I’ve been watching Pickens with a high degree of curiosity as he pitches his energy plan. On one hand I see a guy worth $4b that isn’t in this for the money, yet I haven’t seen too many billionaires that were not always looking for a 45 degree angle on a deal. I was therefore somewhat disappointed to realize that the core of Pickens plan is not just wind but natural gas, to which he has substantial financial incentives in the form of Clean Energy Fuels.
I’m not casting a judgement on the Pickens plan, mostly because very little of it is described in detail. The plan is essentially a 3 page brochure that says we need more wind power and natural gas for transportation. No word on vehicle conversion, gas pipeline development, electrical grid impact, taxes, distribution of costs as they span state boundaries, exploration for natural gas, etc.
Then there is Nancy “trying to save the planet” Pelosi and Pickens making strange bedfellows indeed with the Speaker’s investment in CLNE, even if it is a relatively small one. Nonetheless, these perceptions of conflicts lead to actual conflicts that fuel the “business as usual” sentiment among the public that results in voter disgust and disenchantment.
We don’t doubt that T. Boone Pickens will eventually make substantial earnings off of his green kick — including the world’s largest wind farm, and the proliferation of natural gas to power our vehicles. But Clean Energy Fuels, Pickens’ natural gas distribution company, reported earnings yesterday and, yep, it’s still losing money. The company reported a loss of $2.41 million for the quarter, though that was narrowed from a loss of $3.56 million for the same quarter a year ago.