Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009

T. Boone Pickens

My good pal T. Boone Pickens is not your average retiree. After four decades growing Mesa Petroleum into an energy giant, he has redefined himself to become a seemingly unlikely environmental crusader.

One of Boone's favorite so-called Booneisms is one he learned from his dad: "A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan." Last July, at 80, and with his dad's words in mind, Boone unveiled his blueprint to reduce our country's astonishing dependence on foreign oil and end what he calls the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. The Pickens Plan details steps we should take to utilize our abundant natural gas, wind and solar power here in the U.S. Always thinking big, and acting bigger, Boone proposes building a $12 billion wind farm in the Texas Panhandle — the most ambitious design to harness renewable wind energy to date. Tireless and fiercely competitive, Boone isn't going to let the other guy reach the finish line first. He's put millions of dollars of his personal fortune into an unprecedented campaign to market his plan.

Boone and I have a lot in common. We've both made a lot of money, and we've also given a lot of it away. For all his accomplishments, I respect Boone most for his vision, generosity and can-do attitude. He recognizes that investing in renewable energy isn't just the right thing to do for the environment; it's the smartest and most prudent financial investment we can make in these times. It's a win-win opportunity, and when we're talking about our kids' and grandkids' future, I'm listening to the man with the plan.

Turner is a philanthropist and investor

Fast Fact: Pickens plans to build a huge wind farm in a state known for oil