Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens joked during a visit to Iowa last week that he became an "expert" in wind energy by losing $200 million in wind energy investments, Iowa Public Television reported.


"Wind economically can't compete when natural gas is less than $6 (per million British Thermal Units)," Pickens said in a video interview on Iowa Press. Natural gas prices were at $9 when he got into his wind investments but dropped all the way to $2. Natural gas prices reached their highest level in three and half years on Friday - $5.18 - driven by record-low temperatures. Pickens said he no longer invests in wind energy assets, but still supports it as part of The Pickens Plan, his plan to help the United States gain energy independence.


The chairman of BP Capital Management also said in this video interview the United States "is missing an energy plan" and therefore has no strategy for dealing with issues such as approval of the Keystone pipeline, determining the proper level and use of the nation's strategic oil reserves and whether the U.S. should export oil to other countries.


In an interview with Iowa Public Television, Pickens said he supports any form of alternative energy, including ethanol, as a replacement for oil imported from the Middle East.