Congressmembers Implicated in Insider Stock Trading on TransCanada, Keystone XL Pipeline

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When it comes to TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL pipeline approval process, corruption has been rampant, as well covered by DeSmogBlog as it unfolded. The Keystone XL pipeline, currently in limbo, would carry tar sands crude – a thick and dirty fossil fuel called bitumen – from the Alberta tar sands through the heartland region and eventually down to Port Arthur, Texas, to be refined and placed on the global export market.

This week, a new layer of corruption was revealed by Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, this one involving insider trading of TransCanada’s stocks by four members of Congress, as well as by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice.

The politicians implicated and amount of money they invested in stock are as follows, according to Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group:

  • Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, reported in his 2010 financial disclosure form–the most recent available, filed on May 15, 2011–that he owned Transcanada stock worth between $115,002 and $300,000 (financial disclosure forms ask members to report their assets within broad ranges).”
  • Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., reported owning between $15,001 and $51,000 in TransCanada stock in his 2010 financial disclosure; according to his office, the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee sold his stock on January 5, 2011.”
  • Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., has held Trans Canada stock since 2004; her most recent disclsosure shows she owns a stake in the company worth between $1,001 and $15,000.”
  • Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.…reported a $798 interest in Trans Canada.”
  • U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice filed that she owned between $250,001 and $500,000 of TransCanada stock.”

This revalation comes in the aftermath of an in-depth muckraking report by 60 Minutes, in which it was revealed that numerous members of the U.S. Congress on both sides of the aisle, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-KY), were involved in insider stock trading deals. 

This all begs the question, is this a democracy or a kleptocracy that we are living in here in the United States? See the 60 Minutes segment below and ponder that.

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Steve Horn is a former Research Fellow and writer for DeSmog and a freelance investigative journalist based in San Diego, CA. He currently works as a climate reporter and producer for The Real News Network.

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