Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens has been around for a long time, and he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
At a robust 86 years of age, the chairman and CEO of BP Capital had many things to say in front of a large crowd at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco Tuesday night.
Pickens spent much of the night discussing energy issues and the political landscape in America.
He carried on about the environment and the effects of human pollution, saying, “If we think we have messed something up, we shouldn’t wait to go to work on it. We shouldn’t wait until it’s confirmed to start working on it.”
He later clarified his position on the matter, saying he didn’t believe humans directly influenced the earth’s carbon dioxide levels, a popular argument in the discussion of global warming and climate change.
When asked whether the Obama administration has helped benefit the energy industry, the noted Republican replied that the administration “has been lucky. The shale — it happened on their watch.”
He went on to further criticise lawmakers in Washington:
“I’m telling you — you go up there and try to have a five minute conversation on energy and it can’t happen. In three minutes you’ll run out of everything they know. They can’t go past three minutes.”
Pickens expressed his strong opinions about taxes, saying he’s displeased at the notion that “rich people don’t pay their fair share”:
“In my lifetime, I’ve paid $US665 million in taxes,” to which the audience gasped and one person whistled. “What is my fair share? When I die, half of my estate will go to Texas.”
On a more personal note, Pickens brought up his last physical, where he recounted an anecdote from his doctor who said, “I’ve got good news and bad news for you. You’re gonna live to be 114.” The bad news is “you won’t be able to hear or see.”
That adds at least 28 years to the life of a man who at one point had a net worth of $US5 billion. Nowadays, his net worth sits at around $US1.2 billion, which puts him back into the billionaire’s club again after he fell off the list in 2013.