LA Times Knocks Off T. Boone's Green Halo

The Los Angeles Times does an eloquent body slam on the green halo floating over T. Boone Pickens’ head today. Pickens’ plan to use natural gas-powered vehicles for a third of U.S. transportation turns out to have a very self-serving interest, which could also be funded by billions from California taxpayers. OK, so we knew Pickens is a savvy businessman, but we can’t help but feel a little let down — please, a moment of silence for our crushed idealism.

Alright; all done. So here’s why you should be concerned. Reporter Anthony Rubenstein writes in the LA Times that Pickens owns natural gas fueling station company Clean Energy Fuels, which of course would benefit tremendously from the Pickens Plan’ call to boost natural gas vehicles. But more interestingly, Rubenstein says Clean Energy Fuels is the only backer of a proposition on California’s November ballot that calls for the sale of $5 billion in general fund bonds for clean energy incentives. “[B]y the time the principal and the interest is paid off,” he writes, “it would squander at least $9.8 billion in taxpayer money on Pickens’ self-serving natural gas agenda.”

Ah, so that’s who’s supposed to fund T. Boone’s plan. We were wondering about that. The is proposition is also supposedly filled with a “laundry list of cash grabs” for natural gas vehicles, many of which could go straight to Clean Energy Fuels. Hey Californians, watch out for Prop 10. Like us, Rubenstein sheds a tear for the newly minted green leader, and says he almost prefers to think that Pickens is being misled by his lawyers and consultants.