Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)

Why is an oil stock owning Congress member pushing to end EV tax credits?

Perhaps when we think "oil companies want to kill electric cars" our imagination is running away with us, but when a Congressman who owns/owned millions of dollars in oil company stock, who is also a car dealer, and wants to kill electric cars, what else is our mind to think?

Yesterday we reported that Rep. Kelly proposed legislation to end the Bush era $7500 electric car tax credit, while being an unashamed hater of electric cars who owns a Chevrolet car dealership. Today reports surfaced that Rep. Kelly also owns millions of dollars worth of oil company stock, and our minds leap immediately to the idea many of us share that the oil companies want to kill electric cars.

The theory that oil companies want to kill electric cars is shared by so many of us, is so obviously plausible (e.g. if electric cars are commonplace wouldn't the the oil companies want to stop it?), that the facts of Rep. Kelly's life seem like a walking talking breathing example of this idea in real life. But does that mean the oil industry wants to kill electric cars? No, not necessarily. Rep. Kelly is not the oil industry, he's a Congressman who owns a car dealership and owns (or owned) a large quantity of oil company stock. There is a difference.

To reiterate yesterday's story, HR3768 was filed last week by Rep. Kelly and would terminate the section of the U.S. Tax Code that grants a tax credit of up to $7500 for purchases of electric cars. It was noted yesterday that Rep. Kelly owns a Chevrolet car dealership originally started by his Father, that was nearly closed during the GM bankruptcy proceedings early in Obama's Presidency, and that he's on record with a long series of statements bashing electric cars in general and the Volt in particular. (see Rep. Kelly's HR 3768 proposes repeal of electric car $7500 tax rebate) This is happening in the context of the budget showdown just before Christmas that, as a side effect, killed a couple small tax credits for electric vehicle infrastructure. (see Overhyped bashing of electric car charging station subsidies in the Washington Post and Electric Vehicle charging station tax credits a victim of US Govt budget battles)

Thanks to a report on the ThinkProgress blog we learned today that Rep. Kelly also owns millions of dollars worth of stock in two small Pennsylvania oil companies that are oh-by-the-way engages in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations in the Marcellus Shale formation. Financial disclosures filed last May do show ownership stakes in these and other companies. However a flurry of news reports in July indicate Rep. Kelly's office claims that Kelly sold off his stakes in these oil companies.

According to Rep. Kelly's financial disclosure dated May 15, 2011, that he: a) earns $146,000 per year salary from Kelly Chevrolet, the auto dealership he owns; b) his ownership stake in the Kelly Chevrolet and the land it sits on is worth over $10 million; c) he personally owns "partnership" stakes in PC Exploration, Campbells Gas Partners, Phillips Resources, and TWP Inc that appear to collectively earn between $100,000 to $1 million per year in dividends; d) he bought a large chunk of General Motors stock on Nov 23, 2010, shortly after his election to the House of Representatives; e) he still serves as President of Kelly Chevrolet and Kelly Hyundai.


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This is typical of self serving politicians who are in office for their own greed.
The irony behind the argument that ending the tax credit for EV's will help fix the debt crisis is that it will do the opposite. We import about $1 Billion in oil every day which contributes greatly to our trade deficit. To fund the trade deficit the US has to borrow money and pay interest on it., which impacts the domestic budget directly. If we could reverse that there would be more money to go around in the US which in turn would help alleviate budget deficits. If we all had more money so would the government. If we keep shipping our money abroad to buy oil, there's less money for us all and the government. The elected officials do not appear to want to solve the nations problems.
Based on the facts you have presented, it is conflicted for Rep. Kelly to introduce or vote on proposed legislation that would advance his personal interests. Why is it not ILLEGAL for him to so? If we thought of our members of Congress as our employees, we would reprimand them at least, or take more serious disciplinary action. If the problem persisted, we would terminate their service. We need teeth in your bite of truth-telling. Jill Sorensen Baltimore-Washington Electric Vehicle initiative
We've been trained to address the gentlemen as "the honorable Hiratio Alger". The only "honorable" thing this congressman could possibly do is resign and refuse the retirement and health benefits. This cad has absolutely no interest in a positive future for our country. My pet cat could do a better job by being less destructive of our environment and our balance of trade.
I am certain this manis not the only one in congress that has this issue.