Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009

Ted Turner

One of the people I admire most is my friend Ted Turner. Why? Because he is an innovator whose greatest legacy is bettering the world around him.

Ted realized the potential of cable television long before anyone else. But he did more than just build a global media organization. He beamed the American Dream around the world and by doing so spread democratic ideals. With CNN, he accomplished what Ronald Reagan implored: he tore down those walls.

My father used to tell me that you could "judge a wood chipper by his chips." It's always been easy to measure Ted's chips; only these days it's through his environmental commitment.

Ted is America's largest private landowner: 2 million acres from coast to coast. And that's not including his properties in Argentina. He's an environmental poster child for people who dream about pristine prairies and use terms like self-sustaining and zero carbon footprint. Just as important, his landholdings are profitmakers that generate income from ecotourism, forestry, ranching, farming and oil and gas leases.

Is there a master plan in all of this? You bet there is. Ted sees the green economy as the greatest economic-stimulus plan imaginable.

I'm 80 years old, and Ted is 70. Over the next decade, I can't wait to see how he will continue to change our world for the better.

Pickens is chairman of BP Capital Management

Fast Fact: Turner owns 50,000 head of bison, the largest private herd in the world