By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
06/24/09 5:07 PM EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has vowed to bring the Obama-Waxman-Markey (OWM) anti-global warming cap-and-trade energy bill to the floor for a final vote Friday, which raises an interesting question: How much money will Pelosi make if the measure becomes law, as seems quite likely?
Pelosi, of course, is not the only member of Congress to own significant shares of energy companies. Senators and representatives from all over the country do, not just the "oilies" from energy states like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
But as House Speaker, Pelosi's ownership of an unknown number of shares in the Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) valued at between $15,000 and $50,000, may deserve particular attention.
Shares of CLNE have gone up and down in value in recent years, thanks to the fluctuations in the price of natural gas and changes in the oil industry worldwide. And a Pelosi spokesman told The Washington Examiner last year that her husband takes care of their stock portfolio, so she has no knowledge of how any of her family investments will be affected by any particular piece of legislation before Congress.
Another prominent public figure with an interest in OWM is CLNE's major domo, T. Boone Pickens, best known of late as a wind-energy investor and the man behind the largest-ever single donation to a state university, $165 million to Oklahoma State University for its athletic programs three years ago. CLNE is a cog in Pickens massive plan to create a giant wind farm in West Texas to generate electricity.
Pelosi will profit because OWM will boost the price of natural gas on the market. This is because natural gas burns with significantly less carbon emissions than other fossil fuels. For companies trying to get under OWM limits for greenhouse gases emissions, burning more natural gas instead of, say coal, will be a no-brainer. That will drive up demand for natural gas, which in turn will create upward price pressures.
For more thoughts on this issue, see this post by Bill Collier at Reagan2.com.