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tv   Washington Ideas Forum Day 1 Afternoon Session  CSPAN  January 1, 2015 10:14am-10:34am EST

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if you had a device in your basement that contain natural gas and electricity, plus the solar power on the roof, you would be set. >> how important, on a scale of 1 to 10, our public policies, such as epa's policy change rules? how important others policies to getting the shift to clean energy? >> wwell, i would say __ people do not get a sense of how big the energy industry as. >> can you pick a number? >> at the start of the phase, i would say that it does on an eight out of ten. i, just two of four. was i supposed to give two numbers?
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>> no, to is better than one __ two is better than one. >> now i forgot __ if you are allocating government money right now __ i mean, we have __ we are recipients of long_term money for big solar projects. the two things that have made solar cheap around the world are germany, who went early, and now everyone in the world should think germany because they are creating a large amount of solar power and created the market. but the stimulus, in terms of getting a domestic market that have ccaused the price of solar panels to drop by 70% since the beginning of the obama administration __ i think that that is very important. and carbon capture technology,as long as you don't
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have a price on carbon __ i mean, i'm a big believer that the private sector can lead the movement. but the private sector is profit driven. they will not offer something for which there is no price. so carbon capture __ the only way we made this billion_dollar carbon capture project was because where this plant is located, we can turn it into oil. >> it sort of defeats the whole purpose __ >> we can get into the philosophical whether it does __ we would just say it substitutes domestic production for __ it doesn't affect american demand for gas at all. >> do you think companies can adjust to climate change for certain reasons? >> i think what you see right now, and we like to encourage this, is that you see people, you know, who are consumer facing companies who are very
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concerned about sustainability. one of the big messages for the american public __ when the sustainability movement started in the 1970's, the only thing that the public can do that so they want to be sustainable was recycle. now there are some he thinks he can do. and i think that's the big brand_name companies __ they do it because of their brand. and also because their employees __ employees are demanding it. >> we have lots of employees in the energy industry, that is where they we can start. and with that, we're out of time. and i would like to thank everybody for joining us. >> more now from the washington ideas energy form. this is about 20 minutes. [applause]
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>> thank you very much, margaret. this has been a big day for me. i got to interview the ceo, than the secretary of defense, and now this gentleman, who i've known forever. we met 40 years ago back in texas. >> do know why you know me longer than them? >> no, why? >> because i'm 86 years old. >> now we have an interview already out of control. he takes bets with people asking them to guess how old he is. have you collected yet from dean? >> i just told him __ if you guess my age, i will give you $100. he said 96. >> but first he said, you are in your early 70's. lots of things i want to talk
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to about __ energy and on corporate governance and on rules for life. let's talk about energy, first. when we first met, the u.s. was beginning to fear opec. >> what you do think that was? >> i'm going to say this was mid_1970's. >> okay, excuse me for interrupting, but you remember that that was the embargo. >> yes, so made in 1970's i'm talking about. we have sinuous imports going way down. should we __ it seems like it is good news that oil is low and imports are going down. is there anything we should worry about? >> oil is good news, but remember opec __ we import from opec over 7 million barrels. today, 3.2.
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that is good. no, i don't see __ i don't see anything to be worried about, aas to what is taking place. we are beginning our independence, is what it is. >> until the reason __ that some people say there is something to worry about, apart from the obvious benefits, is non_oil fuels like natural gas __ which you were very big and. it is hard to develop those if the oil prices coming down so much? is that something to worry about are not? >> no. that is a high_class problem. the only way you're going to have some influence on gasoline prices is to introduce another fuel. and the other fuel's natural gas. natural gas will replace gasoline and diesel. is it happening fast? no, it is happening slowly.
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if i can take out the 18 wheelers __ 8 million of them __ i can wipe out opec. we don't take anything from opec. opec is the worst thing that can happen to our country. and, right now, although we get 2.2 million barrels, we are using __ 3.2 million barrels, we are using in this country the second most oil __ we is 18 million barrels of oil a day. we are using 20%. china, using 10 million barrels per day. so we are twice as __ i guess __ aaddicted to oil as the chinese are. but here we are in a position.
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god, if we just had leadership in washington. what could we do? i'm serious. i'm talking about energy. i'm not talking about anything else. but today, you put together canada, mexico, united states, and north american energy alliance, and you could tell them forget it. we have independence in north america. can we go to independence right now? we are producing almost 9,000,000 barrels a day. so we're producing aalmost half of what we're using. importing the rest. most of it comes from canada, some for mexico, and the rest from opec. if we could put north america together, we have __ but i cannot get the leadership in washington to even focus on energy. the reason? >> the reason is what all the rest of the sessions today have been about.
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they make it difficult to do things in d.c. now, and more productive at the state and local level. so how much of your plan for natural gas can be done at the state level? >> we have place a lot of emphasis, and we have gone real results. in defense of washington __ on the only person up your who is defending washington. >> that is correct. >> but i'm a patriotic american and i'm old, so that goes along with. but washington has no interest in energy because energy is not a problem. washington is driven to stories that they see every night, and crisis is everything. and energy __ smooth. the natural gas and oil industry in the united states have done an unbelievable job for america.
