FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Facing Felony Charges, Rick Perry Joins Pipeline Company Board

Former Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry has joined the board of directors at Energy Transfer Partners, a natural gas and propane company headquartered in Dallas, Texas that has proposed to build a controversial Bakken crude oil pipeline across Iowa.

The announcement, which appeared in Energy Transfer Partners’ February 3 Form 8-K filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), comes as Perry faces two Texas state-level felony charges for abuse of power. Perry pleaded not guilty to both charges and District Judge Bert Richardson recently ruled against dismissing Perry’s case.

“It isn’t immediately clear how much Perry will be paid for his board position,”explained the Texas Tribune. “According to regulatory filings published on the company’s website, non-employee board directors were paid $50,000 a year in 2013.”

Despite the felony charges, Perry is still strongly considering a 2016 presidential run, according to a recent article published by the Associated Press, which reported he may make a final decision on whether or not to run by May.

The Energy Transfer Partners filing to the SEC describes Perry’s appointment:

Item 5.02. Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On February 3, 2015, James R. (Rick) Perry was appointed as a director of Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C., the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners GP, L.P., which is the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (the “Partnership”). Mr. Perry served as the Governor of Texas from 2000 until 2015.

There are no arrangements or understandings with the Partnership, or any other persons, pursuant to which Mr. Perry was appointed as a director of Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C. Mr. Perry is not currently expected to be named to any committees of the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C. At this time, the Partnership is not aware of any transactions, since the beginning of the Partnership’s last fiscal year, or any currently proposed transactions, in which the Partnership was or is to be a participant involving amounts exceeding $120,000, and in which Mr. Perry had or will have a direct or indirect material interest. Consistent with other non-employee members of the Board of Directors, Mr. Perry will be eligible to receive cash compensation for his service on the Board of Directors and equity compensation under the Second Amended and Restated 2008 Long-Term Incentive Plan, as described in the Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed by the Partnership with the SEC on October 24, 2014.

Bakken Pipeline Connection

Energy Transfer Partners owns the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, set to carry oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin to the southern Illinois town of Patoka.

The Dakota Access pipeline proposal has faced a fierce backlash from environmentalists, farmers and other citizens living along the prospective route through Iowa. On February 2, the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition introduced itself to the public, a consortium of 20 groups opposed to the pipeline.

“The Coalition is united to protect Iowa’s soil, water, communities, and the health of future generations by stopping the proposed Bakken crude oil pipeline,”reads the groups launch statement. “The controversial  project would cross 18 of Iowa’s counties as well as major rivers, including the North Raccoon River, Des Moines River, South Skunk River and Mississippi River.”

All Roads Lead to Iowa

With a large portion of the Dakota Access pipeline set to go through Iowa, the growing controversy over Dakota Access could present a game of political hot potato in the run-up to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

Perry recently visited Iowa and spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit alongside numerous other contenders for the GOP presidential ticket.

Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad has come out in support of the Dakota Access pipeline and told the Iowa State Legislature to avoid “political interference” in the review process overseen by the Iowa Utilities Board.

Perry hosted a fundraiser for Branstad in December 2013 in Houston, introducing the Iowa Governor to Texas Republican Party elite donors.

“Branstad declined to say how much money he took home from Houston, saying the contributions will eventually be made public when he files campaign finance reports,” the Des Moines Register reported about the trip. “No strings were attached to the Texas donations to his campaign, Branstad said, and he feels no obligation to endorse Perry for president in the 2016 Iowa caucuses.”

Branstad and Perry also appeared in an ad together in May 2014 in the run-up to the midterm elections, which saw Branstad win his race in landslide fashion.

Energy Transfer LNG Revolving Door

Energy Transfer Partners also owns the proposed Trunkline LNG export facility in coastal Lake Charles, Louisiana, which would ship gas obtained via fracking to the global market.

Perry is the newest addition to a long roster of powerful political officials who have passed through the government-industry revolving door and accepted a job either on a company Board or as a lobbyist for a company seeking to cash in on the fracked gas export boom. [Read our report on natural gas exports lobbying, produced by DeSmog and Republic Report: Natural Gas Exports: Washington’s Revolving Door Fuels Climate Threat]

According to lobbying disclosure forms, Adam Ingols — a lobbyist for Daryl Owen Associates and former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Energy for President George W. Bush and special assistant for the Bush White House Office of Legislative Affairs — now lobbies for Energy Transfer Partners at the federal level.

The Texas Tribune also reported that Energy Transfer Partners is owned by Kelcy Warren, “a Dallas billionaire, [who] has been a major supporter of Perry’s political endeavors.” The Tribune reported that Warren gave $250,000 to Perry’s 2012 presidential Super PAC, Make Us Great Again, as well as “at least $20,000 for his 2010 re-election race.”

Warren is among the dozens of elite Republican Party donors who sit on the recently announced advisory board for Perry’s potential 2016 run for president, the Rick PAC Advisory Board.

At a January 28 news conference, Perry declared that the multiple felony charges against him will not impact his timetable for a potential 2016 presidential run.

Steve Horn is a Madison, WI-based freelance investigative journalist and Research Fellow at DeSmogBlog, where this piece first appeared.

More articles by:

Steve Horn is a freelance investigative journalist and Research Fellow at DeSmogBlog, where this piece first appeared.

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Yves Engler
Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Tracey L. Rogers
Dear White Women, There May be Hope for You After All
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail