreign oil. It's an addiction that threatens our

economy, our environment and our national security. It touches every part

of our daily lives and ties our hands as a nation and a people.The addiction

has worsened for decades and now it's reached a point of crisis.

In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil. Today it's nearly 70% and growing.

As imports grow and world prices rise, the amount of money we send to

foreign nations every year is soaring. At current oil prices, we will

send $700 billion dollars out of the country this year alone - that's

four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.

Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion - it will

be the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.

Can't we just produce more oil?

World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an

unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the

last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to

find and there just isn't enough of it to keep up with demand.

The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone.

What's the good news?

The United States is the Saudi Arabia of wind power.

Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains States

are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world - by far.

The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can

come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power

for more than a quarter of the country.

Today's wind turbines stand up to 410 feet tall, with blades that stretch

148 feet in length. The blades collect the wind's kinetic energy. In one

year, a 3-megawatt wind turbine produces as much energy as 12,000 barrels

of imported oil.

Wind power currently accounts for 48 billion kWh of electricity a year

in the United States - enough to serve more than 4.5 million households.

That is still only about 1% of current demand, but the potential of wind

is much greater.

A 2005 Stanford University study found that there is enough wind power

worldwide to satisfy global demand 7 times over - even if only 20% of wind

power could be captured.

Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas

panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the

United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion

to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns.

That's a lot of money, but it's a one-time cost. And compared to the $700

billion we spend on foreign oil every year, it's a bargain.

An economic revival for rural America.

Developing wind power is an investment in rural America.

To witness the economic promise of wind energy, look no further than

Sweetwater, Texas. Sweetwater was typical of many small towns in middle-America.

With a shortage of good jobs, the youth of Sweetwater were leaving in search

of greater opportunities. And the town's population dropped from 12,000 to

under 10,000.

When a large wind power facility was built outside of town, Sweetwater

experienced a revival. New economic opportunity brought the town back to

life and the population has grown back up to 12,000. In the Texas panhandle,

just north of Sweetwater, is the town of Pampa, where T. Boone Pickens'

Mesa Power is currently building the largest wind farm in the world. In

addition to creating new construction and maintenance jobs, thousands

of Americans will be employed to manufacture the turbines and blades.

These are high skill jobs that pay on a scale comparable to aerospace

jobs. Plus, wind turbines don't interfere with farming and grazing, so they

don't threaten food production or existing local economies. A cheap new

replacement for foreign oil.

Natural gas and bio-fuels are the only domestic energy sources used for

transportation.Cleaner Natural gas is the cleanest transportation fuel

available today.

According to the California Energy Commission, critical greenhouse gas

emissions from natural gas are 23% lower than diesel and 30% lower

than gasoline. Natural gas vehicles (NGV) are already available and

combine top performance with low emissions. The natural gas Honda

Civic GX is rated as the cleanest production vehicle in the world.

According to NGVAmerica, there are more than 7 million NGVs in use

worldwide, but only 150,000 of those are in the United States.

The EPA estimates that vehicles on the road account for 60% of carbon

monoxide pollution and around one-third of hydrocarbon and nitrogen

oxide emissions in the United States. As federal and state emissions

laws become more stringent, many requirements will be unattainable with

conventionally fueled vehicles.Since natural gas is significantly

cleaner than petroleum, NGVs are increasing in popularity. The Ports

of Los Angeles and Long Beach recently announced that 16,800 old diesel

trucks will be replaced, and half of the new vehicles will run on

alternatives such as natural gas.

Cheaper Natural gas is significantly less expensive than gasoline or diesel.

In places like Utah and Oklahoma, prices are less than $1 a gallon. To see

fueling stations and costs in your area, check out

Domestic Natural gas is our country's second largest energy resource

and a vital component of our energy supply. 98% of the natural gas used

in the United States is from North America. But 70% of our oil is purchased

from foreign nations.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest and most useful forms of energy -

residentially, commercially and industrially. The natural gas industry has

existed in the United States for over 100 years and continues to grow.

Domestic natural gas reserves are twice that of petroleum. And new discoveries

of natural gas and ongoing development of renewable biogas are continually

adding to existing reserves.

