Susan Rice Holds Massive Stake In Canadian Oil Companies

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Secretary of State candidate Susan Rice is taking heat for her "cozy" connection to Canadian oil companies. (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State candidate Susan Rice is taking heat for her “cozy” connection to Canadian oil companies. (Photo credit should read HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Secretary of State candidate Susan Rice holds nearly $600,000 of shares in TransCanada stock –the same company seeking approval from the State Department to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

The National Resources Defense Council first listed the information on their “On Earth” website, and began tying her connection to her Canadian-born husband’s oil investments. According to her most recent personal finance report from May 2012, Rice and her husband own between $300,002 and $600,000 in TransCanada stock.

Those holdings alone brought the couple as much as $20,000 in income in 2011 – the numbers are not exact because federal officials are only required to disclose the range of an investment rather than the exact amount.

And TransCanada isn’t the only Canadian Energy company where Rice has stake.

About a third of Rice’s personal wealth — an amount as high as $43.5 million — is invested in Canadian energy interests, according to On Earth.

Rice has other holdings in Chesapeake Energy, Royal Dutch Shell, Devon Energy, Iberdrola, ATP Oil & Gas Corp. and Rio Tinto Limited.

According to the Office of Government Ethics, federal officials holding significant amounts of stock conflicting with their duties must sell the stock, recuse themselves from the decision or set up a qualified trust, Politico reported.

Who exactly would take over the Keystone review in the event of a potential recusal is unclear, not least because Rice’s nomination is far from certain, and relevant key State Department posts could become vacant in coming months. In a December 2008 letter attached to previous finance disclosure forms, Rice vowed to “not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on my financial interests” without receiving a proper waiver.

Activists have challenged the State Department’s review of the pipeline as “cozy,” citing emails between State officials and a TransCanada lobbyist who was also a former campaign aid for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential run.

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