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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pelosi, Pickens and the Corruption of Green Energy

Ah so!

It seems T. Boone Pickens is not the disinterested environmental pioneer that his ads make him out to be. Michelle Malkin exposes the grand scale corruption that is behind Nancy Pelosi’s desire not to drill for more oil. It seems that she has stock in companies that create and run wind farms – T. Boone Pickens companies.

Michelle Malkin:

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 so-called eco-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. (CLNE) 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.

It seems a another Pickens company, Mesa Power is becoming the biggest owner and operator of wind farms in the country.

Dallas-based Mesa Power LLP, a company created by energy executive T. Boone Pickens, has placed an order with GE to purchase 667 wind turbines capable of generating 1,000 MW. GE plans to deliver the 1.5 MW wind turbines in 2010 and 2011.

So those T. Boone Pickens "public service announcements" are anything but. They are ads for his company. And with the blatant connivance of Democrat Speaker Pelosi, he's reaching in your pocket and mine for subsidies for his projects. With literally billions of taxpayer dollars involved, this is corruption on a grand scale; making the government graft in the Mexican oil industry small in comparison.

This is "Teapot Dome" writ large.

More Malkin:

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 upward of $12 billion in wind farms on the Texas panhandle. CLNE 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 is banking on him.

As reported on, Speaker Pelosi bought between $50,000 and $100,000 worth 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 become 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's terms as energy analyst Kenneth Medlock III did in an interview with The Dallas Morning News about the Pickens multibillion dollar 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 Democratic Speaker of the House -- all the while wagging her finger at the financial motivation of others.

As the newspapers downsize staff to go along with their reduced readership we get the claim from the reporters and columnists such as Debra J. Saunders that the newspapers are needed to dig in and report the news. Well, it seems not so much.

The Edwards fiasco was positively shunned by the MSM.

And who can forget Dan Rather. Now that he's gone, we get the LA Times spreading misinformation.

And despite the millions that Pickens has poured into his ad campaign, I have yet to read a word about his financial interest in the wind industry in the MSM. So I would say that the blogosphere is doing as good a job in its infancy as the MSM is doing in its dotage.

UPDATE: from earth2tech

It appears that Pickens is losing money on his “Green Energy” businesses. That explains why he’s going on TV to try to get consumers to push congress to bail him out.

UPDATE 8/24/2008:

I keep getting comments from people who like the idea of getting electricity from wind. How about by-passing Pickens and doing it yourself? Here is a link to a Q&A regarding home wind power.

FAQs: What You Need to Understand About a Wind Turbine for Your Home

The first thing you should know is the price:

...the average non-all-electric home (that is, one that not only uses electricity but other energy sources such as gas or liquefied petroleum (LP) gas) in the U.S. consumes about 1,000 kWh of electricity per month, or about 12,000 kWh per year. Depending on your wind resource and the tower height required to get the wind turbine above the trees, a wind system sized to generate this amount of electricity could easily cost $60,000 to $80,000 installed.

Then of course there's the question of getting your neighbors to go along with a really tall tower in their neighborhood.


Anonymous said...

Charles Thurman

Anonymous said...

It is wrong to put Mr. T. Boone Pickens in the same sentence with Nancy Pelosi. T. Pickens is going to help the shortage of electric power and Pelosi is trying to stop any increase in our power grid. So Mr. Pickens stands to make money on his investment in wind power, is that a crime? I call it capitalism; and for a good cause, too. Have you anyone in mind that is putting up billions to finance delivery and installation of 667 wind turbines? I didn't think so. Tread lightly on Mr. Pickens. He is a patriot and we need more like him. What does concern me about this project is who is planning on transmission lines? They will prove to be more of a problem than Mr. Pickens and his wind machines.

Bob Webster

Moneyrunner said...

Actually Bob,

Pelosi and Pickens are in cahoots to make money. In case you did not read the article, they will both make big bucks if the energy plan that Pelosi and Pickens back is passed.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't like the the idea of Pelosi and Pickens doing business together, it does not invalidate the plan. I understand T.Boone is going to make out big if his plan is adopted. I expected that. But personal motives aside, what is wrong with PickensPlan? Someone is going to profit no matter what we do. Everyone owns something. So, do we say just scrap a good plan because someone is going to make money? Furthermore, PickensPlan being privately funded. It does not need government money. So what is the corruption? Something has to be done. Drilling is not the answer. Fossil fuels are on their way out. We are going to have to come up with something else. So, if not PickensPlan what else? Anyone got a better idea? Obama says just put air in your tires. So that is going to fix the problem?


Moneyrunner said...


First of all, would you agree that there is a conflict of interest between a legislator (especially one of Pelosi’s importance) supporting a program in which he or she is an investor?

Second, I have no objection to anyone making money out of providing low cost energy to consumers. In fact, in a free society that should be the outcome. I object to Pickens’ dishonest attempt to fool people that he is running these commercials as a public service announcement. It’s not: it’s a commercial for a specific kind of energy production that he has a big investment in.

Third, how do you know it’s a good plan? Do you believe Pickens when he claims that he can produce 20% of the nation's energy with wind farms? What are the economics of wind energy? How efficient is it? What happens when the wind doesn’t blow? I am not aware of any large scale electrical storage devices need to supply electricity when the windmills don’t turn. I am told, and it makes sense, that wind and solar energy need backup sources of electrical generation when the wind does not blow or the sun doesn’t shine; and today those are conventional power plants. What are the economics of that?

And the part about “privately funded” is totally misleading. Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats in congress are working on financial incentives for these alternative energy sources. That means either tax breaks or direct subsidy of these devices.

The current use of ethanol, for example, is forced by government mandates and supported by a huge 51 cent per gallon tax credit. Ethanol for gasoline is only “privately funded” if you ignore the tax give-away.

Which brings me back to the Pickens ads.

Why is he running these ads? If these wind farms were economical alternatives to fossil fuel plants he would not need to convince you to support him. He would just go out and build the wind farms and sell the electricity, right? So why the ads? Simple, to support the government give-aways to his wind farms.

I am in favor of fixing the problem, but at this time it’s largely a government created problem, led by a combination of radical environmentalists and elected and appointed officials who are seeking their votes and lining their pockets at the same time.

For an example of the “Big Lie” fostered by the Greens and the Left, see my post on ANWR.

Anonymous said...

Congressmen and Senators I’m sure invest in a lot a things. Sometimes they may profit from decisions they make, sometimes they might not. Let me first say so that there is no misunderstanding, I dislike Nancy Pelosi very much! I do not like her in anyway, shape or form. But, personally, I do not have a problem with anyone, no matter who it is, profiting from something that is beneficial to our country. I wish I owned some stock in a wind turbine company or owned land where one could be put! You bet!

In answer to your second point, T. Boone is 70 something yrs old and he is already a billionaire, how much more money do your think or needs or has time to enjoy? He could just go off to his ranch and live out the rest of his days in peaceful security. That is your belief that is his motive. I can’t judge his motives any more than you can.

Also wind power is only part of PickensPlan. The wind power is only to allow us enough time to develop better technologies that are already in the works such as the fuel cell, electric, and biofuel vehicles. His long-term plan also calls for extensive nuclear power expansion. Mind you he probably has his hands in ALL of these technologies. I have already dealt with that complication in my own mind and have dispatched it.

How do I know it is a good plan? To me it just makes sense, and I haven’t heard of a better plan. It is perfect? No plan ever is. Is the problems/complications? Yes. We are faced with a complex situation. There is no easy fix for our predicament. But we have to do something and we have to do it now! If we are going to argue politics and raw party lines on every issue we will always get where we have always gotten, nowhere!

We have to take a comprehensive approach to this issue, which includes drilling. So, there is no need to put Pickens in opposition to drilling. This is not an either or neither approach. We need to do it all.


john bailo said...

I think wind is a good technology, but I don't see why I need to pay a premium to Pickens for it! We can buy the turbines direct from GE, why is Pickens sticking his hands in the cookie jar and muddling the politics?

I think he's just trying to scare up the price of his oil stocks if you ask me and is completely insincere about wind.

Moneyrunner said...


Thanks for the comment.

Wind may be part of a mix of technologies that will produce electricity, but since it is not reliable it’s never going to be a primary source. It’s immediately apparent to anyone who has ever sailed or depended on wind power. It’s why we don’t have wind powered navies or merchant fleets any more. So the preference that many people show for wind power is the result of salesmanship by people like Pickens, concern for the environment and lack of technical expertise.

Here is a good article on home wind turbines. Note that they may cost well over $50,000, and then there’s the tower that will endear you to your neighbors..

Regarding Pickens and wind turbines: he’s not making them, he’s buying them from GE. GE sells them to him; he builds wind farms and is looking for the federal government to make them profitable. It’s no more complicated than that.