While it is a cheap, effective and versatile fuel, less than 1% of natural

gas is currently used for transportation. We currently use natural gas to

produce 22% of our electricity. Harnessing the power of wind to generate

electricity will give us the flexibility to shift natural gas away from

electricity generation and put it to use as a transportation fuel - reducing

our dependence on foreign oil by more than one-third.

How do we get it done?

The Pickens Plan is a bridge to the future - a blueprint to reduce foreign

oil dependence by harnessing domestic energy alternatives, and buy us time

to develop even greater new technologies. Building new wind generation

facilities and better utilizing our natural gas resources can replace more

than one-third of our foreign oil imports in 10 years. But it will take


On January 20th, 2009, a new President will take office.

We're organizing behind the Pickens Plan now to ensure our voices will be

heard by the next administration. Together we can raise a call for change

and set a new course for America's energy future in the first hundred days

of the new presidency - breaking the hammerlock of foreign oil and building

a new domestic energy future for America with a focus on sustainability.

You can start changing America's future today by supporting the Pickens Plan.

Join now.


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    • Brandon Spaulding profile image

      Brandon Spaulding 

      6 years ago from Yahoo, Contributor

      T Boone Pickens has some interesting ideas that seem to make a lot of sense. I appreciate his efforts to raise awareness and get things done in Washington. Private industry needs to listen to him. Thanks for the article. Very informative.

    • vrajavala profile image


      7 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      Gull Island, Alaska has oil reserves for the next 200 years.

      I'm sorry, but there is a political agenda making the USA dependent on Islamic countries.

      I persoanlly do not want to be a part of a suppressed "kaffir" population being forced to convert or die in a world wide caliphate.

      Communist Cuba, China, Venezuela are all drilling in the Gulf.

      Sorry. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but there is something definitely going on.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I like T. Boone Pickens because he paid for the Reagan library! When you dare to make a difference, you make yourself a target! Normal, average people do and get average things....

    • profile image

      Jim Hickey 

      10 years ago

      Hello Gwendymom,

      It was actually in response to Christoph's comments; sorry for the confusion.

      I think we need to think long and hard before jumping back on the nuke bandwagon.  This country has been trying to select a site to dispose of waste for almost three decades and has focused on Yucca Mountain in Nevada and the facility still is not fully permitted. Construction is still at least a decade away.

      I also have reservations about building such a facility in a tectonically active environment.  We have a greater number of viable options to fill our need (current and additional fossil fuel; wind; solar; bio-products when done right; etc.).

      Sorry for ranting it's just a pet-peve of mine ;).

      Nice Hub btw ....... and I do support the Picken's Plan and will continue too until someone offers something better!

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Oklahoma

      Jim, I am not sure who your question is pointed to? I think Christoph agreed with what was said here, but that maybe nuclear power is another option for this country to be self reliant.

    • profile image

      Jim Hickey 

      10 years ago

      The problem with nuclear .... it is another finite Earth resource and the US is seventh in the World in reserves .... even Russia is ahead of us at #3 .... perhaps we should purchase it from Putin!

      And as far as people being killed my wind turbines ..... magnitudes more have died extracting, processing and even using oil, gas and coal ... so what is your point exactly?

    • profile image

      Jim Hickey 

      10 years ago

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      I read it in Vanity Fair within the last year (yep, I was actually reading printed material!). I went to their website but can't find it, but I tried. Maybe it's not true.

    • gwendymom profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Oklahoma

      Christoph, I am so glad that someone fianlly commented on ths hub. I'm not sure why people aren't. T. Boone definetly has his gravy train, so I am sure that he is no dumby. I think his plan is great, I think we should listen to him, and America needs to be able to rely on itself. I love the fact that he has bought a car that runs on natural gas and uses it, at under a $1.00 a gallon!

      I did not know that more people have benn killed by wind turbines than by nuclear power plants. I would love to read that article if you could give me the link.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Your such a nice guy.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      I think T. Boone is someone who should be listened to. He has proven that he knows what he's talking about, and few others in his position or with his petroleum history are venturing plans on replacing their gravy train (of course, T. Boone already has his gravy.)

      I know you don't want to get on the subject of nuclear power, but I came across an interesting fact that I found facinating: Did you know that more people have been killed from wind turbines than have ever been killed by nuclear power plants, including Chernobyl? Maybe that should get more consideration. Thanks for a great hub.


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