Trump's energy secretary pick has a pretty serious conflict of interest
Donald Trump's pick to run the Energy Department also happens to be the favorite politician of the company attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. For the past two years, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has held a paid position on the board of directors of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the controversial project.
Native American rights activists and environmentalists have protested the oil pipeline over concerns that it could endanger water supplies and damage sacred grounds. The project was put on hold last week when the Army Corps of Engineers refused to issuea permit that ETP needs to complete construction. But that delay may only be temporary; even before the Perry announcement, the incoming Trump administration publicly supported the pipeline.
Perry joined ETP in February 2015, shortly after he left the governor's office. As Mother Jones reported last summer, he kept his spot on the company's board even as he launched a presidential campaign. According to SEC filings, ETP paid Perry $236,820 in 2015. In the past, Perry's business entanglements would have represented an unusual conflict of interest for a presidential candidate, but in this election cycle, they were overshadowed by Trump's massive web of conflicts. READ Full Story