Pickens Takes His Campaign to Capitol Hill

Billionaire's pitch for wind power backed up by big talk, big cash
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 11:00 AM CDT
Boone Pickens responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 in New York.    (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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(Newser) – Oilman T. Boone Pickens’ pitch for a new plan to get the US off foreign oil is drawing a great deal of attention—partially due to its rhetorical ambition, and partially due to Pickens’ willingness to walk the walk with his estimated $4 billion checkbook. Politico examines Pickens’ determination to put wind power at the center of American energy policy, and his motives.

The so-called ‘Pickens Plan’—which calls for 20% of the nation's electricity to be wind-powered in 10 years—is pushed by face-to-face meetings with Pickens, as well as a massive multimedia promotional campaign and a swelling staff of aides and lobbyists. Today he's sitting down with the House Democratic caucus—quite a realignment for a guy who funded the Swift Boat Veterans in the 2004 campaign.