General T. Boone Pickens is invading Washington, D.C. tomorrow. Well, virtually.
Members of his New Energy Army, numbering somewhere between 1.5 and 3 million strong, are planning to bombard Congress with emails and phone calls urging lawmakers to pass legislation favorable to Pickens' plan to use less foreign oil and more wind power and natural gas. The three day campaign on Capitol Hill will last through Friday and Pickens' troops are getting keyed up.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to see what happens over the next few days," says Jordan Birden, the Pickens' army representative at Texas A&M who grew up just north of Houston.
Birden tells Hair Balls he's been contacting hundreds of people over social networking websites for the past few weeks urging them to take action this week. As for his part, Birden says not only will he email Texas senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, but he will also call their offices in Washington, D.C.
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"I was sitting there thinking about this the other day," he says, "and if these senate offices all of a sudden get 50,000 or more phone calls in one day, they're not going to know what to do with themselves."
Which is exactly the point. Pickens and numerous corporate sponsors for the event, including American Electric Power, the American Wind Energy Association and Chesapeake Energy, all have a stake in making sure lawmakers give a helping hand to wind energy and natural gas. Pickens himself will reportedly be in Washington lobbying as well.
The event has been in the works for about a month. Birden says the anticipation is killing him.
"There's been so much build-up," he says. "An tomorrow, once the bombs drop, it's going to be kinda fun to sit there and watch."