President Obama was swift to defend Susan Rice from Republican criticism of her role in the September attack in Benghazi, Libya — leading many to believe he’d go to the mat to see her confirmed as Secretary of State.
The White House has grown quite mum, however, over the recent revelation by the NRDC that Rice owns between $300,000 and $600,000 of TransCanada stock, the company that is currently using strongarm tactics against activists as they construct the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
As Secretary of State, Rice would be responsible for approval of the northern branch of the pipeline, which would cross major rivers and the Ogallala Aquifier.
Cozy ties to the oil industry are no stranger to the Secretary of State job. Last year it was revealed that former staffers of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid have been hired to lobby the State Department on behalf of TransCanada.
The NRDC says that overall, approximately one third of Rice’s personal net worth “is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel — including companies with poor environmental and safety records on both U.S. and Canadian soil.” It’s assumed that if she were confirmed as Secretary of State, Rice would divest any holdings that caused conflicts of interest.
So what do you think? Should Rice’s current holdings in TransCanada and other oil interests disqualify her from the Secretary of State job?