tv Washington Ideas Forum Day 1 Afternoon Session CSPAN January 1, 2015 11:34pm-11:54pm EST
stick -- altruistic reasons? >> you see people who are consumers facing companies and are concerned about sustainability writ large and one of the big messages for the american public is when the movement started in the 70's the only thing the public could do was to recycle. i think the big brand name companies, coca-cola and mcdonald's -- they do it because of their brand and because of their employees that are demanding. >> we have lots of employees in the energy industry and with that we are out of time and i would like to thank everybody for joining us. [applause] >> more now from the washington ideas forum with t. boone
pickens. [applause] >> thank you margaret and thanks to boone pickens to be here, this has been a big day for me i got to interview dickerson and the secretary of defense and now t boone pickens who i have known under that known the others. >> do you know why you known me longer than them? >> why? >> i am 86 years old. >> already the interview is getting out of control because i was going to set this up as i've seen him over the years he tries to get people guess how old he is in a always guest way lower and had collected yet from dean kamen? >> there was not a bet but i
said it you guess my agent will give you $100 and he said 96. >> first he said your early 70's. there are lots of things i want to talk to you about on energy and corporate governance and on rules for life, let's talk about energy first. when we first met the u.s. was beginning to fear opec. >> what year do you think that was? >> mid-seventies. >> excuse me for interrupting, but 73 was the air embargo -- i know where you are in time. >> mid-seventies and talking about and in the last couple of years we've seen the cresting of opec's power and u.s. imports going way down -- it seems like good news that the price of oil is low -- is it all good news from a u.s. perspective?
is or anything we should worry about -- or is there anything we should worry about? >> back -- it is good news, back then we imported over 7 million barrels and today 3.2 million that is good. i don't see anything to be worried about, we are regaining our independence is what it is. >> so if some people say there is some thing to worry about apart from the obvious benefits -- non-oil fuels like natural gas which you are big in and have been big in, it is hard to develop those with the oil price down so low. is that worth worrying about? >> no, that is a high-class problem. [laughter] the only way you will have some influence on gasoline prices is
to introduce another fuel and the other fuel is natural gas and natural gas will replace gasoline or diesel. is it happening fast? no slowly. but i want to go heavy-duty trucks, if i can take out the 18 will years -- 18 wheelers, i can wipe out opec. we don't take anything from opec. opec is the worst thing that could happen to the country and right now all we get is 3.2 million barrels but we are using every day in this country, twice as much oil as the second country to us. we use 18 million barrels per day and there are 92 million barrels produced every day and we are using 20%. china is using 10 million
barrels a day, we are twice as addicted to oil as the chinese but here we are in a position -- if we just had leadership in washington, what could we do? i'm serious, i'm talking about energy not anything else. today you put together canada mexico the united states and north american energy alliance and you can tell them to forget it, we have independence in north america and that is it. can we go to independence, right now we are 9 million barrels per day, half of what we are using and importing the rest, most of it comes from canada and some from mexico and i said 3 million from opec, we could put north america together and we got it,
but i cannot get leadership in washington to even focus on energy, the reason -- >> is what all the sessions have been about, the things that make it difficult to do things in d.c. now and more productive on a state and local level to how much of your plan for natural gas could actually be done at the state level where your placing a lot of your emphasis? >> we have and we got real result, we can get it at a state level but in defense of washington, i am the only person up here defending washington, but i am a patriotic american and i am old so that goes long, but washington is not and has no interest in energy because energy is not a problem and washington is driven to stories that they see every night and
crisis is everything and energy is who. -- smooth. the natural gas and oil industry have done and under the -- an unbelievable job for americans. [applause] let me tell you, they did not do it for america i know all those guys and i am one of them. you're out there trying to make money is what you're trying to do, but for america? of course it is because of jobs and taxes but in the meantime, what does it do for americans? >> let's talk about fracking for a moment him every day in the newspaper there is an argument about the environmental pluses and minuses of fracking. how should we think about it in the pluses or minuses of it? >> i would like to dismiss this
in 30 seconds, there is not a problem with fracking. there have been over 800,000 wells fracked. when the subject comes up and 70 jobs jumped out of the audiences is your fracking -- i say give me one example of fracking damaging anything, they don't have anything. fracking is tremendous for the first global warming crowd than we had the coldest winter in 100 years and it messed up global warming. >> there are different views on this issue in the room. >> then we went to climate change, you talk about a tricky one there meteorologists lose jobs every year because they can't predict the weather from one week to the next -- now
global warming, over to climate change and now we will throw fracking in and we can raise money and that is it. that is the same crowd focused on climate and fracking. there is no record -- if anybody tells you it causes earthquakes this geologist will tell you you cannot move enough earth to cause an earthquake with a frack job. >> i will stipulate again we could spend five hours examining the issue but let's move on for now, you first came on the national screen with your shareholder rights crusade. >> get that. . >> forget that. -- area. >> when you felt the corporations were being run for their own -- >> the 80's.