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[applause] >> you know how to time your lines. that has always been true. >> okay, but let me tell you __ they do not do it for america. i can tell you that. i know those guys. i am one of them. you are out there trying to make money. good for america? of course it is. in the meantime, what do you do for america? they got our independence from opec. >> let's talk about fracking for a moment. everyday in the newspaper, there's an argument but the pluses and minuses. how should we think about it and the pluses and minuses. >> well, i would like to dismiss this and 30 seconds. there is not a problem with fracking. there have been over 800,000 wells fracked. when the subject comes up and
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somebody jumps up and says, hey, you are fracking. i say, okay, give me one example of a damaging anything. no. don't have anything. fracking is tremendous for the first global warming crowd. then we had the coldest winter in 100 years. messed up global warming. >> there are different views on this issue in the room. >> then we went to climate change. boy, yyou talk about a tricky one there. those guys __ meteorologists __ lose jobs every year because they can't predict weather. now, we can just throw fracking in and really raise some money. the same crowd is focused on
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climate is focused on fracking. if anybody tells you that it causes earthquakes __ you cannot move enough rocks to cause earthquakes from a frack job. >> i'm going to stipulate again, but let's move on again to __ you first came on the national screen with your shareholder value, shareholder rights crusade. >> get that period. take us to that period where __ >> the mid_1970's where you felt__ >> 1980's. >> you can take is to that era. i guess the question i'm asking __ iit would be hard to imagine __ ccorporations are under
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tremendous pressure to have quarterly, even daily returns. which means that they shortcut a long_term investment, etc. and on the other hand, the manager feels __ well, it is basically that. it has not had the democratizing effect that you are arguing for. >> but don't get caught up in this. i was accused as a fast buck artist. who in the hell would want to be a slow buck artist? let's say __ guess what, 30 days it went to 15. would it make you upset? >> it depends on how long i would want to hold it. >> tell me about the feeling. now the stocks __ i have experienced this. [laughter] >> so i choose my battles, one
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of which is to not think about the world of finance at all. i'm the most boring financial person you will find. >> so you excuse yourself on the question, i see that. logically, though, if i bought it at 10, wanted 15, and i get it in three months or 30 days, well i look __ what can i tell my wife? guess what, we have already gone up 50% in 30 days. every man wants to __ well, perform for their wife. [laughter] >> you are taking us to the next subject of conversation. [laughter] >> they do. men want to do nice things for their wives. to show them how smart you are, it is good stuff. but, okay.
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>> there was so great to live in texas in those days. >> back to, okay, the mid_1980's and it could've been worse off. i don't think so because __ carl and i were discussing this year ago. and i said carl, you are left to the raider days. i was a raider and ran out of money, out of ideas, or something. i quit. the last time i tried was 1991. and __ but carl stay there. now here's __ he is spoken of with great respect. he is now an activist shareholder. i never got to be an activist shareholder. i went in and out as raider. there is still a lot of mismanagement in corporate america.
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is it better today than it was in the 1980's? yyes, it is better. let me take you back to the golf deal. 1984. thierry r, a here we are, a small company trying to make something happen. never sold higher than 35. it was worth $100. we felt like the assets were worth $100. for years and years it stayed between 30 and 35. the ceo only owned 121,000 shares. i get up and make speeches. i said we have $200 million invested in your company, and all you have this 21,000 shares. where do you invest your money mr. lee? you have a better idea than we do. he was a friend of mine, sort of. well, we served on an api executive committee together. he called me and said you are embarrassing me saying that. hi said why don't you own
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more? he set i put it someplace else. i said, that is what i said. you like another investment better than the one you are running. that has changed. people running these companies know that you have to get results. you cannot sit around and run a company's violated at $100 per share and you sell it for 30. when are you going to get us something closer to $100 than $30? that is all good it is corporate america better off in 2014 than in 1984? yes, by far. is it perfect? no. still the way they pick the boards of directors is wrong. >> so corporate america is important, but what is more important is life, which i want to ask you about. "the atlantic" ran a big story
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that said people should hope to have a natural -- >> they should do what? [laughter] i thought i heard you right. are you telling me this is my final appearance? >> i am not asking you to explain the luck. >> that's right, you got the genes and all that. >> you said recently you are better in business because you have seen so many cycles. you are 86 years old. what do you know by being a top functioning 86-year-old about the cycle of life that you want people to know? should they fade out at 79? >> genes. you've got them or you don't, so that is not your call. but what has been my call is i
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am -- i had one wife say i was a workaholic. no, i like work. i have a good work ethic. i grew up in the depression small town in oklahoma, and you were damn lucky to have a job. i was a kid but i had a job at 12 years old. i have always enjoyed work. that is lucky for me. one more time i am lucky. i quit playing golf and 80. when i was 78, true story, i.e. gold -- i eagled 11 at augusta. arnold palmer said you had two good shots. i said i didn't. he said you eagled 11 and that is something i have ever done. he said tell me what you had. i said the fir


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