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Susan Rice Owns TransCanada Stock

I'm not buying into the misguided GOP/Fox News effort to sandbag Susan Rice's career by hyping the Benghazi attacks (and please, Thomas Ricks, don't apologize).

But if the Administration does nominate Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, I'll happily provide cover fire for Senator Thune or Senator Johnson to put a hold on Rice with this point: Susan Rice is rolling in dough from Canadian tar sands oil. She and her Canadian-born husband own $300K to $600K in TransCanada stock. The Rices got as much as $20K in income from that stock just last year. The State Department gets to issue the final decision on whether TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline moves forward.

Good night! Could the State Department be any more in the tank for Canadian oil?

If Rice comes for a confirmation hearing, Senator Thune should invite Bill McKibben and Jane Kleeb to testify:

Environmentalists quickly criticized the potential selection of Rice given her investments.

“It’s really amazing that they’re considering someone for secretary of State who has millions invested in these companies,” Bill McKibben told On Earth.

“[Keystone XL] would be one of the first decisions she would make, and she’s not qualified to make an unbiased decision,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of the anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska [Alex Guillen, "Susan Rice Holds TransCanada Stock," Politico, 2012.11.28].

It can't be that hard to find a skilled diplomat with such a blatant financial conflict of interest. Let's keep Rice out of the pipeline.


  1. Bill Fleming 2012.11.29

    To be sure, Cory, the Pipeline financial involvement appears to be a clear conflict of interest and worthy of concern.

    What's your disposition on it?

    Would her divesting herself be enough of a good faith action to rectify the problem? Do we know how many others in government own stock in TransCanada?

    Does Thune, for example? Or John Kerry (another potential SOS nominee). Any others who will be voting on the matter, either for the Pipeline or for the approval of an upcoming SOS nominee?

    (You see where I'm going with this, I presume. Let's not be looking for ways to further demonize Ms. Rice, unless we are willing to put all others under the same microscope.)

  2. Bill Fleming 2012.11.29

    Just saw that Al Gore's name is being circulated as preferred alternative to Susan Rice for the SOS appointment. That would keep Kerry (another alternative) in the Senate (and Scott Brown out of it) and advance the US position on responsible climate stewardship. I like the sound of that, how about you, Cory?

  3. Douglas Wiken 2012.11.29

    Noting that Rice and husband own stock in Trans-Canada is hardly demonizing Susan Rice. I think McCain and Graham have been royal jackasses in their attacks on her concerning the deaths of our 4 state dept. employees and preliminary statements on Sabbath Gasbag show, but objectively determined conflicts of interest are another matter entirely ...whether or not the persons concerned are Democrats or Republicans, or neither.

    Other people in the State Department have been challenged because of their potential or real conflicts involving XL and Trans-Canada.

  4. Bill Fleming 2012.11.29

    Exactly Doug, the criteria should be uniformly applied to all concerned (and not just the State Department). If not, it's just another plank in the ongoing attempt at Rice's character assassination.

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