Pickens: 'I Am Through With Washington' After Gas Fight


LAS VEGAS — T. Boone Pickens says his effort to convert the government trucking fleet to natural gas is his last go-round with Washington politicians, whom he insists don't care about the country's energy independence.

Boone Pickens

"When this one's over for me, I am through with Washington," Pickens, founder and CEO at BP Capital, said during a discussion at the Skybridge Alternatives SALT hedge fund conference.

Pickens has been trying — and failing — to get Congress to pass what is now called the Energy Security Act, aimed particularly at the development of natural gas and breaking the country free of its dependence on Middle East oil.

While he said he has no plans on retiring from business, he has given up on working with national politicians.

"What I'd like to do is get our own resources in the United States and get the hell out of the Middle East," he said.

Asked by CNBC's Kate Kelly to give a summation of what his experience has been with Washington, Pickens said: "Washington, generally, I can handle in two seconds: It's a piece of s---."

"This whole deal is designed to fail," he said.

Yet he remains hopeful that something can get done to move ahead on his natural gas dreams.

"I'm the geologist that is never pessimistic. Geologists can't stay pessimistic because they drill so many dry holes," Pickens said. "This one's a dry hole for me up there."