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USA: 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


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