House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has pushed for a piece of legislation that would directly enrich her financially. Pelosi owns a major stake in a company that would likely see its share prices rise significantly if the legislation is passed.
The bill is called the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions, or “NAT GAS,” Act, and Congress is rushing to consider it before adjourning for the year. The legislation would subsidize vehicles powered by natural gas and the refueling infrastructure needed to make those vehicles feasible.
Energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens has been the bill’s most vocal supporters – unsurprising, given one of his holdings will profit handsomely from the legislation. The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney detailed Pickens’ financial interests in the NAT GAS Act in a column last week:
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Clean Energy Fuels admits it is subsidy-dependent: “Our business plan and the ability of our business to successfully grow depends in part on the extension of the federal fuel excise tax credit for natural gas vehicle fuel, the reinstatement and extension of the federal income tax credit for the purchase of natural gas vehicles and the passage of legislation providing for additional incentives for the sale and use of natural gas vehicles.” That’s all in the NATGAS Act.
While Pickens, a longtime oil and gas man, has been lobbying for natural gas subsidies for decades, his cause has become particularly urgent this month. Pickens owns options to buy 15 million shares of Clean Energy Fuels at $10 per share, according to SEC filings. Those options expire Dec. 28. If Congress could pass the NATGAS Act this month, shares of Clean Energy would skyrocket.
Pelosi’s stake in Clean Energy Fuels is significant, if smaller than Pickens’. According to her asset disclosure forms, “she owns as much as $100,000 of Clean Energy stock,” reported Reuters.
The Democratic leader included the NAT GAS Act in her “Make it in America” initiative, billed as an effort “to revitalize manufacturing in America, create new good-paying jobs, and make our nation more secure.”