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NE: Rice’s oil connections could complicate Keystone review

By   /   November 29, 2012  /   News  /   29 Comments

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

SUSAN RICE: Rice and her husband own between $300,000 and $600,000 worth of stock in TransCanada, the Canadian company that’s been working several years to get a permit to build a pipeline through America to transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries.

LINCOLN – The Nebraska landowners’ group that has put obstacles in the path of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is now raising concerns about potential secretary of state nominee Susan Rice, who owns stock in multiple oil companies.

According to her public financial disclosure report, Rice and her husband own between $300,000 and $600,000 worth of stock in TransCanada, the Canadian company that’s been working several years to get a permit to build a pipeline through America to transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries.

Whoever succeeds Hillary Clinton as secretary of state will be in charge of the environmental review of TransCanada’s application for a federal permit to build the pipeline from Canada to Oklahoma — the company has already gotten approval for, and has begun building, the last leg from Oklahoma to Texas.

That means Rice would have a conflict of interest, according to the left-leaning Bold Nebraska group, which has organized landowner opposition to the pipeline in Nebraska.

“Susan Rice is qualified to be secretary of state, but she is not qualified to make an unbiased decision on Keystone XL or any other tar sands project,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska. “The secretary of state is responsible for doing a comprehensive review of pipeline projects that cross the international border without any conflict of interest, and it is crystal clear when it comes to tar sands that is not the case for Susan Rice.”

The pipeline project has been held up while TransCanada rerouted the path through Nebraska to avoid its ecologically fragile Sandhills. The new route is in the final stages of review before going to Gov. Dave Heineman for a final decision.

The Natural Resources Defense Council first reported the link between Rice and more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that could benefit from the pipeline. The NRDC said about a third of her net worth is in oil producers, pipeline operators and other Canadian energy interests — including at least $1.25 million worth of stock in four of Canada’s leading oil producers.

In a letter attached to her 2008 financial disclosure report, Rice said she was committed to the highest ethical standards for government officials and wouldn’t participate in any matters that had an effect on her financial interests unless she received a waiver.

Kleeb said President Obama could put a different federal agency in charge of the pipeline’s review, with the State Department as a cooperating agency rather than lead agency, on international pipeline decisions.

“Certainly the State Department should give input on how international pipelines would affect U.S. relationships with Canada, but there are other agencies in government that are better suited to assess a pipeline,” Kleeb said. “Agencies like the EPA or the Department of Transportation seem logical choices for the lead agency role.”

TransCanada spokesman Grady Semmens said of the latest twist, “We are not in a position to comment on potential nominees. That is a matter for the president of the United States.”

Contact Deena Winter at [email protected].

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Bam

    You mean Susan doesn’t stand with Randy? Ha ha! However. I’m wondering why the Kleeb Keystone Klub decided to out a minority woman, though.

  • Malone1610

    Susan Rice was never was going to be Secretary of State. The administration needed her for a diversion for Obama’s fiasco on the Libyan Consulate attack. They are now pulling the plug on her and throwing her under the bus, they don’t need her any longer. Where do you think the information leak on her came from?

  • Kent Goertzen

    You mean the fiasco caused by GOP budget cutting of security?

    And what about those 11 attack, 45+ deaths, and 90+ wounded under bush?

    1 attack on Obama is a Fiasco, then what do you call that?

  • Kent Goertzen

    Because they have integrity to their cause, unlike yourself.

  • Do not Forget Condoleezza Rice to she has apart in Rice oil

  • Hilarious how you believe what you hear on MSNBC.

    The State Department denied that budget cuts had any impact on Benghazi.

  • I predict the Keystone Pipeline will never get built. Mr Obama’s environmentalist friends will carry the day.

  • nothing but puppet

  • racefish

    How about the Department of Energy. They don’t seem to be doing anything.

  • racefish

    That is relevant because?

  • Bam

    “Integrity,” as in taking money from a Berkshire millionaire for their cause? As in Berkshire making millions for transferring oil via their railroad instead of a cheaper, safer pipeline? HA HA HA!!!

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    A pipeline transporting Tarsands crude is neither cheaper, nor safer than using rail. Just look at the horrendous records that Enbridge, TransCanada, Suncor, et al have with the transport of Tarsands crude and the OVER 300 spills in the past two years just in Canada, with four of those being over 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) and two of those over 100,000 gallons into riverways in Alberta.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Trying to draw an allusion between Bold Nebraska and the KKK is a new low for you, especially in light of the fact that the Tea Party and Americans For Prosperity are nothing more than astroturf organizations furthering the fascist aims of their financial benefactors who profit from the development of the Athebasca Tarsands, the Koch brothers. Of course they learned well at the knee of theirfather, Fred Koch, founder of the John Birch Society and financially tied to both Joseph Stalin’s communist regime and his cousin, Ernst Koch and the Nazi Government.

    Now THERE’S some pretty disgusting company to be keeping with.

  • Joan

    So there Bam….put that in your pipe and smoke it! Thank you Watching From Lincoln

  • Bam

    Wow, I must have really struck a nerve there! It wasn’t ME who tried to ensure a black woman didn’t move up in the world today, Jane.

  • Bam

    Everything you just said there is a lie, so there you go.

  • Bam

    Who else tried to profit from the tar sands? Susan Rice. Meanwhile, families are forced to move from the Nebraska Sand Hills because you support an anti-job, anti-family pack like Kleeb’s Keystone Klub. So put THAT in your pipeline and blow. Thank you – BAM!

  • Malone1610

    Oh, thats good, blame it on Bush. He has been out of office for 4 years, when are you libs going to face the truth? Obama is a disaster and nothing but a blamer-in-chief.

  • Jazzee

    the lefties environmentalists I heard

  • Jazzee

    NO they never went thru
    wow didn’t you hear the state department lady testify they had nothing to do with anything pay attention

  • Jazzee


  • Jazzee


  • Wee need these jobs

  • Kent Goertzen

    Who is blaming this attack on Bush? I didn’t say that. That you have to make that up as an attack says a lot about you.

    But people like yourself were silent on every single one of those attacks. Of course that you would lie with the above attack, I’m sure you’ll lie about that silence.

    I’m blame it on the GOP Congress. The congress that is in charge of the budgets, the congress that cut the embassy budget despite the President and Pentagon’s recommendations.

    I do blame them IN PART.

    But again not that any of that matters to someone as dishonest as yourself.

  • Kent Goertzen

    I note not a single link to prove your claim.

  • Kent Goertzen

    Anti-job anti-family. Why you are a sick psychopath.

    That you have to make such types of dishonest attacks on people, and get off on it says a lot about you.

  • Kent Goertzen

    Oh btw “Just three days after the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said there were “demonstrations” at the U.S. diplomatic mission there and that the attackers “seized this opportunity to attack our consulate.” McCain also said during this Sept. 14 press conference on Capitol Hill that he wasn’t certain whether al-Qeada perpetrated the assault.”

    Exact same position Rice took with information she had.

  • Kent Goertzen

    Cherry picking. I’ve seen the reports that said it had a big impact on overall security.

  • Kent Goertzen

    Just curious do you claim to be a Christian as well as your conservative views? If so, there is one out of the big 10, something about bearing false witness you should consider more often.