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Billionaires duel on Opinion page

Thursday's and today's Opinion pages featured competing commentaries by Charles Koch and T. Boone Pickens. Koch wrote about his and his brother's efforts to "advance economic freedom and prosperity" and about his opposition to corporate welfare. "Unfair programs that favor certain companies — such as the current well-intentioned but misguided suggestion that the natural-gas industry should receive enormous new subsidies — don't just happen," Koch wrote. "They are promoted, in large part, by those seeking to profit politically, rather than by competing in a market where consumers vote with their wallets." Then today, Pickens wrote about a proposal by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, to end subsidies for all forms of energy. Pickens suggested that Pompeo's opposition to a bill that would provide an incentive for companies to switch their heavy trucks to natural gas is really about protecting Pompeo's campaign donors (such as the Kochs). "We have to be careful of special interests that are willing to use government subsidies in their own businesses and hope no one notices them while they attempt to throw any other form of incentives under the economic bus," Pickens wrote.