Susan Rice’s foreign investments
In what might turn out to be the final set of nails in the coffin of her Secretary of State ambitions, it turns out that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has huge foreign investments, including several companies that are doing business with Iran. She has ties to one company, Royal Dutch Shell, that stands to make a billion dollars if the sanctions against Iran are lifted; as the Washington Free Beacon reports, other Rice investments are currently making big bucks working for the mullahs, to the ostensible displeasure of the Administration:
Rice has additional investments in Norsk Hydro ASA, a Norwegian aluminum firm, and BHP Billiton PLC, an Australian-based natural resources company, financial disclosure show.
Norway’s Norsk Hydro was awarded in 2006 a $107 million exploration and development contract for Iran’s Khorramabad oil block, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rice’s portfolio includes an investment of up to $15,000 in the company.
Norsk acknowledged at the time that it was working in Iran against the wishes of the U.S. government.
America is “not happy that we’re there,” Norsk Hydro spokeswoman Kama Holte Strand told the Journal at the time. Holte admitted that the company was working with Tehran because it is “profitable.”
Rice has up to $50,000 invested with another Iranian partner, BHP Billiton, which was probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010 for its dealings with Cuba and Iran, according to reports.
The company, which had leased office space in Tehran, admitted to making more than $360 million from the Iranians, according to The Australian.
Rice also has big investments with a Canadian oil pipeline company that would make out very nicely if the Keystone XL pipeline ever gets built… something Rice would have influence over, if she became Secretary of State. The Daily Caller has the details:
According to her May 2012 financial disclosure, Rice has an investment in TransCanada Corporation worth between $300,000 and $600,000. TransCanada is angling for the State Department’s permission to build the final portion of the Keystone XL pipeline — a 1,700-mile conduit for crude oil between Canadian deposits and Texas refineries.
If she were confirmed as secretary of state, Rice would have final authority to green-light the large section of the pipeline project still languishing in regulatory purgatory.
“[A]bout a third of Rice’s personal net worth is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel,” a [National Resources Defense Council] blogger wrote Wednesday, “including companies with poor environmental and safety records on both U.S. and Canadian soil.”
“Rice and her husband own at least $1.25 million worth of stock in four of Canada’s eight leading oil producers, as ranked by Forbes magazine. That includes Enbridge, which 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.”
Republicans generally believe the Keystone XL pipeline should be completed, so there would be applause for Rice if she was able to get it done. (Actually, if she’s really interested in winning Republican support for her prospective nomination, she should start advertising her willingness to do so.) But it’s rather difficult to avoid the clear conflict of interest, and of course her ties to Iranian business are going to be even larger “bumps in the road” on her path to Secretary of State.
And her entire portfolio is a rather stunning violation of Democrat Party dogma. Rice is extremely wealthy – she’s worth somewhere between $22 and $44 million, according to her financial disclosures, making her the richest current member of the executive branch. A lot of that money is tied up in the kind of overseas investments that Democrats nearly popped a blood vessel screaming about during the 2012 presidential campaign. She’s even got money in Wal-Mart, the current hate fetish of Big Labor.
Susan Rice, in addition to the lingering questions about her role in the Benghazi scandal, is practically a caricature of what Democrat activists think a Republican appointee would look like… except for what she looks like. And that’s all that really matters to a lot of Democrats, isn’t it? That, plus the proper Party credentials?