As head of the State Department, Rice would have ultimate authority in determining the fate of the pipeline, which would link northern Alberta's remote oil sands fields to Texas' Gulf Coast refineries.
The Center supports the Rice nomination (if it is made) and we are sure she will recuse herself from the approval process of the pipeline. The Center is examining the feasibility of facilitating a construction contract for the Keystone pipeline in partnership with S.L. Sibert Management & Construction Company. The Center would also accept an ownership stake in the pipeline.
The article reveals that Rice has significant holdings in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would benefit from the growth of the Canadian tar sands industry and the construction of the pipeline. OnEarth's Scott Dodd finds that nearly a third of Rice's personal net worth—estimated in 2009 to be between $23.5 million and $43.5 million—is invested in Canadian oil producers, pipeline operators, and other energy companies. Financial disclosure reports further show that Rice has between $300,000 and $600,000 invested in TransCanada, the company that is seeking the permit from the State Department to build sections of the pipeline from Oklahoma to the Canadian border.
"It's really amazing that they're considering someone for Secretary of State who has millions invested in these companies," Bill McKibben, founder of the activist groups 350.org and Tar Sand Action, which have organized protests against the Keystone XL project.
The Keystone XL decision could be one of the first tasks of the new Secretary of State in 2013. (Mother Jones, 11/28/2012)