Pickens, Home Depot Win in Senate’s Energy Measure
T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy hedge-fund manager, and Home Depot Inc., the largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, are winners in energy legislation that fails to help solar-panel and wind-turbine makers.Previously:
The measure proposed yesterday by Senate Democrats would give Pickens victory in his lobbying campaign for more use of natural gas, providing $3.8 billion in rebates for cars and trucks powered by the fuel. Home Depot would benefit from provisions to channel $5 billion in rebates to homeowners who upgrade to more efficient appliances or add insulation that reduces energy use.
The provisions were the main survivors among proposals to reshape U.S. energy use under the measure that would also set tougher rules for offshore drilling after BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history. Absent from the measure were limits on carbon dioxide or requirements that utilities add solar and wind power to their portfolios.
“Boone’s been in the natural-gas business all his life,” Monty Humble, former senior vice president for Mesa Power LLP, a company founded by Pickens in 2007 to build wind farms, said in an interview. “As early as 1988, he advocated the use of natural gas in vehicles. This is consistent with what he was advocating.”
Pickens couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. In April, Humble joined Alston & Bird LLP’s legislative and public policy group in Washington.
Awash in Gas
The U.S. is “awash” in natural gas, thanks to new drilling techniques that make gas locked in shale formations cheaper to recover, Pickens told the House Ways and Means Committee on April 14.
“We are going to look like fools if we don’t use natural gas for transportation,” Pickens told the panel. “The only way we can solve the OPEC oil threat is by replacing their expensive, dirty fuel with cleaner, cheaper American natural gas.”
In October 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who drafted the Senate oil-spill response bill, called Pickens “a good friend and a real visionary.”...MORE
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