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Jun 9 2016

General David Petraeus on the Middle East Today

Jun 9, 2016

General David Petraeus has spent more time in a command role in the Middle East as a Two-Star Division Commander of the 101st Airborne; as a Three-Star Commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command – Iraq; and as a Four-Star General Commanding Multinational Force I (MNF I) better known as “The Surge.”

During this week’s Pickens Podcast discussion with General Petraeus, he told me, “We have a vital national interest in maintaining our relationships with the Middle East countries and to ensure the free flow of energy to nations around the world.”

He said that the Middle East is a “kaleidoscope of competing interests, not just between Shias and Sunnis, but between Iranians and Saudis, Persians and Arabs, Kurds and Arabs, competing tribal leaders and a number of smaller elements.”

General Petraeus said there are five lessons we have learned:

1. Islamic extremists will exploit ungoverned spaces.
2. The effects of exploiting ungoverned spaces will not be confined to those countries.
3. We have to lead. There is no alternative.
4. We need a comprehensive approach with the host country and other allies.
5. This is a generational struggle.

Please sit back and enjoy this riveting conversation with General David Petraeus.

Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

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May 26 2016

T. Boone Pickens interview with Haley Barbour

May 26, 2016

This week’s Pickens Podcast is with a friend and ally of many years, Haley Barbour. Haley was Chairman of the Republican National Committee when the GOP took over control of the U.S. House and served two terms as Governor of Mississippi.

Haley was Chairman when Newt Gingrich was Speaker and Bob Dole was Majority Leader of the Senate. But he remembers: People forget that Reagan always had a divided Congress. There was a LARGE Democratic majority in the House, but Reagan still got many important things done.

Even though Reagan had been a two-term governor of California and the president of a major union, people underestimated him because he had been an actor.

On the rabid political divide in Washington, Haley told me, “Reagan used to say: If you agree with me 80 percent of the time, you’re an 80 percent ally – not some 20 percent traitor.”

In 2012 the biggest mistake of the Romney campaign was to allow Obama’s campaign to define him. The whole campaign was “What’s wrong with Mitt Romney.”

There’s an old political saying: If you don’t define yourself, your opponent will do it for you.

I know you’ll enjoy my conversation with a man who started his career working for Richard Nixon in rural Mississippi and ended up being one of the most influential – and likeable – political figures of the last 30 years: Haley Barbour.

Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

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May 18 2016

Tony Robbins interviews T. Boone Pickens (Part 2)

May 18, 2016

Tony Robbins asked me about my background and my goals in our first podcast. In the second and final installment, I fielded some great questions from Tony and his audience on energy and global politics. Here are a few of the highlights from our great Q&A.

How will the Iran deal affect the price of oil? Some people have forecast that the Iranians will be able to export a million barrels a day. I’m not so keen on that number. I think it’s closer to two to three hundred thousand barrels a day.

How long can OPEC keep pumping cheap oil? The Saudis are already feeling the effects. Their cash reserves have come down from $800 billion to $600 billion. And this year they borrowed money for the first time to meet their social commitments.

Can we get rid of fossil fuels? It’s fine to want to get rid of fossil fuels, but you’ve got to be realistic. I don’t think we’re ready to go back to the bicycle. Every day around the world, 95 million barrels of oil are being used; 70 percent of it is being used as transportation fuel. What else are they going to use? Be real about the issues.

We’ve got an abundance of natural gas, but it’s only available to consumers out West. You’ve got it in the East too. Just look around. Or check with Clean Energy Fuels. Their website has a station locator that will show you where to take your natural gas vehicle.

Where do America’s greatest opportunities lie? Our tech industry is unbelievable. More will come from there like driverless cars. And the same thing with medical research and the energy industry. There are great opportunities in America today for young people.

