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Oil legend T Boone Pickens passed away on Wednesday at age 91 at his Dallas home. He was most known for his strong opinions about American energy.
Geologist by trade, Pickens made his billion-dollar fortune on the back of oil through Mesa Petroleum and his energy-based hedge fund, BP Capital.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Pickens had mentioned in a letter to OSU football’s fan base that at age 91, he was “grateful for every added day, week, month and year. However, I’m realistic about being close to the finish line. And I’m working diligently to complete projects as quickly as I can and tie up any loose ends,” adding that “accepting reality at my age invariably leads to reflection.”
He also spoke in the letter about oil and gas related materials that the oil titan was planning to donate to Oklahoma State.
Pickens’ passion for OSU was rivaled only by his passion for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil—namely OPEC.
Eleven years ago, Pickens came up with a 10-year plan to reduce US dependence on this “dirty foreign oil”. Part of this plan was for wind and solar, too, arguing that the upfront cost would be outweighed by its benefit. In the plan, Pickens pointed out that America imported less than 25% of its oil, but by 2013, that figure had grown to 50%, when the US imported $147 billion in oil from OPEC nations. In 10 years’ time, Pickens argued, the US would have paid out $2 trillion.
Pickens was pulled no punches, accusing then-President Barack Obama of not following through with his campaign promise to end America’s addition on foreign oil, chastising Republicans as well for not tackling the problem with enough vigor.
His legacy? Today, US imports of OPEC oil are at three-decade lows, averaging 2.58 million barrels a day in 2018 and shrinking, according to the EIA, compared to 4.35 million bpd when Obama took office.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.