T. Boone Pickens, Rep. Nancy Pelosi
TV commercials touting a new clean energy strategy and an environmental ballot measure in California have one thing in common: If they succeed, they’ll make investors – from “big oil” to the U.S. Capitol – a lot of money.
The ads champion Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens’ “Pickens Plan” to move the U.S. from foreign oil dependence to domestically produced wind power and natural gas fuel for automobiles. The plan is touted as a cleaner, more eco-friendly alternative to our current reliance on coal power and gasoline.
The ballot initiative is California’s Proposition 10, known as the California Renewable Energy and Clean Alternative Fuel Act, which would spend $5 billion in California bond money – $10 billion by the time the interest is paid, according to the L.A. Times – to promote natural gas as an cleaner alternative for automobile and truck fuel.
Not surprisingly, the nation’s largest provider of natural gas for transportation, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation, or CLNE, has a great deal to gain from the adoption of Pickens’ fuel strategy and the passage of Proposition 10. In fact, according to the California Secretary of State website, CLNE has contributed $3,247,250 to supporting Proposition 10’s passage.
CLNE, however, was formerly known as Pickens Fuel after its primary investor, T. Boone Pickens.
While Pickens touts a plan in the name of environmentalism that will also line his company’s pockets, a #dontgo investigation has revealed that another environmental champion and backer of Proposition 10 has also invested in CLNE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
According to the investigation, Pelosi purchased $50,000-$100,000 in CLNE stock on May 25, 2007, apparently on its initial public offering.
Now the House speaker stands to make a large profit on her reported 22,000 shares of CLNE if she and other public figures can persuade the people of California to vote for Proposition 10 in the name of renewable energy and clean, alternative fuels.
In an L.A. Times editorial, Anthony Rubenstein was highly critical of Proposition 10, calling the measure billed as environmental altruism a “raid on California’s general fund” to support “Pickens’ self-serving national gas agenda.”
“The initiative deceptively reads like it’s supporting all alternative-fuel vehicles and renewable energy sources,” Rubenstein wrote. “But a closer read finds a laundry list of cash grabs. … Much of the measure’s billions could benefit Pickens’ company to the exclusion of almost all other clean-vehicle fuels and technology.”
Rubenstein also noted that Proposition 10 charges environmentally conscious Californians with the bill for an initiative that may not benefit California at all.
“Even worse, private trucking and delivery companies could buy 5,000 natural gas trucks, collect California taxpayer-funded rebates of $200 million or more and immediately send those fleets out of state,” he wrote. “It’s like asking California voters to finance a new bridge with taxpayer dollars, without mentioning that the bridge could be in Ohio.”
As WND reported, Pickens touting of wind power is also tainted by his opportunity to profit. The Economist reports Pickens’ oil company, Mesa Oil, has invested $2 billion to build the world’s largest wind farm in Pampa, Texas.
If the “Pickens Plan” calling for more wind power and natural gas fuel is implemented, it will further the billionaire’s other ventures as well, including a major land and water investment in the Texas panhandle that would essentially enable Pickens’ companies to control a water pipeline the way petroleum companies control oil supplies.
The venture, according to the Terrell Tribune, includes forming a fresh water district in Texas’ western panhandle and spending over $100 million to acquire rights-of-way through as many as 12 counties to ship the water to water-needy Texas cities. Part of selling the plan to investors and thirsty municipalites, some of whom have balked at the idea of private water control, is coupling the water pipeline with power lines from Mesa Oil’s massive wind farm.
“It is hard to tell if the water scheme is the device being used to seize the land or if the wind turbine scheme is the means by which he will fund the water scheme,” wrote William R. Collier Jr. in the #dontgo investigation that uncovered the link between Pickens and Pelosi.
Collier further speculated Pelosi’s investment partnership with Pickens will profit them both.
“No matter what the case may be, Nancy Pelosi will personally profit from whatever [Pickens] does as an investor.”
Collier points out Pelosi is one of the richest members of Congress and that her wealth comes primarily from investments, real estate and “now, of course, stocks in CLNE.”
Likewise, Collier pointed to potential benefits for Pickens to have Pelosi’s support, not only for the legislation CLNE wants passed, but also for her help with touting his “Pickens Plan.”
“While the stock was initially offered at $14 and is now valued below that amount, the low of $10 in early July of this year is bouncing back,” wrote Collier, “especially in light of ads by Pickens and growing consensus that the Pickens plan will gain support, especially if Pelosi is firmly behind it.”