Public records indicated that Secretary Kerry personally owned an estimated three to six million dollars in stocks of more than 50 oil and gas-related companies. Records from 2004 show that he’s been constantly and deeply invested in fossil fuels for at least a decade, and is still injecting millions in working capital into the very industries he condemns.
Why exactly does Kerry who was one of the richest men in congress invest in fossil fuels? Diversity. When Kerry was nominated to be Secretary of State:
Kerry owned 365 securities totaling $232,674,572 to $322,785,148, including contentious stock in ExxonMobil and a Canadian firm with ties to the Keystone XL pipeline, Cenovus Energy Inc., as posted on Open Secrets.org, website of the Center for Responsive Politics. Office holder assets and liabilities are reported only in value ranges rather than exact amounts, so precise net worth can’t be ascertained and is counted from the lower number.
Office of Government Ethics lawyers immediately vetted Kerry’s family wealth and his spouse’s Heinz ketchup fortune and determined that the new cabinet post required that the couple divest 140 different securities across three different trusts and that the new Secretary recuse himself from decisions with any ethical implications – but there was a catch.
On January 8, 2013, John Kerry signed an agreement letter to the government to relinquish specified assets within 90 days of taking the oath of office. He agreed to have his trustees segregate forbidden stocks, mostly large holdings of a single stock, into a custodial account and sell them off so questions could not come up. He also agreed to diversify and downsize his investments so that even the fossil fuel stocks qualified as “non-conflicting assets.” Kerry pledged to take no action as Secretary of State that would affect his financial interests “unless I first obtain a written waiver, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(l), or qualify for a regulatory exemption, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(2).”
Those bureaucratic loopholes explain how more than 50 oil and gas stocks made it past government lawyers into Kerry’s much slimmer 2013 financial report, but they don’t explain why the new Obama cabinet officer kept them.
But following his confirmation we never heard what happened to those divested stocks.
We’ll never know the exact details of the divestiture because the Office of Government Ethics apologetically informs the online searcher looking for Kerry’s monthly reports for 2013 that “it appears the link you’ve selected is no longer available.” Financial records of Kerry’s first year as Secretary of State, January to December 2013, are all gone.
However, Secretary of State Kerry’s personally signed monthly financial reports for 2014 are intact from January to December and show a continuous stream of purchases of oil and gas stocks not seen in previous reports, Oasis Petroleum, R S P Permian, Diamond Offshore Drilling, and on and on. All the while he publicly denounced such firms without revealing his complicity in advancing their success.
Perhaps the duplicitous Kerry has been reading all of the science, not just the papers approved by the climate change enthusiasts. Maybe he finally realizes that stories of a scientific consensus are nonsense (and is secretly a skeptic). On the the other hand perhaps Kerry is simply a progressive hypocrite and still believes that climate change is a bigger issue than terrorism–but not bigger than adding dollars to his own pocket. Either way he is not being honest with the American people.