>> i have to tell you the question i'm asking, it would be possible to imagine we have the worst of birth -- both worlds where the corporations are under tremendous pressure to meet quarterly or daily returns which means they shortcut a long-term investment etc. on the other hand they haven't had the democratizing of fact that you were arguing for. >> i was accused of a fast buck artists you invest in a stock say you buy at $10 and expected to go to $15 exterior. in 30 days, it went to $15. would it make you upset? >> you would depend how longer
want to hold it. >> tell me about the feeling. [laughter] i have not experienced this. [laughter] >> so i choose my battles, one of which is not to think about the role of finance. i'm the most boring financial person. >> you excuse yourself on the question. but logically if i bought at $10 and get it in three months or 30 days at night, what can i tell my wife? i bought this. it is at 15 and it has only been 30 days. every man wants to perform for their wife. [laughter] >> you are taking this to the next subject of conversation. >> they do.
men want to do nice things for their wives. >> i will stipulate that. >> to show them how smart you are is good stuff. but ok. >> that is why it was so great to live in texas. >> in the mid-80's, carl icahn and i were discussing this subject a few years ago. i said carl, you outlasted the rater days. i was a raider and ran out of ideas or something, but i quit. the last time i tried it was 91. but carl stayed there. and now he is spoken of with great respect.
he is an activist shareholder. i never got to be an activist shareholder. i went in and out as raider. but activist shareholders are handy. there is still mismanagement in corporate america. is it better today than the 1980's? it is better. let me take you to the gulf deal in 1984. never sold higher than 35. it was worth $100. asset was worth $100. for years and years, it would stay between 30 and 35. the ceo only owned 21,000 shares . i get up and make speeches. i said, mr. lee, we have 200 million dollars invested in your company, and all you have is 21,000 shares. where do you invest your money? you have a better idea than we do.
he was a friend of mine, sort of. [laughter] we served on the executive committee together. he said, you are embarrassing me saying that. and i said, why do you not own more? he said, i put it someplace else. that is what i said. you like another investment better than the one you are running. that has changed. that part has changed in. and people running these companies know you have to get results. you cannot sit around with a company evaluated at $100 a share and give yourself 30. because they're going to say when are you going to get us something closer to 100 than 30? this corporate america better off in 2014 at 10 it was in 1984? yes. is a perfect? no.
the way they pick boards of directors is wrong. >> what is more important is life. which i want to ask you about. the atlantic ran a story last month by dr. ck manual saying that people -- >> they should do what? i thought i heard you write. are you telling me this is my final appearance? >> and i am not asking you to explain. we know some people are just lucky. >> you have the genes. >> but i am asking you to -- you said recently you are better in business because you have seen so many cycles. you are 86 years old. what do you know by being a top functioning 86-year-old about the cycle of life?
should people fade out at 75? >> genes, you have them or you don't. that is your call. [laughter] what has been michael -- my call is -- i had one wife say i had a workaholic. i have a good work ethic. i grew up in a small town in oklahoma. you were damn lucky to have a job. i have always enjoyed work. that is lucky for me. one more time i am lucky. i quit playing golf at 80. when i was 78, true story, i eagled 11 at augusta. arnold palmer's that had to good shots -- said i had two good
shots. i said the first one was a good drive down the left side. the second one was not a good shot. he said what was it? i said it was perfect. [laughter] at 80, i decided i could not hit two shots in a row. it was easy for me. all this has been easy for me to do. and i quit shooting at 80 years old. was one of the best wing shots in the country. i have macular degeneration and see double. can i see -- kill birds? yes, but not with consistency. it is like golf. i would just as soon watch someone else shoot them down. you are adjusting to your age as you go. i had the same trainer for 26
years. the homecoming deal, stillwater, oklahoma. that was not fun. the rest of the day one -- was. grand marshal of the parade. why not? i have given him $500 million. [laughter] >> and my wife and i are writing in this convertible. army are the guys from the board -- behind me are the guys from the board. i got on the board. i did 20 push-ups. [applause] >> i am not through. [laughter] >> i got in the convertible. she said, you are in the shade and i could not get good pictures.
[laughter] >> isaiah said, i want that picture it is important. men want to do things weatherwise. -- for their wir -- wives. i love life. my trainer shows up every day. sendai for 26 years. it could not be better. i have a great marriage. now you say, have a given anybody any advice? are we through? >> that is the big red o. [laughter] >> they used to have a look. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you for joining