43.2 F
Fort Worth
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Business Perry would bring oil industry ties to Energy Department

Perry would bring oil industry ties to Energy Department

Other News

Left for dead, twice, RadioShack gets another shot online

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again. It’s the most prized...

JC Penney sees bankruptcy protection exit by Christmas

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney believes it will emerge from bankruptcy protection before Christmas under a new ownership agreement that would save tens...

Petalo, not Charmin: Virus brings Mexican toilet paper to US

By JOSEPH PISANI AP Retail Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Toilet paper is back on store shelves. But you may not recognize some of the...

Mall owners close to buying JC Penney out of bankruptcy

By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO AP Retail WriterNEW YORK (AP) — Mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners are close to a deal to...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for energy secretary, has close ties to the Texas oil industry and corporate roles in two petroleum companies pushing for government approval of the proposed 1,200-mile crude oil pipeline that has stoked mass protests in North Dakota.

Perry’s current position as board director at Energy Transfer Partners LP and also at Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, which jointly developed the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project, is a strong indicator of the pro-oil industry sentiment that will likely take root at the Energy Department under his oversight. The former Texas governor is close to Texas energy industry executives, and his political campaigns, including two failed presidential bids, benefited substantially from their donations.

Perry would not have authority to intervene directly after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision last month to delay the pipeline to allow talks with the Standing Rock Sioux and other project opponents. The Army will decide whether to grant an easement near the Sioux reservation in North Dakota, and the departments of Energy, Interior and Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency have had lesser supporting roles.

Trump announced his choice of Perry on Wednesday, calling him “one of the most successful governors in modern history, having led Texas through a sustained period of economic growth and prosperity by developing the state’s energy resources and infrastructure.”

Perry’s close relations with energy executives and his long-time dependence on them for political contributions signal an abrupt change of course at the Energy Department. Perry is expected to welcome the four-state pipeline and similar projects and set an open-door policy for oil industry interests.

During his unsuccessful 2012 run for the presidency, Perry proposed eliminating the Energy Department altogether. As secretary, he would be involved in policy decisions on nuclear security, increasing the nation’s domestic supply of oil and investments in oil exploration research and technology.

The department maintains and secures U.S. nuclear weapons and plays a major regulatory role in overseeing nuclear power and natural gas. It also manages 17 national labs charged with developing science and technology to further the nation’s energy sector.

Perry’s involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline began when he joined as a director of Energy Transfer Partners in February 2015, and its general partner, Sunoco Logistics, one month later. Energy Transfer Partners is owned by Kelcy Warren, a Dallas billionaire who donated $500,000 to the Opportunity and Freedom super political action committee backing Perry’s run for the White House. The oil and gas industry was Perry’s largest donor, giving more than $1.6 million.

Perry’s net worth of about $3 million does not compare to the fortunes of Trump and other corporate leaders named to Cabinet positions in his administration. But he could face similar questions about potential ethics conflicts unless he divests his assets into a government-approved blind trust.

Energy Transfer’s 2016 annual report showed that Perry owned $154,000 worth of partnership units. At Sunoco Logistics, Perry was awarded units worth about $101,000, according to the firm’s 2015 annual report.

Perry’s wife, Anita, also owned up to $15,000 in shares in Warren’s flagship firm, Energy Transfer Equity LP, and a similar amount in Sunoco Logistics, according to Perry’s 2015 presidential financial disclosure. The couple also reported owning two other energy-related investments worth as much as $150,000.

The incoming Trump administration has said it plans to approve the controversial pipeline project, which was stalled in recent months by defiant protests by Native American and environmental opponents. The Army Corps ruled last month that it was delaying a decision on an easement for the project near the Sioux reservation in North Dakota. The decision quickly spurred legal complaints against the Army Corps by the pipeline project’s developers.

Emails and phone calls to the Trump transition team and Energy Transfer Partners for comment were not returned. A spokesman for Sunoco Logistics referred questions to Energy Transfer Partners, saying that the partner firm appoints the Sunoco Logistics board.

Perry’s 2015 disclosure also reported $250,000 in income during that period from Holt Texas Ltd., an equipment firm headed by Peter Holt, a long-time political donor to Perry’s campaigns. Holt’s San Antonio firm, known as Holt Cat, sells and rents Caterpillar equipment, including heavy-duty engines for oil exploration. Holt, who also owns the San Antonio Spurs, has donated more than $600,000 to Perry’s campaigns since 2000.

Perry might also face questions about his 2014 indictment by a grand jury in Travis County, Texas, on corruption-related charges. Perry was cleared of the charges in 2015, but not before he had to defend himself in a messy public case that shadowed his 2016 presidential run.

Associated Press writers Matthew Daly and Jack Gillum contributed to this report.


Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Fort Worth announces plans to purchase Pier 1 Building for City Hall

Plans for a new City Hall for Fort Worth have been knocked around for years, maybe even decades. On Dec. 2, city officials announced...

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess loses bid for GOP leadership position on key committee

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, conceded his bid to be the Republican leader on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. “I want to...

Fort Worth’s Redistricting Task Force presents draft recommendations

A City Council-appointed, 11-member Redistricting Task Force that will advise on redistricting issues in Fort Worth presented its draft criteria as part of its...

U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess and Joaquin Castro seek House leadership roles

The fall campaigns may be over, but for two Texans in Congress the elections are continuing into this week. U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess, a Lewisville...

Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Swafford dies from COVID

City of Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Jim Swafford died from COVID-19 Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, while hospitalized at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. He...