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Summary:

The increasingly loud rumors that California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D) got in early on the IPO of T. Boone Pickens’s natural gas vehicle distribution company, Clean Energy Fuels, have turned out to be true, according to the Wall Street Journal this morning. The WSJ reporter (and […]

The increasingly loud rumors that California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D) got in early on the IPO of T. Boone Pickens’s natural gas vehicle distribution company, Clean Energy Fuels, have turned out to be true, according to the Wall Street Journal this morning. The WSJ reporter (and others recently) looked through Pelosi’s financial disclosure forms and says Pelosi and her husband’s investment in Clean Energy Fuels was valued at $50,000 to $100,000 when the shares opened at $12.10 on May 25, 2007 (the forms list investments at a range).

While a Pelosi spokesperson insists to the WSJ that the holding “does not raise any direct conflict-of-interest issues” Pelosi has been a supporter of legislation that would benefit increased use of natural gas. But the real question would be, has Pelosi been an advocate of California’s Prop 10? The ballot measure is backed by Pickens and would give thousands of dollars in rebates to natural gas vehicle buyers, as well as spending on R&D, and supposedly cost California $9.8 billion over 30 years. We haven’t heard her publicly backing Prop 10, and you can guess if she hasn’t yet, she definitely isn’t going to now.

Pelosi’s shares represent less than 1 percent of the couple’s assets, which the WSJ says are in the range of $15 million and $52 million. Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) shares rose at the end of last year and were worth as much as $20.64 in October, boosting Pelosi’s investment significantly, but prices have since fallen. The stock was trading at $14.32 this morning.

The Pickens-Pelosi link is also indicative of the changing view of Pickens in the democratic camp now that Pickens has turned green. Pickens, who helped fund the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign that wounded Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry’s campaign, was a keynote speaker at the National Clean Energy Summit last week organized by Nevada Senator, democrat Harry Reid. The summit was largely made up by democratic speakers (and likely attendees) and Pickens was frequently lauded throughout as an important figure behind clean energy.

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By Katie Fehrenbacher

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  1. Katie,

    Prop 10 is such a technologically bias bill. When members of congress have a vested interest, that is a huge red flag. Especially someone like Nancy Pelosi who is one of the primary members who is responsible for the failure of the ITC for Renewable Energy to pass through the halls of congress.

  2. Katie Fehrenbacher Monday, August 25, 2008

    If anyone’s seen Pelosi endorse Prop 10 in anyway, let us know. We’ve been looking, but so far haven’t found anything.

  3. well, good for pelosi to invest in something renewable and clean. Honestly, why do we always have to see the worst in all political situations, and then make a scandal out of it? Picken’s is offering America the best plan for energy policy we have ever seen, and Pelosi is on board. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine why Pelosi invested early…..oil has peaked, and our country is in a foreign-energy-dependency- crisis; it’s basic market knowledge to invest in a up and coming entrepreneurial business like Picken’s CLNE. So back off, and focus on what T boone’s plan is offering America… less dependency on foreign oil, domestic energy and job growth. the list goes on.

  4. melissa spanikopita Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    I think TBP should be commended for his movements of bi-partisanship; he is offering America a phenomenal plan for our energy fiasco, and playing both sides of politics- as the article lists, speaking at the clean energy summit. If you haven’t seen the website for “Pickens Plan”, Isuggest you take a peak…..great information about the plan, how to get involved.

  5. emilia keylin Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Obviously it isn’t possible to have an absolute ideal way to move to a cleaner energy resource, but I haven’t seen anything that can make as big an impact as T Boone’s Plan. Proposition 10 will always continue to have political debates surrounding it, but until anyone can propose anything better, what is so scandalous about T Boone Pickens actually making a difference?! Prop 10 isn’t solely about Pickens creating a massive profit. Prop 10 will reduce green house gases, and it’s about time someone actually stood up and took action about this lingering/ drastically growing problem. It could be a step towards other changes in our resource use.

  6. You’re making proposition 10 seem all bad when it’s not, and what else is out there? Natural gas is a much better alternative than using gasoline and diesel. By using natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel greenhouse gases are lowered by 20-30 percent. Looking at Pickens’ plan (http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/) you can see that natural gas vehicles are available and they perform well and have low emissions.

  7. There are so many positive aspects of using natural gas as an alternative to diesel and gasoline. Remember folks, we are shipping $7 billion a year overseas in oil and natural gas is 100% domestic. At least by using natural gas we will be reducing greenhouse gases as well as assisting our own economy instead of putting money in the pockets of big oil tycoons overseas. T. Boone Pickens’ would not include natural gas in his plan if it was not the cleanest and most realistic solution we have to America’s addiction to oil.

  8. hahaha, to the people who have left comments about how good prop. 10 is, you have NOT read the bill. Why don’t you stop watching American Idol for once and actually read the bill. Sure its cut and dry and its not the most entertaining although if you actually read the bill before you made your comments that are blindly in support of a bill that has no accountability or goals to reduce green house gases. please go read then get back to me.

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