One of the principles of ethics that should govern politicians and their dealings with the private sector is that politicians should not be voting on legislation that directly involves their own personal investments. Ideally, politicians shouldn't be investing in the market at all since they can vote to influence the market in their favor. If they do have investments in the private sector, then they should recuse themsleves from voting on any legislation that would influence the profitability of those investments.
The Cap and Trace Energy Tax recently passed by the House of Representatives is a good case in point. Several lawmakers will enjoy direct financial benefits from the legislation should it become law. Among these are Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
From Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner:
|How much money will Pelosi make if the measure (Obama-Waxman-Markey (OWM)) 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.
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.
Pelosi claims that her husband handles the stocks and that she has no knowledge of what stocks he is purchasing. This is an irrelevent cop-out. Mr. Pelosi knows very well what legislation his wife is working on and whether or not it is likely to be passed. He further knows what effect such legislation would have on the stocks he will be purchasing. That is the same thing as insider trading and that makes it every bit as unethical as it would be if Speaker Pelosi purchased the stocks herself.
Rather than fulfill her 2006 promise of ridding D.C. of the culture of corruption, Pelosi and her fellow Dems simply claimed the cess pool as their own, jumped in and began splashing around.
You can access this story on on-line here:
Pelosi Will Profit From Obama-Waxman-Markey Cap-And-Trade Energy Bill
June 24, 2009
And who else stands to make bank from this legislation? Al Gore and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) for two. Markey holds between $51,000 and $115,000 in investments in Firsthand Technology Value Fund (solar-evergy manufacturers) and Al Gore has $6 million in the Venture Capital Group (CO2 emmissions tracking software), both of which will make very nice profits under the cap-and-trade tax. Profits that will come from fleecing the American people through higher taxes.
Before this gets voted on in the Senate, we should seriously look into which members of Congress will make a profit off of it and how they voted or intend to vote.