smart spending

Pickens Plan needs better pitchman

But from where I'm sitting, this self-evident remark sounds more like that classic salesman's closer, "Does your vacuum cleaner get that deep-down dirt?"

Granted, we need all the clean-energy icons we can get right now. But shouldn't they at least have a stake in the game beyond financial gain?

After all, Pickens approach strikes me as symptomatic of how we got lured into this box canyon in the first place. We allow reasonable-sounding hucksters to chip away at our common sense until oxymoronic notions such as "safe nuclear power" and "clean coal" no longer elicit howls of laughter.

I like to think that even old cowpokes like T. Boone can change. He's done a lot of good by spreading his wealth around to charitable causes. He even seems sincere when he insists that we're not going to drill our way out of this mess.

But he's also one of the guys who got us into this mess. Who's gonna believe him?

Veteran Bankrate contributing editor Jay MacDonald lives in Austin, Texas. If you have a comment or suggestion about this column, write to Bank Shots.

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