by Joe Huff, Business Editor
Stillwater, OK (LTP) - T. Boone Pickens, the noted investor, water and wind farmer, is running out of capital. Sources close to the University said that Pickens has approached the State of Oklahoma about buying the university back, but the State is not interested.
Pickens made approximately $89 million in the 80s courtesy of a exquisitely executed greenmail of Phillips Petroleum. He has reverted to this tried and true method of extracting money from others, but so far, there are no takers.
A spokesman for the State of Oklahoma said, “with the struggling economy, we just don’t have the funds available. In addition, there’s just not that many successful graduates of Oklahoma State, so it’s not adding much to the economy. We feel that private enterprise may come up with an alternative that adds more production to the state.
Pickens has sought bids from others, but there are few folks expressing interest. Persons familiar with the requests for bids indicate that the following institutions were sent packages:
- FEMA – with news channels desperately seeking to drive ratings, a new cottage industry has arisen from housing hurricane evacuees. FEMA is considering making the Stillwater campus a permanent relocation center for those seeking shelter from real or imagined hurricanes. Local residents are concerned the plan could increase literacy rates in the area and shatter the fragile education system in Payne County.
- Federal Bureau of Prisons – the Feds issued a prepared statement, “even though the improvements to Lewis Field were dramatic, we don’t believe the facilities at Oklahoma State would be up to our standards of inmate care. I’m not even sure it would make a good prison yard."
- Pawnee Tribe- in a touching bit of irony, the tribe did not offer any cash, but did propose an exchange of the land for whiskey and beads.