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Will Anyone Seriously Question T. Boone Pickens at the Big Tent?

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I wrote last week about my disdain for Democrats and environmentalists who have been foolishly praising T. Boone Pickens lately. After explaining why liberals should not be legitimizing this snake oil salesman, I concluded:

Anyone who claims to care about the planet and collaborates with or legitimizes this guy comes off as foolish and loses major credibility.

Since then, we've seen more evidence and some pretty compelling arguments from the likes of Apollo Gonzales at NRDC, Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars, Edgery at EENRblog, and of course, Adam Siegel at Get Energy Smart Now.

Crunchtime is coming for two leaders on the left who will be speaking on a panel with Pickens on Wednesday at 1pm in The Big Tent. Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club and John Podesta, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Progress, both have a deadly serious decision to make. Will they a) greenwash a Republican operative oil man who funded the swift boat vets and has plans to make billions selling natural gas and exploiting our water supply? or b) do the right thing?

I try to remain optimistic on such matters but recent statements released by Pope and Podesta make that very difficult.

Podesta:

"Today, with the release of the Pickens Plan, we can start having the right debate."

"The plan that T. Boone Pickens has put forward today is a major step in the right direction."

Pope:

"To put it plainly, T. Boone Pickens is out to save America."

Since it appears unlikely that John Podesta or Carl Pope will be asking T. Boone Pickens the hard questions, we're going to have to pick up the slack. If they allow questions at the panel at 1pm tomorrow at the Digg Stage of the Big Tent, I'll be asking Pickens the best question I can come up with. If you are in Denver and are able to attend the event, I strongly encourage you to do so as well. The costs associated with letting an oil man lead the national conversation on energy are too great.

With that in mind, what question should I ask T. Boone Pickens tomorrow? What would you ask if you could be there? Here are a few that I've come up with, but I'm mostly curious to see what others think.

  • Given your political history, why should anyone in the Democratic party take you seriously?
  • How long do you think it will take the United States to stop using fossil fuels entirely?
  • Do you think global warming is a serious problem, if so, what should we do to address it?
  • Will you promise now that you will not support John McCain in the Presidential campaign?
  • I'm looking forward to your ideas for questions!

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