This report is thoroughly disappointing, because the conflict of interest is glaring, and for some Progressives, this could actually be a deal-breaker in the possible nomination of Susan Rice for the position of Secretary of State.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched Republican lawmakers like John McCain and Lindsey Graham attempt to rake Rice over the coals over the trumped up issue of the Benghazi attacks on September 11th, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Most Progressives have come to her defense, knowing full well that Republican opposition to her possible appointment is nothing but overwrought political theater.
However, in her position as Secretary of State, should she succeed in appointment, she would be responsible for negotiating the terms and contract for the Keystone Pipeline, an environmentally disastrous proposal that would build a 1,700 mile pipeline from the tar sands of Canada through the Midwest and down to the Gulf Coast of Texas. It’s a disaster waiting to happen, and Progressives have been making their stand against the proposed pipeline in an effort to stem the tide of environmental destruction the project would most certainly bring.
Which brings us to the glaring conflict of interest. From Common Dreams (emphasis added):
The shoulders on which the Keystone Pipeline XL decision may fall happens to have a half-million dollar stake in the game. Secretary of State hopeful and current U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice reportedly owns between $300,000 and $600,000 of TransCanada stock.
The company is seeking a federal permit to transport Canadian tar sands 1,700 miles to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, crossing both fragile Midwest ecosystems and the largest freshwater aquifer in North America.
According to full disclosure reports, Rice—the potential arbiter of this grant—reportedly has a third of her significant net worth tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries.
In addition to the half a million invested in Transcanada, Rice has between $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 of assets in Enbridge Oil which, Scott Dodd writing for OnEarth notes, “spilled more than a million gallons of toxic bitumen into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010—the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.”
The financial information is up for all to see on OpenSecrets.org, where her financial assets are listed.
Is this a deal-breaker for Progressives? I guess it depends on how principled your principles are, which has become an increasingly grey area where Progressives are concerned. Are your principles universal, or are they merely party-centric?
Needless to say, if Rice were a Republican appointee, I would expect the outcry from the Left to be vociferous and passionate. But since Rice may be an appointee of President Obama, I, for the most part, expect the Left to remain largely silent.