T. Boone Pickens, a Texan oil tycoon, has made it his mission to promote massive new investment toward alternative energy sources. Pickens discusses his plan and efforts to make energy independence a central issue in the fall campaign.
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A political conservative, a lifelong Republican, T. Boone Pickens first made his name and his fortune as an American oil man. His takeover bids during the 1980s earned him his reputation as a corporate raider to some, a shareholder activist to others.
Pickens became a billionaire and one of the wealthiest men in the world. In 2004, he financed the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry's presidential bid.
But in 2008, Pickens is capturing new attention for a very different cause in this election. He's launched a major advertising campaign to pitch his plan to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
Here's a clip from one of his ads on the air in recent weeks.
T. BOONE PICKENS, Oil Executive:
Did you know, back in 1970, we imported 24 percent of our oil and, by 1990, it was 42 percent? Today it's almost 70 percent and climbing every minute.
Over $700 billion are leaving this country to foreign nations every year. That's four times the cost of the Iraqi war, and it's killing our economy. It'll be the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.
We don't need any more talk. We need action, and we need a plan. And it's got to be the top priority of the next president and the next Congress.
For more details about the plan and how T. Boone Pickens is hoping to change the political debate on energy, he joins us now. He's in Dallas this evening.
Welcome, Mr. Pickens.
T. BOONE PICKENS:
Thank you, Ray.