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tv   Washington Ideas Forum Day 1 Afternoon Session  CSPAN  January 4, 2015 4:25pm-4:46pm EST

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wer. 43 million american homes are tied to the natural gas system. the solar power on your roof does not work at night. if you had a divisive your basement that could turn natural gas and electricity, plus the solar power new roof, you would be set. >> maybe you should start that? how important are public policy? >> i would say that people don't get a sense of how big the industry industry is. at the start of phase, government support to get over that the valley of death is important on an eight to 10 scale.
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once it matures, it drops to three or four on a 10 scale. was i supposed to give two numbers? >> no. >> ok. now i can't remember what owes going to -- >> would you say your project is more on the eighth to 10 level? >> we were recipients of loan guarantee money for big solar projects. the two things that have made solar cheap are germany, who went early, and now everyone in the world should thank germany because the german population is paying an enormous amount for solar, but they created a market. the stimulus created a domestic market that has caused the price of solar panels to drop a i 70%
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since the beginning of the obama administration. now it is affordable. that is very important. carbon capture technology -- as long as you don't have a price on carbon, i am a big believer that the private sector can lead to social movement, but the private sector's profit driven. the private sector will not solve for something for which there is no price. carbon captured -- the only way we have made this project work is because where the plant is located. we can turn it into oil. >> it defeats the whole purpose. >> we could get into a philosophical debate on whether it does. we would just say it substitutes domestic production and does not affect american demand. >> you think companies can i just climate change for altruistic reasons?
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>> i think what you see now and we would like to encourage this, you see people who are consumer facing companies who are very concerned about sustainability writ large. one of the big messages for the american public, the only thing the public could do to show they wanted this was recycle. now you can embrace clean energy. there are so many things you can do. i think the big brand-name companies, coca-cola mcdonald's , they do it because of of their brand and also because of their employees. employees are demanding it. >> we have a lot employees in the energy industry. maybe that is where we can start. we are out of time. oh and to thank everybody for joining us. [applause] >> thank you. x more now with t boone pickens.
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he is interviewed by the atlantic. [applause] >> this is been a big day for me. i got to interview the secretary of defense, and now t boone pickens. we met 40 years ago in texas. >> you know why you've known me longer than them? >> no. >> am 86 years old. [laughter] >> already we see an interview getting out of control. he takes bets with people trying to guess how old he is.
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there are lots of things i wanted to talk to about on corporate governance, get energy, energy. when we first met, the united states feared opec. >> what you do you think that was? >> mid-70's. 1970's. we've seen the cresting of opec's power. we have seen you u.s. imports going way down. is it all good news from the u.s. perspective. it?
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>> it is good news. opec peaked. today, 3.2 million barrels importing. that is good. i don't see to be worried about as to what is taking place. we are regaining our independence. >> if some people say there is something to worry about non-oil fuels, like natural gas. it's hard to develop those of the price of oil is coming down.
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>> where i want the natural gas to go is heavy-duty trucks. if i can take out the 18 wheelers, 8 million of them if i get those over to natural gas i can wipe out opec. we don't take anything from opec. opec is the worst thing that could happen to our country. right now, 3.2 million barrels. we are using every day in this country twice as much oil as the second country to us on the use of oil. we use achingly in barrels a day. there are 92 million barrels produced every day in the world. we're using 20%. china is using 10 main barrels a day. we are twice as addicted to oil
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is the chinese are. here we are in a position. if we just had leadership in washington, what could we do? i am series. i'm talking about energy. on that talking about anything else. today, you put together canada, mexico, the united states in a north american energy alliance and you can tell them forget it. we have independence and north america. that is it. can we go to independence right now? where producing a must 9 million barrels a day. we are producing half of what we're using an importing arrest. most of it comes in canada. some of it for mexico. and 3 million from opec. we could put north america together.
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i can't get leadership in washington to even focus on energy. the reason -- >> the reason that makes it difficult to do anything in washington, d.c. to do things now. how much of your plan for natural gas could actually be done at the state level? >> we have. we have placed a lot of emphasis and gotten results. we can get it at the state level, but in defense of washington d.c., i'm the only other person here defending washington. i am a patriotic american and i'm old. washington has no interest in energy because energy is our problem. washington is driven to stories that they see every night and crises are everything.