This is the second of a two-part conversation. Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

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May 16 2016

Tony Robbins interviews T. Boone Pickens for a special Pickens Podcast episode

May 16, 2016

This week’s Pickens Podcast is a bit of a departure from the previous 27 episodes. My good friend, world famous motivational speaker and philanthropist, Tony Robbins, interviewed me for one of his programs.

Our discussion centered around business and energy. I told the group that I’m 87 now (88 in a few days) and I’ve paid over $700 million in taxes since I turned 70. Right now, I’ve given away more to the U.S. government than I’m worth.

Tony asked me about one of my great life lessons and I told the story about having found a wallet on my paper route in 1940 when I was 12. I took it back to the man who had lost it and he gave me a dollar (which was about four day’s worth of paper delivering). My grandmother made me return the dollar saying, “You’re not going to be paid for being honest.”

Tony asked how I turned a $2,500 investment into Mesa Petroleum – one of the largest independent oil producers in the world. I said we were fortunate. I came out of college as a geologist and went to work for Phillips Petroleum. So, I had a good education. I worked hard. And I worked for a great company.

One of the people in the audience asked me who my mentors were. I said I learned a lot from reading and watching industry leaders. I learned what was likely to be successful and what was not.

But, I said, I watched the energy industry. I wasn’t watching other industries. If you want to talk to me about tech companies like Amazon, it would be a short conversation because I’d run out of my knowledge in just a few minutes.

Energy? I can talk to you all night about it.

This is the first of a two-part conversation. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

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May 12 2016

America’s Future Natural Gas Economy: T. Boone Pickens and Arthur Herman

May 12, 2016

T. Boone Pickens was the featured guest at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC for a conversation hosted by Arthur Herman. This conversation is well worth watching because of the historical nature of the oil and gas industry through which Boone leads the audience. This is fact-filled but also generous with the famous Boone Pickens sense of humor.

To set the stage, Boone said that we use about 20 million barrels of oil per day (70 percent of that is used as our primary transportation fuel) and we import about half of it.

Boone talks about the tremendous impact horizontal drilling and fracking have had on the industry.

“I didn’t believe horizontal drilling would work when I saw it the first time. You have one well, you bend the pipeline 90 degrees and extend it out 10,000 feet; you frack it 40-60 times and you have access to all that oil or gas with just one hole and one rig.”

On American technology, Boone said, “When I got out of Oklahoma State University in 1951, we knew that over 90 percent of all the oil in the world had been found by American geologists and geophysicists. Today, 65 years later, it’s still about the same.”

Will oil prices go up? Boone thinks so: “Today we produce 93 million barrels per day worldwide. 70 percent of that goes to transportation fuel. The demand is growing, so next year we’ll need 94.5 million barrels a day, but oil fields tend to deplete at about 4 percent a year. So, globally, we are seeing modest growth on the demand side, and modest reduction on the supply side. What happens? Prices have to go up.”

What about the military cost involved in protecting Middle East oil? Boone told the group that 17 million barrels a day passes through the Straits of Hormuz. The U.S. gets about 1.2 million barrels – less than 10 percent – yet American taxpayers fund 100 percent of the costs.

“I asked the Pentagon if we could charge China and India and Europe for their share of those costs. They told me ‘We can charge them, but they won’t pay it.’”

On one of his favorite subjects, The Pickens Plan, Boone reminded the audience that he was not interested in changing passenger vehicles over to natural gas. But, moving from diesel to natural gas for heavy-duty trucks would save the truckers money because natural gas is much cheaper on a BTU-equivalent basis, it’s cleaner than diesel, and because of our enormous natural gas reserves we don’t have to worry about protecting someone else’s natural gas supplies.

Boone was asked: If the next President asked you what three elements of an energy policy should be, what would you say? He replied that he would say that the speech should begin with, “We will use our own resources.”

Second, Boone would tell them that we need to bring together Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to make it one oil and gas market as the North American Energy Alliance.

Third, get heavy-duty trucks on natural gas – not passenger cars or light trucks – and we can save 3 million barrels of oil per day.

