Updated: Kelly Sold Off Oil Assets Before Sharpton Segment

By Keegan Gibson and Judith Ayers

After a week of back-and-forth over Rep. Mike Kelly’s personal investments in two oil companies, the Congressman’s office today made clear that Kelly had sold his $6 million in shares of T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co. and Phillips Resources. The process to sell the shares began before Kelly took office.

The issue was brought to light last week by criticism from the Rev. Al Sharpton during a segment on MSNBC, as well as several other groups.

“Representative Kelly and his family made the decision to sell their shares of T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co. and Phillips Resources when those companies were sold to SteelRiver Infrastructure Fund North America LP and Exxon Mobil Corp, respectively,” explained spokeswoman Julia Thornton. “Talks to sell both companies began in 2010, and in November 2010, SteelRiver Infrastructure Fund North America LP filed with the state Public Utilities Commission to buy T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co, with the deal being completed on May 24, 2011. The acquisition of Phillips Resources was finalized by Exxon Mobil Corp on June 2, 2011, after the months-long transactional process.”

When the story broke, Kelly’s office didn’t specifically note that the Congressman had sold off his assets. However, Thornton noted that in Kelly’s op-ed response, his references to investment in the energy companies were in past tense (eg. “I had investments in an oil and natural gas company…”).

Thornton denounced the tenor of criticism the Congressman faced over the past week.

“The idea that Representative Kelly would make any kind of financial decision because of baseless attacks launched against him by the likes of Al Sharpton or any other member of the media is comical. This is nothing more than a campaign-style hit piece that has zero foundation in the truth, and a sad indication of how the 2012 elections will play out during this very critical time in America’s history.”

Update, 5:20pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee isn’t convinced by Kelly’s explanation.

“The real question here is not whether or not Representative Kelly owned the stock when he was called out on it, the important question is whether he owned it when he voted to protect subsidies for oil and gas companies like the ones he had invested $6 million in,” said Josh Schwerin, Northeast Press Secretary at the DCCC.  “Will Representative Kelly disclose to the public when he decided to get rid of his conflict of interest?”

The committee points to votes Kelly took pertaining to the industry, the earliest falling on March 1st of this year. Says the DCCC:

“Kelly voted against a motion which would have prohibited ‘any major integrated oil company from being eligible for any tax benefit or relief under related provisions of the tax code.’ [H.J. Res. 44, Vote #153, 3/1/11; CQ Floor Votes, 3/1/11]”

One Response

  1. Oh, give me a break! Are you kidding me?

    Kelly never bought a single share in any Phillips venture. He got the stock by being married to Victoria Phillips Kelly, and her inheritance of them. Not a penny of that money was ever earned by either one of them.

    Do not believe for one second that he sold anything. I have known George “Mike” Kelly for years. They have hidden those investments and will be reaping the benefits for generations to come.

    T.W. Phillips was sold for over $1+ billion dollars, with the natural reserves sold for another $700+ million. If anyone is stupid enough to believe they divested themselves of these holdings, then they deserve a shaking.

    He should be asked how much of a stake he has in his brother-in-law’s new Marcellus Shale venture….

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