Pelosi's Electric Car Windfall

Paul Pelosi and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2019 / Grabien
March 22, 2022

Nancy Pelosi's husband cashed in up to $5 million worth of Tesla stock last week as the speaker lobbied for legislation to give subsidies to the electric vehicle industry.

Paul Pelosi exercised options to buy between $1 million and $5 million in shares of the electric car maker on March 17, according to disclosures filed with the House clerk. He purchased the option on Dec. 22, 2020, at an overall contract value of between $500,000 and $1 million. Nancy Pelosi has since spearheaded legislation to give tens of billions of dollars to build electric charging stations across the country. Democrats are also pushing to give subsidies to consumers to buy electric cars.

The transaction comes amid growing pressure to ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading stocks of individual companies. A bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed the ban in order to prevent insider trading and other conflicts of interest. Nancy Pelosi reluctantly endorsed the trading ban last month. The Pelosis came under scrutiny last year over their extensive stock portfolio. Republicans alleged that Pelosi was cashing in on her position of power.

Tesla's stock price has increased dramatically since Paul Pelosi purchased the options, from $640 on Dec. 22, 2020, to $871 as of March 17. His net profit is unclear and would depend on the cost to purchase the Tesla option contracts.

Pelosi's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) also bought Tesla stock last week, according to House disclosures. Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, has pushed for electric vehicle subsidies. He touted the electric charging network during an event last month, saying it will give drivers "the green light to trade polluting vehicles for electric cars that don't leave them vulnerable to gas price spikes."

Whitehouse purchased between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of shares of Tesla on Jan. 28, according to disclosures he submitted to the Senate Ethics Committee.