Remnants of the collapse of Kiel Bros. Oil Co. in 2004 is costing tax-paying Americans. The father of the Vice President, Edward Pence, grew the gas station chain from a small-town vendor in Columbus, Indiana to an oil empire of around 200 gas stations.
Since the chain’s demise, 85 contaminated sites have been identified across 3 states. Large underground oil tanks have leaked into the soils and have contaminated dirt, wells, and rivers.
The average cost of decontaminating one site is around $500,000 U.S. dollars, totaling the environmental project at $21 million. So far, the old Kiel Bros. franchise has paid a fraction of the cost of replenishing the sited areas. The company reported paying $8.8 million in “defense costs,” even though $5 million came from state taxes.
It has been reported that the old president of Kiel Bros. Greg Pence, the older brother of the vice president, has tried to escape the increasing environmental costs. Republican Greg is running for Congress in Indiana and has avoided the environmental crisis.
Pence’s Campaign spokeswoman, Molly Gillaspie, stated, “Greg Pence has had nothing to do with Kiel Bros since 2004. This is another attempt by the liberal media to rehash old, baseless attacks”.
Greg Pence took over the business following his father’s death in 1988. The fall of the family company came during the early-2000s and can be attributed to low gas prices and the amounts of debt the business was already in. Profits decreased and during June of 2004, Greg Pence resigned and the gas station chain filed for bankruptcy. Mike Pence’s 2006 tax-filings show that he lost more than $673,000 following the company’s failure. Mike Pence’s net worth is between $532,000 and $1.13 million and Greg Pence’s net worth is between $5.7 million and $26 million.
Alyssa Farah, Mike Pence’s Press Secretary, has called the contamination “a years-old issue”. The Pence brothers have been putting this issue on the backburner while taxpayers continue to pay for the cleanup efforts.
Featured Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore