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Pelosi's Big-Wind Boondoogle By: Michelle Malkin
New York Post | Thursday, August 14, 2008


HOUSE Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently 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.

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 Pelosi's 2007 financial disclosure form. Schedule III lists "Assets and 'Unearned Income' " of $100,001 to $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, the former oilman turned wind-power evangelist.

Pickens and Pelosi both downplay the need to drill for more US oil. Instead, the Pickens plan proposes to replace natural gas with wind power in power generation and free up natural gas for transportation needs.

Let's be real about the limitations and costs of wind power: Experience demonstrates the 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 backup to be turned on and off to compensate for wind-power-supply shortfalls - nullifying any reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions.

Naturally, the Pickens Big Wind plan is proudly endorsed by Pelosi's friends at the 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 admits, depends on permanent federal subsidies.

Pickens is banking on 'em. And Pelosi is banking on him. She 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," reported dontgomovement.com.

CLNE also happens to be the sponsor of Proposition 10, a ballot initiative in Pelosi's home state of California to dole out $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 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 Pelosi - all the while wagging her finger at the financial motivation of others.


Michelle Malkin is the author of the forthcoming "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2009). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.


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