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May 5 2016

Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer and T. Boone Pickens discuss the changing news business

May 5, 2016

This week’s Pickens Podcast is a wide-ranging discussion with the Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! Finance, Andy Serwer. We discussed everything from the changing news business to energy to the Presidential campaign.

Andy, the Managing Editor of Fortune before he moved over to Yahoo!, told me that we are witnessing the end of traditional newspapers. “It’s a generational thing,” Andy said. “You just don’t see 20-year-olds with printed newspapers.”

Andy knows about business, period. Not just the news business. I asked him where people should look for news about business in general and he listed Yahoo! Finance, Facebook, and (after some prodding from me) The Wall Street Journal or other printed newspapers like the The Washington Post. He also agreed that Politico was a good resource.

On the Presidential campaign, Andy said that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders “have gotten a lot of traction because they have both positioned themselves as complete outsiders looking to knock out the status quo.” He said he thought that a lot of Republicans will come around to supporting Trump who “is crazy like a fox.”

The issue of “flip-flopping” came up and we agreed that when new facts come to light, the smart businessperson will change course to meet those facts. In politics, people become wedded to a stated position and won’t change no matter what.

We talked about climate change, and I told him my position: “It’s a big enough issue so we shouldn’t ignore it, but I don’t think it’s as dangerous as some think it is.” Andy said, “You’ve changed your mind about it. You used to say you didn’t believe in it at all, but as you’ve read more about it you’re willing take another look.”

On fracking, I pointed out that the largest aquifer in the United States, the Ogallala, stretches from Midland, Texas to the South Dakota border — across eight states. 800,000 wells have been drilled within that vast territory and there is not one case of fracking damaging the ground water.

We talked about Sec. Hillary Clinton’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to fossil fuels. I reminded Andy Serwer that of the 94 million barrels of oil used every day in the world, 70 percent of it is used for transportation. What are Clinton and Sanders going to replace it with? Serwer said, “you can’t have solar powered airplanes or trains.”

Andy Serwer is a very smart and engaging guy and I know you’ll enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Subscribe to the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

— Boone

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Apr 28 2016

T. Boone Pickens’ conversation with RealClearPolitics’ Carl Cannon

Apr 28, 2016

This weekend, all of Washington will be celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association at their annual dinner. To honor the work of journalists in D.C., this week I am hosting Carl Cannon, Washington Bureau Chief and Executive Editor for RealClearPolitics.com, one of the most respected news websites in America. For this episode of the Pickens Podcast, we discuss the state of politics in America today, as well as my favorite topic: energy.

During our wide-ranging conversation, Carl stated, “the public is so tired of politics as usual that they don’t care whether you have the qualifications to be president.” Carl also said, “Obama changed the measuring stick” in terms of whether experience was crucial to winning the White House. Obama had less than three years of U.S. Senate service before he won the Presidency in 2008. “In what other job,” he asked rhetorically, “would experience be considered a liability?”

Carl’s dad, Lou Cannon, was the highly respected White House correspondent for the Washington Post. Carl has served in the same post for the National Journal. Carl and Lou co-authored a well-regarded book about Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, “Reagan’s Disciple.”

More than 5.9 million unique visitors click on RealClearPolitics.com every month, which is considered one of the top five influential news sites on the Internet. In addition to political news, the RealClear family features 14 other sections including economics, health, technology, sports and energy.

On the energy front, Carl is a realist when it comes to transportation fuels. He said that we are not “going to fuel cars like in “Back to the Future” with coffee grounds and banana peels.” He accused most American politicians who say that they are for an “all of the above” energy program of just paying lip service. He pointed out, though, that “the Chinese really are all-of-the-above.”

This is a fascinating conversation with one of the most respected journalists in Washington whose clear-eyed view of what’s going on is well worth your time.

