SEC Filing Shows Prop 10 is a Business Deal for T. Boone Pickens
Reports filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the California Secretary of State’s office offer further proof that Proposition 10 is nothing more than a shrewd business investment by Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens.
‘The only ‘green’ in Prop 10 is the color of the money that Mr. Pickens will collect by the truckload if the measure wins approval,’ stated Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California.
T Boone Pickens owns Clean Energy Fuel Corporation (formerly Pickens Fuel). Clean Energy Fuel Corp. wrote Proposition 10 and put up over $3 million to buy signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. Clean Energy Fuel Corp dominates the natural gas vehicle fueling station business. Polls indicate weak voter support for Prop 10 and its $10 billion price tag.
On October 1, Clean Energy Fuel Corporation pumped another $4 million into the Prop 10 campaign coffers for a massive media ad buy.
Where does a small company that lost money for the past three years find this kind of cash to contribute to a ballot measure? Directly from T. Boone Pickens.
Six days before Clean Energy gave Prop 10 the $4 million donation, Boone Pickens Interests Ltd. gave Clean Energy Fuels a $5 million ‘donation’ in the form of a purchase directly from the company of 319,488 shares of common stock at a price of $15.65 per share. Mr. Pickens did not exercise his warrant that gave him the right to purchase this stock at a price of $10 per share, and he did not buy these shares from sellers in the stock market. He gave the cash directly to Clean Energy, which promptly invested most of these funds in the Yes on Prop 10 campaign.
Environmental groups including the California League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club have urged voters to Vote No on Proposition 10, because it misspends precious California tax dollars on programs that don’t clean up the air, but that do enrich Mr. Pickens and his Clean Energy Fuel Corp.
The central program in Prop 10 is a $2.5 billion giveaway to trucking companies to subsidize purchases of natural gas-fueled trucks. Trucks that qualify for rebates under Prop 10 are permitted to emit air pollution at levels identical to petroleum or diesel-fueled trucks. Most Prop 10 subsidized trucks will fill up at Mr. Pickens gas stations. It is estimated that Prop 10 will increase Clean Energy’s California business by 500%.