T. Boone Pickens at the DEC

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Went to lunch at the Detroit Economic Club today. T. Boone Pickens was the guest speaker. My prior impressions of him were media driven; hadn’t had a desire to specifically go learn more about this ‘celebrity.’ This was a good chance to go see, first hand, what he was all about.

At 83 years old, he’s sharp, engaging, charismatic, and to the point. He’s very pro-American and unapologetic for it. One of his comments was, paraphrasing, "I’m for anything American. I hate OPEC." Another to-the-point comment, not a precise quote, "If we don’t start using our own energy, history will show we’re the dumbest crowd to ever come to town."

I was pleasantly surprised. He builds his case for America’s OPEC-independence, providing good examples, and based on first-hand knowledge. For instance, he’s been to Anwar and said, "…there’s a lot of ‘nothing’ there." He’s been to the White House, met with congressional members, members of the media, and invested time in promoting his beliefs.

Speaking of dedication, commitment, and focus: He’s spent $82,000,000 of his own money to drive awareness and promote adoption of natural gas. To be honest, the reasons to do so are reasonably compelling; certainly more than any other alternative solution for transportation-based consumption.

At the end, he’s pro-domestic energy consumption. Anything that gets the US away from OPEC dependence is a major positive in his eyes.

He was also perhaps only the second speaker at DEC I’ve seen get a standing ovation when he was done.

(on being asked about baseball, he had plenty to say, including support for the Texas Rangers.  However he hasn’t been to a game in years…he said, “…too long, at my age (83)…”  everyone enjoyed that one.)