If you have watched cable television in the last 24 hours, or read today's Wall Street Journal, you know that T. Boone Pickens — billionaire oilman — will soon be a factor in the 2008 presidential race.

Pickens has purchased tens of millions in airtime and will hit the talk show circuit to promote his plan to tackle the nation's dependence on foreign oil, now costing $700 billion each year. Boone's plan, to reduce that dependence by one-third within five to 10 years, would replace gasoline with natural gas and use clean coal, wind, nuclear and solar to fuel power plants. While the plan hasn't received resounding support from energy experts, Boone is pushing his plan hard, claiming it will not only reduce imports but lower transportation costs, create thousands of jobs and reduce the country's emissions.

Boone mentions neither candidate in his commercial or his column today, but makes mention of the political timing: "We have a golden opportunity in this election year to form bipartisan support for this plan. We have the grit and fortitude to shoulder the responsibility of change when our country's future is at stake, as Americans have proven repeatedly throughout this nation's history. We need action. Now."

It should be noted Boone is invested in natural gas and is planning to build a wind farm, but the Texan said his media campaign is designed to build support for a national solution rather than to line his pockets.

"I'm 80 years old. I'm worth $4 billion. I don't need to make any more money," he told The Dallas Morning News.


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