I’ve written before about Cozy Nancy Pelosi and her financial stake in the eco-adventures of billionaire T. Boone Pickens.
See August 2008 – Nan and the Big Wind Boone-doggle.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called congressional Republicans who want up-or-down drilling votes “hand maidens of the oil companies.” Let’s call Pelosi what she is: House girl of the Big Wind boondogglers.
Though she seemingly backtracked on labeling drilling a “hoax” this week, Pelosi refuses to consider GOP energy proposals that don’t include massive government subsidies for eco-fantastical alternatives that have never panned out.
Which brings us to Madame Speaker’s 2007 financial disclosure form. Schedule III lists “assets and ‘unearned income'” of between $100,001-$250,000 from Clean Energy Fuels Corp. – Public Common Stock.” Clean Energy Fuels Corp. is a natural gas provider founded by T. Boone Pickens. Yep, that T. Boone Pickens– former oilman-turned-wind power evangelist whose ads touting a national wind campaign are now as ubiquitous as Viagra promos.
Pickens and Pelosi now share the same talking points downplaying the need to drill and open up more access to American oil. Instead, the Pickens pie-in-the-sky plan campaign proposes to completely replace natural gas with wind power in power generation and theoretically free up natural gas for America’s transportation needs.
All well and good in la-la land. But let’s be real about the limitations and costs of wind power. Past and ongoing experience has demonstrated the notorious unreliability of wind and the miserably low operating capacity of wind power facilities here and around the world. Depending on wind requires supplemental fossil fuel plants as back up to be turned on and off to compensate for wind power supply shortfalls– nullifying any reductions in carbon dioxide emissions (which are miniscule, according to the National Academy of Sciences).
Not to mention the thousands of sliced-up birds and other wildlife that have become wind power casualties (a problem that scientists say would be solved by “repowering” old turbines at a cost of untold billions).
Fittingly, the environmental mascot of the Democrat National Convention– the showcase of their alternative energy approach — is an eastern Colorado wind turbine propped up with Democrat carbon credit funds that has never produced any energy because of chronic equipment malfunctions.
But I digress.
Naturally, the Pickens Big Wind plan is proudly endorsed by Do-Nothing Pelosi’s friends at the obstructionist Sierra Club. Through another company, Mesa Power, Pickens has committed upwards of $12 billion in wind farms on the Texas panhandle. CEFC and Mesa Power are separate entities. But what benefits one piece of the Pickens puzzle benefits them all. The wind venture, as Pickens himself acknowledges, depends on permanent federal subsidies.
Pickens is banking on ’em. And Pelosi’s banking on him.
As reported on #dontgomovement.com, Speaker Pelosi bought between $50,000 and $100,000 of stock in Pickens’ CLNE Corp. in May 2007 on the day of the initial public offering:
“She, and other investors, stand to gain a substantial return on their investment if gasoline prices stay high and municipal, state and even the Federal governments start using natural gas as their primary fuel source. If gasoline prices fall? Alternative fuels and the cost to convert fleets over to them becomes less and less attractive.”
CLNE also happens to be the sponsor of Proposition 10, a ballot initiative in Pelosi’s home state of California to dole out a combined $10 billion in state and federal funds for renewable energy incentives. Namely: Natural gas and wind.
Follow the money. Or, to put it in economist terms as energy analyst Kenneth Medlock III did in an interview with the Dallas Morning News about the Pickens multi-billion wind farm investment: “A lot of what he’s trying to do is add value to a stranded asset…he’s obviously got millions of dollars on the line.”
And so, potentially, does the Democrat Speaker of the House windily wagging her finger at the financial motivations of others.
Today, Daniel Indiviglio at Reuters reports that a Pickens-backed bill is quietly making its way through Capitol Hill in the Christmas chaos.
Amid the flurry of legislation Congress is rushing to complete by year’s end is the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011, or NATGAS Act. The proposal would, among other things, provide subsidies for driving vehicles powered by natural gas.
It’s a Pelosi legislative priority, but precious few are raising eyebrows about San Fran Nan’s conflict.
Where are the Big Biz/Big Government watchdogs when we need them?