The billionaire oilman and onetime corporate raider says the U.S. must wean itself from foreign oil, and he's betting some of his fortune on harnessing domestic energy alternatives.
He spent much of his life drilling for oil, taking over other companies and using his vast wealth to fund Republicans.
Now, T. Boone Pickens champions wind energy, has a Facebook profile and passes the time with grateful Democrats.
On Tuesday, the legendary oil tycoon made his Capitol Hill debut to promote his new cause: using American wind to alleviate the nation's energy crisis and wean itself from dependency on foreign oil. He testified before a Senate committee and held meetings with Democratic leaders, calling on lawmakers to take a stand.
For Pickens, 80, it's not a complete turnabout. For instance, he hasn't apologized for funding the infamous Swift Boat attack ads in 2004 against the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry. But he is spending $58 million to advance what he calls "the Pickens Plan" to the country and its leaders.