So T. Boone Pickens' Crusade Is A PR Campaign After All

For all you T. Boone Pickens haters out there who have wondered whether the oilman turned Neo-Greenie is really trying to save the country from foreign oil or is simply running a huge media campaign to serve his financial interests, there is this: the creative minds behind the Pickens Plan recently won an award for the Best Public Affairs Campaign of the Year.

The Association of Political Consultants and Public Affairs Professionals bestowed its top honor at this year's Pollie Awards to the Pickens Plan, along with Best Public Affairs TV and Best Public Affairs website.

This news does not come as a shock to some who have gone up against Pickens, such as clean-energy consultant Anthony Rubenstein. He battled Pickens and Pickens' natural-gas company, Clean Energy Fuels, over California's Proposition 10, which asked voters last November to spend $5 billion in taxpayer money on incentives to purchase natural gas vehicles and fund alternative fuel research. The measure did not pass. Several months ago, however, Rubenstein told Hair Balls that he believed the Pickens Plan is nothing more than a public relations Frankenstein monster.

"What the Pickens Plan is," he said, "is a political campaign to exact from the government taxpayer moneys to favor his investments. It's a PR plan to wrap himself in a halo of patriotism and philanthropy to make himself unassailable ...."

Looks like the folks at the Association of Political Consultants and Public Affairs Professionals kinda agreed.

As evidence of the Pickens Plan success, a news release announcing the awards cites the campaign's significant online presence on www.pickensplan.com, which also serves as a social-networking site, and the fact that Pickens met with both presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain before the election and then was selected as a key participant in a prestigious clean energy summit in Washington, D.C. last February.

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