The refusal of Nancy Pelosi to allow a vote in congress will have some REAL negative impact on Michigan residents, more than what we have been dealing with already. High gasoline prices already have a negative effect on the sales and leasing of SUVs, trucks, and larger vehicles. Michigan, and its work force relies largely on the production of these items for the health of its workforce and their families. It is hardly the automakers themselves who are the only ones affected, but all of the ancillary businesses as well. The suppliers, transporters, and ALL who are down the food chain are feeling the hit because of high fuel costs.
And then, while we turn to face that particular problem, there is another sneaking up behind us. <insert boot to the head here> A “plan” is being proposed. A plan to generate electricity with wind farms of a magnitude we could only envision in our wildest imaginings. Aside from ANY of the environmental arguments against wind power, the relationship is critical here. The WIND is to replace the NATURAL GAS we use to generate electricity. It all sounds pretty benign at this point, and frankly sound policy, until you look at where Pickens’ Plan wants to USE the natural gas… In trucks, busing, other fleets, and in your automobiles. Pickens argues (correctly) that the US has some of the greatest supplies of LNG in the world HERE in the US, and (speculatively) that using it for fuel for vehicles would reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
While the use of Natural gas for vehicle use can be shown to be (currently) less expensive than gas, it requires major infrastructure expense, and the savings might not be borne out for some time. Well lo and behold, a company already exists to help ease the transitional burden to natural gas! CLNE (Clean Fuels Energy Corp) which is one of Pickens’ (according to SEC records, Pickens and his wife own 20+ percent between them) companies. CLNE has been heavily lobbying, and has spent Millions in California to promote passage of a proposition which creates a $5 billion (and double with potential federal matching) STATE FUNDED finance package to create an entirely NEW infrastructure for the use of LNG which, conveniently enough CLNE is in the position to provide.
The use of LNG in vehicles presents another problem however. While the electricity production might be taken up (merely a little) by wind, LNG electricity generation will still be a reality. It cannot go away in light of the fact that ..sometimes the wind don’t blow. Then there is Michigan. Michigan, like any state which resides above the 35th parallel has a need for natural gas for heating for at least 5 months of the year. And those states which are above the 38th, like Michigan can experience some long winters, and have already seen heating costs as much as triple in the last 10 years. If LNG becomes a staple in the vehicular diet, what do you suppose will happen to heating cost in the future?
So where does House Speaker Madame Nancy Pelosi fit in? She has an interest in CLNE. Not an incredibly large one mind you, but one that stands to reap GREAT rewards if the California proposition is passed. So as many have asked: “So Nancy has an investment in a environmentally friendly company, So what? Whats the big deal?” Well, most of us folks here in Michigan don’t have the keys to our very own national policy making station which can affect the nature of our investments to an exponential level. Her investment is largely WORTHLESS without the passage of that propostition. CLNE may have lost over a $100million in the last year and it may need this prop to pass to continue its operations.
Nancy has used the fear that has been brewing over the past few years from the claims of the climate change crowd that we are “destroying the planet” with our “addiction to oil,” and that we “must do something, and right away.” Enablers to this problem are to be found in the executive offices of this state, as well as in both parties, and also in business, and have played on fears which have been engendered in movies and media hype that the seas are rising, wildlife is dying, and the Earth is on the fast track to become “Venus like.” TV Networks which own enterprises that “serve” and profit from the climate change movement also convince the people how “very real it is.”
She has USED that fear… to make a buck. By holding up legislation which would allow drilling HERE in this country, she hopes to keep oil prices high. Keeping the cost of a gallon of gas at $4.00 is ideal, when the voters of the largest state in our great nation go to vote on spending $billions to go a new source of fuel for vehicles. A Move that would surely be followed throughout the rest of the country, adding up to potentially 100s of billions in profit for CLNE and its investors including her cut.
All the while, Michigan looks at an industry which is in trouble already, and a winter that looks awful cold.