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April 29th, 2009
06:01 PM ET

Ted Turner and T. Boone Pickens talk energy

Mary Anne Fox
AC360° Producer

I was intrigued with the idea of producing a segment where former media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner and legendary oilman turned environmentalist T. Boone Pickens interview each other. What do two people who’ve made a fortune from scratch, live for giving it away and are obsessed with clean energy ask each other? There was just one problem: their hectic schedules.

Despite the endless efforts of our editorial producer, Kay Jones, we couldn’t get the two billionaires together in the same city for an interview. But, thanks to our CNN bureaus, we were able to bring them together via satellite. Using four cameras with T. Boone in our New York studios and two with Ted nearly nine hundred miles away in Atlanta we were able to mimic a face to face. And as soon as the two hunting buddies saw each other on the big plasma, they took it from there and never looked back.

They joked with each about who looked better in a suit compared to their hunting outfits, as well as who looked younger. But then they quickly transitioned to a conversation that got to the heart of why the two were nominated under the category of builders and titans for Time 100’s Most Influential People in the World issue.

Tune in on Friday night at 11p.m. for the Time 100/AC360 special: “The World’s Most Influential People” to see more of this interview. Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People issue also hits newsstands on Friday.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    I'm glad to see T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner espouse green energy and energy sources. Someone with money needs to be on the environment's side to help the rest of us get there. I don't mind them making money off it – lots of people will want to do that too. At least we will all be working towards a common goal.

    April 29, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  2. Janet

    Nice to see the industrial leaders getting on board with the grass roots movement and the new adminstration in DC. This maybe a huge sucess after all!

    April 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  3. Bob Ross, LtCol USAF Retired

    Both these guys talk a real good game. However, if LPG is such a "hot" idea, why doesn't one (or both of them) crank up a company that retrofits cars/trucks/RVs with LPG adapation hardware? They also need to crank up a distribution system. Otherwise, its just more talk.

    Bob Ross

    April 29, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  4. Rich Monk

    I just recently finshed T.Boone's book and I am halfway finished with Ted's new book.
    Both men show much courage in standing alone if they have too against the mainstream powers that be.
    Great Books, Thanks,
    Thomas Yellich,
    San Diego, CA

    April 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  5. Tom P.

    Ted Turner has the land and both have the money. Let's get those windmills going!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  6. Stefanisko

    Solar and Wind.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Francis

    It's about time they talk to people who have innovative ideas in alternative energy sources. There are a lot of ideas out there except that the so called "experts" would not listen to anyone else except themselves. I have a very innovative ideas but I have kept it to myself because I am not an energy experts. They can contact me for discussion.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  8. gd stuch

    I knew this was going to happen since these two are the biggest land owners in the windy part of our nation.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  9. Frederick Woolfall

    How long will the United States be dependent on foreign oil.What are the natural gas resreves & how many miles per gallon will future automobile be able to achieve?

    April 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  10. Kurt

    It's kinda funny that Ted won't let anyone on his land in Montana. (patrolled with armed guards etc) Yet he will let the power lines cross his ranch holdings and ruin his pristine view for the sake of a buck and being a good American!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  11. John

    I hope we can generate a significant amount of carbon free energy very soon. But these ideas have fizzled out countless times before. I think nothing will change until we have a carbon tax that makes oil and coal less competitive with alternatives. Until that is done this is just a nice dream.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  12. Jeff

    It’ll take gentlemen of their stature and influence to have an impact on changing the mind-set of the gov’t and regular folks. This is a dream-team in which I’d like to be associated.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  13. David Hauseman

    The UK has wind farms that are supposed to create 6% of that country's energy. The UK has a lot of potential wind resources, but they cannot get their system to work better than 3% due to equipment failures and bloated projectons. Wind farms in the UK are also 100% subsudized. If this energy source will not work there, what make us think that we can do so much better?

    The UK is frantically building several new natrual gas generating stations in order to meet the electrical demand that the UK needs to fill the gap between now and when their new nuclear plants come on line.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  14. Randy Funk

    I'm recently retired energy portfolio with 29 years in the business. The best hope for the US is compressed air automotive technology but you can bet that the oil industry will actively crush it politically just as they've done for the last 90 years. The reality is a combination of mass rapid transit with compressed air vehicle is the only realist solution to the energy problem, but doubtful Boone or Ted will own up to it. I'll work for free on it they are serious.
    Best Regards RAndy Funk

    April 29, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  15. johuyik

    Now some people are going to say Pickens is an old fart who is way behind the curve and should have stepped up to the plate 10 years ago if he really wanted to do something for this country. They'll say he was a big proponent of the party that squashed alternative energy solutions for our country.

    But I say give the guy a chance! He's old, probably gonna be dead in 10 years and he wants to make sure he gets into heaven...so let's hear him out!

    April 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  16. Cliff

    What a pair.
    Put hot air devices on their respective mouths and you could provide enough energy for Texas and Georgia!
    Picken's wind air idea fizzled out here in Ca where he would have made BILLION$. People saw through that.
    Amazed though that LIBS still fall for the garbage that comes from the mouths of the two biggest blow-hards in the land. Why couldn't you add Gore to the meeting? That would have been the "Tipper" on the cake!

    April 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  17. alphonso

    i like your idea about new energy resources.

    April 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  18. bEN

    Pickens is an idiot, he knows nothing about energy, only money. He is after the green alright, just not the same green the rest of the worlds tree huggers are seeking.
    If you want the truth about wind, listen to the europeans...and here's a thought...talk to some engineers, not day traders.

    April 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  19. Donald DeWayne Woods

    This is a no brainer, With Ted being the largest landholder in america, put tens of thousands of windmills and it'll be Ted & T. Boone Pickens against the world!!!! Lead us to the moon Ted.....take it public and I'll follow you through hell in a gasoline suit! lol

    April 29, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  20. marilyn

    I cannot forget that T. Boone Pickens is the engineer of the 'swift boat' campaign against John Kerry. Despite his interest in energy, I suspect the American people will ended up losing out to this man and his hidden agenda. Sometimes you do something so bad Mr. Pickens that you never recover your credibility. So thanks, but no thanks. Please sit this one out. You didn't fool California and you will not fool the rest of us.

    April 29, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  21. Terry, TX

    First...wait a minute...someone tell me ...I'll take an answer from Turner and Pickens.....where I can send these mercury filled green light bulbs back...distributed thru California...made and shipped in China. The post office is giving me trouble returning them...they contain the toxin mercury ..so states the fine print on the box...no disclaimer for tv ads...bio hazard glove handling ...and you can't put them in the trash when your kids break them. Let's not even talk about the cost. Can we just start with that...

    April 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm |