Natural gas entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens gave $453,250 to the liberal think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) in 2008 and 2009 through his nonprofit groups, to support its National Clean Energy Project events. At the time, Pickens was pressing lawmakers to adopt a bill to subsidize construction of natural gas filling stations. The legislation would have directly helped a company Pickens co-founded called Clean Energy Fuels, which describes itself as “the leading provider of natural gas for transportation.”
It’s odd that Pickens, a long-time funder of conservative groups and one of the heavyweight allies of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign, would throw his money behind the Center for American Progress. Carroll reports on how CAP used the funding to promote natural gas initiatives:
This forum will focus on modernizing and expanding the electricity grid, integrating energy efficiency and distributed generation into operation and regulation, rapidly increasing transmission capacity for renewable energy, and reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by examining short- and long-term solutions to replace foreign oil with domestic resources to fuel vehicles and trucks, including natural gas.
Unfortunately for Pickens, his new friends didn’t stick around for long. As soon as his funding was used up, CAP became a critic of natural gas, which is increasingly unpopular in environmental circles:
Fast forward to this year and natural gas is no longer an alternative to oil. Here is a CAP headline from last month:
Apparently, on the left, money can buy you love … but only for so long.
If CAP’s agenda is being driven so transparently by the special interests of its donors, how can it call itself a credible think tank? It makes you wonder who else is giving money to the organization, and how much their political and business agendas are influencing the direction of the group.