Subscribe to the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

– Boone

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Apr 21 2016

T. Boone Pickens talks with Economic Advisor Larry Lindsey

Apr 21, 2016

Larry Lindsey, one of the greatest economic minds in the nation, and author of “Conspiracies of the Ruling Class,” a New York Times bestseller, said on this week’s Pickens Podcast that “we’re in the 7th year of a slow expansion. We may be running out of time before the next recession – maybe not next week, but it’s coming.”

Larry, a senior economic advisor to both Presidents Reagan and Bush, was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and he has a new, important book out called, “Conspiracies of the Ruling Class.”

“Everyone loves the party,” Larry said. “The party is being held up by a $4 trillion Fed balance sheet and zero interest – but we’re just postponing the hangover.” Adding to the “hair of the dog,” he said, “We printed money for the dot-com bubble in the 90s; printed money to fund the housing bubble; and now we’re printing money to fund the credit bubble.”

We talked about energy. I said that “the market is oversupplied by a million-and-a-half barrels a day. All over the world, drilling is being reduced. In the U.S. we’ve gone from 1,609 rigs in November 2014 to 350 rigs today.”

Larry agreed, saying: “Globally there are supply cuts and there will be demand growth to take up that 1.5 million barrel over-supply, so prices will inevitably go up.”

I asked him if rising oil prices could kick off a recession. “Usually,” Larry said, “the problem comes not from mistakes made in the market place, but mistakes made here in Washington.” In his new book, Larry said he started researching the reasons why voters – especially Republican voters — are angry at the way things have been going.

“Most of it is people in the establishment don’t understand what’s happening, much less why,” he said. Larry decided to write the book to show that “people in charge have turned the Constitution on its head. They’re taking power the founders never gave them and are using tax money to pay for it. “The ruling class thinks the government should run our lives and they should run the government.”

With the Presidency hanging in the balance, this is one of the most important discussions you may listen to all year.

Subscribe to the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

– Boone

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Apr 7 2016

“Blood Oil” author Leif Wenar on America’s OPEC oil dependence

Apr 7, 2016

This week’s Pickens Podcast features a very smart guy, Leif Wenar, who wrote a very smart book called “Blood Oil.” It is a serious look at the way OPEC and others have manipulated the industrialized world into dependence on their oil.

Amazon.com writes: “BLOOD OIL shows how the West can now lead a peaceful revolution by ending its dependence on authoritarian oil.”

Wenar and I end up in the same place, but come at it from far different directions. Leif is a philosopher from Stanford and Harvard (now living and teaching in London). I’m a geologist from Oklahoma State University.

I think you’ll find that Professor Wenar has a unique take on what needs to be done to get America on its own resources.

Subscribe to the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

– Boone

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Mar 28 2016

Former Senate Majority Leaders Daschle and Lott on how to fix the U.S. political system

Mar 28, 2016

The Pickens Podcast episode for this week features my conversation with two former U.S. Senators who have each served as Majority Leader. Tom Daschle (D) and Trent Lott (R) may represent the last time in our lifetimes we will have seen two men, with opposite views, from different political parties, work together to solve great problems. “We worked to find common ground,” Lott told me.

Daschle reminded me that when they were leaders of their sides of the aisle, they produced three balanced budgets. “Everything was on the table,” he said, “spending cuts and revenue increases.”

They have written a new book, “Crisis Point: Why We Must – and How We Can – Overcome our Broken Politics in Washington and Across America.”

They talked about how trying to reach across the aisle has become so much harder than when they were serving as Senators. “The biggest problem,” Lott said, “is the airplane. It’s too easy for everyone to fly home. They don’t bring their families to Washington, so they don’t socialize with each other, the families don’t know each other.”

Lott said he is not too happy with what’s going to happen in either party, Trump or Hillary. Daschle said, “a lot of people are what Peggy Noonan called ‘unprotected’. They’re not part of the establishment and they don’t think the establishment cares about them.”

This is an important conversation with two men who were at the center of the storm for many years.

Subscribe to the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes and let me know what you think via Twitter @BoonePickens.

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