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the natural gas and oil industry in the united states have done on him believable job for america. let me tell you, they did not do it for america. i content you that. i know all those guys. i am one of them. you are out there trying to make money. that is good for america. jobs and taxes. in the meantime, what you do for america. we got our independence of opec. >> let's talk about fracking. every day there is an argument about the environmental pluses and minuses of fracking. how should we think about fracking? well i'd like to dismiss this in 30 seconds.
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>> you may. >> there is not a problem with fracking. there have been over 800,000 wells fracked. when somebody tells me that you are fracking -- i say give me one example. that is all i need. a fracking damaging anything. -- of fracking damaging anything. it is tremendous for the global warming crowd. what's i will stipulate that there are different views on this issue in the room. >> i will stipulate that there are different views on this issue in the room. >> they can't predict the weather from one week to the next. from global warming to climate
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change. now, we will throw fracking in an race some money. that is it. that is the same crowd that is focused on fracking. there is no record. if anybody tells you a causes earthquakes you can't move enough rock to cause an earthquake with a fracking job. >> we could spend the next five hours examining this issue. let's move on. you first came on the national screen with your shareholder rights crusade. >> get that. . us to that moment when shareholder rights were the issue. >> you can take us to that era.
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it would be impossible to imagine that we have the worst of both worlds with shareholder rights now. corporations are under tremendous pressure to meet returns. they shortcut on long-term investment. on the other hand, the managers feel -- it's basically that. it hasn't have the democratizing effect that you are arguing for in the 1980's. >> don't get caught up with this. i was accused of being a fast walk artist. who in the hell would want to be a slow walk artist? -- slow buck artist?
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i have experiences. [laughter] >> i choose my battles. one of which is not to think about the world of finance at all. i'm the most boring financial person. >> you excuse yourself on the question. if i bought it at 10 and wanted 15 next year and get it in three days, what can i tell my wife? i what this and we party gone up 50% and 30 days. every man wants to perform for the wife. [laughter] >> you're taking us to the next subject of the conversation. >> men want to do nice things
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for their wives. to show them how smart you are is good stuff. >> that's why it was so great to live in taxes those days. >> ok mid 1980's, carl icon and i were discussing this. i said that you outlasted the raider days. i was a raider and ran out of money or ideas or something. i quit. the last i try that was in 1991. carl stayed there. now he is spoken of with great respect. he is now an activist shareholder. i never got to be an activist
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shareholder. i went in and out as a raider. activist shareholders are handy. there is still a lot of mis-management and corporate america. is it better today than it was in the 1980's? yes, it is better. let me take you back to 1984, a small company, trying to make something happen. we never sold higher than 35. it was worth a hundred dollars. we felt like the assets are worth a hundred dollars. for years and years and stay between 30 and 35. the ceo of the company only on 21,000 shares. i get up and make speeches. i said, we have two and 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.
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we serve on an executive committee together. he said, you are embarrassing me by saying that. i said, why don't you a more stock? he said that he put it some place else. i said that's what i said. you like another investment in the when you're running. anyway, that has changed. people that are running these companies now know that you are going to have to get results. you cannot sit around with a company that's evaluated at $100 a share and your stock is at 30. they will get up and say when you going to get a something closer than $100 than $30? is corporate america better off in 2014 that it was in 1984? yes, by far. is it perfect? no.
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>> energy is important. corporate america is important. i will ask you about life. the atlantic ran a big story about the fact that people should -- >> are you telling me this is my last appearance? [laughter] >> you said that you are better in business because you have seen so many cycles. you are 86 years old. what you know by being a top functioning 86-year-old about the cycle of life that you want people here to know?
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should they fade out at 75? >> genetics, i've you have it or not. that is not your call. one has been my call. i am -- i had one wife that said i was a workaholic. no, i like work. i have a good work ethic. i grew up in the depression, small town in oklahoma, and your damn lucky to have a job. i was a kid, but i have a job at 12 years old. i always enjoyed work. that is lucky for me. i quit playing golf when i was 80. when i was 78, i eagled 11 at a gust of, true story. arnold palmer said you had two good shots. he said you eagled 11, something of never done, and you did not
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have 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 of this is always been easy for me to do. i quit shooting at 80 years old. i was the best wing shots in the country. i have macular degeneration and i can see double. can i still see birds? yes. i cannot kill them with the same consistency. it was not much fun. it was like golf. i was adjusting to your age. i've had the same trainer for 26 years.

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