But T. Boone Pickens lost a synonym for the animal and a whole lot of money in the wind industry.
"I'm in the wind business..." said Pickens yesterday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I've lost my ass in the business."
Pickens didn't blame his own investment for the current situation. He acknowledged that the technological shift in shale oil and gas development has greatly changed the game for American energy, and has made drilling more practical and affordable.
But the statement was just a precursor to his observations that Washington has little priority to setting a national energy policy that is both sustainable and affordable to Americans.
On the show, Pickens hammered home the point that the current administration not only lacks an intelligent energy policy. "They don't have an energy policy."
Why this statement is shocking to anyone, especially the hosts, shouldn't confuse anyone.
Pickens, at the ripe age of 83, must not have been paying attention to the lack of energy policy in the United States over the last four decades.
Every president since Nixon has promised some variation of energy independence, but scuttled it under the rug later.
In 2006, President Bush stated we could "move beyond a petroleum based economy." In 2000, President Clinton demanded a "long-term energy strategy to maximize conservation and maximize the development of alternative sources of energy."
In 1988, the first President Bush argued, "there is no security for the United States in further dependence in foreign oil." President Reagan promised in 1981 to place a greater emphasis on "research of alternative resources."
In 1979, President Carter proposed the idea of moving toward "strict conservation and to the renewed use of coal and to permanent renewable energy sources like solar power."
In 1975, President Ford promised the energy "independence we want." The year prior, President Nixon assured we would "break the back of the energy crisis" and "meet America's energy needs from America's own resources."
Forty years later, we are no closer to having a long-term solution to this elephant in the room.
And because of that, we're even more susceptible to the current events going on in Iran and in the international oil markets.
Pickens must have thought that buying a windmill would make this president act any differently.
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