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Politics New climate czar John Kerry sold off energy holdings to avoid conflict of interest

04:25  01 may  2021
04:25  01 may  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Kerry: China described climate change as 'crisis' for the first time

  Kerry: China described climate change as 'crisis' for the first time U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry emphasized what he said was progress on negotiating with China on carbon emissions Wednesday, saying Beijing had described climate change as a "crisis" for the first time."Obviously we have differences with China on certain issues and climate has to be treated separately," Kerry said Wednesday in a Washington Post Live interview with columnist Jonathan Capehart. Kerry noted that in his recent visit to Shanghai for climate negotiations, China had signed onto a joint statement in which "China used the word crisis for the first time ... China came around and said it is urgent.

John Kerry , President Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate change, held investments in oil companies prior to divesting from the stocks as he took over the position, according to financial forms. The State Department told Axios, which first reported on Kerry 's financial disclosure, that the climate czar has divested from all assets that could pose conflicts of interest . Kerry has signed an ethics pledge stating he will not participate in decisions involving his former clients and employers.

Climate Czar John Kerry held a press conference yesterday to explain we will spend trillions on climate change, lose millions of jobs and it won't fix anything. It creates new task forces, requires in-depth strategic plans, and looks like a lot of busywork. It marks the beginning of trillion in taxpayer dollars that Biden has pledged to spend. The order also requires measures that will impact employees in the fossil fuel industry. It includes everything from cutting any current subsidies, to trying to eliminate industry financing globally, to eliminating new leases of natural gas and oil exploration on federal land

Financial disclosures released by former Secretary of State John Kerry indicate that until March of this year he held hundreds of thousands of dollars of investments in energy-related companies that may end up being affected by policies he'll help shape as President Joe Biden's new climate envoy.

An ABC News analysis of his assets show that in recent years, Kerry held stakes in at least three dozen companies related to the energy industry, including firms dealing in electric, oil and gas, and nuclear energy, with shares worth between $204,000 and $960,000. Kerry had also recently held high-ranking positions within firms and entities that could end up being regulated by his climate action policies, filings show.

Biden opening summit with ambitious new US climate pledge

  Biden opening summit with ambitious new US climate pledge WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will open a global climate summit with a pledge to cut at least in half the climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes that the U.S. pumps out, a commitment he hopes will spur China and other big polluters to speed up efforts of their own. Biden is offering Americans and the world a vision of a prosperous, clean-energy United States where factories churn out cutting-edge batteries for export, line workers re-lay an efficient national electrical grid and crews cap abandoned oil and gas rigs and coal mines. His commitment to cut U.S.

The climate czar took a private jet to receive the Arctic Circle Prize for his leadership on climate change, Fox News reported on Wednesday. An interview obtained by the outlet found Kerry defending his climate -unfriendly mode of transportation, asserting that private flight remained “the only choice for When confronted on the matter by Icelandic reporter Jóhann Bjarni Kolbeinsson, Kerry appealed to offsetting his carbon output and highlighted the other environmental efforts he has made in years past — including the negotiation of the Paris Accords, which President Biden rejoined upon taking office.

Hefty speaking fees are like buying and selling fine art. They’re a way to transfer massive amounts of money based on invented valuations that definitely aren’t a cover for bribery or money laundering.

A certificate of divestiture issued by the Office of Government Ethics on March 8 shows Kerry's plan to divest from companies that could pose a conflict of interest for his new role as U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, a common measure that newly appointed public officials take to ensure their government duties don't overlap with their personal interests. New filings obtained by ABC News show that on March 11, he divested between $4 million and $15 million in assets from more than 400 companies, including those energy-sector interests.

John Kerry wearing a suit and tie © Tom Brenner/Reuters

"The State Department's Ethics Office reviewed Special Presidential Envoy Kerry's assets and investments upon his appointment to identify holdings that could pose a significant risk of a conflict of interest," a State Department spokesperson wrote in a statement to ABC News. "Special Presidential Envoy Kerry agreed to divest the assets identified by the Ethics Office and has done so."

Fact check: Scientific consensus says humans are dominant cause of climate change

  Fact check: Scientific consensus says humans are dominant cause of climate change A Facebook user claims man-made climate change is a hoax. That is false.“The science is undeniable,” Biden said during the April 22 summit. “The cost of inaction keeps mounting.

John Kerry , a frequent visitor to the secretive lair of the New World Order at the South Pole and John Kerry should be back in the news again, but is not. Why! Kerry , although designated to be the Czar (commie term) of climate change, is being all but ignored in the mainstream media. Stay tuned, the Biden story is going to get very bizarre. Just think, many thought we only had to worry about Biden's Chinese connections. His betrayal of humanity goes way beyond his energy and economic policies as directed toward the United States. I hope your preparations are in order!

WASHINGTON -- John Kerry and his wife have agreed to divest holdings in a Canadian oil company, as well as dozens of other investments, in an effort to avoid conflicts of interest as the Massachusetts senator prepares to become America's next secretary of state. The Canadian Press reported last week that Kerry had as much as US0,000 invested in Suncor, a Calgary-based oil company whose CEO has urged the Obama administration to greenlight TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. But federal ethics officials, acting independently of the White House, have determined the Suncor (TSX:SU) stock

MORE: Obama-era officials return to White House worth millions

Ethics and good-government advocates have warned that even past ties and financial interests may create the appearance of impropriety in an industry that's so highly regulated by federal guidelines. But experts say divesting from those interests helps mitigate or resolve concerns about conflicts of interests that may arise.

"Conflicts arise when someone acts in a way that affects their financial interest; divesting removes the financial interest part of the equation," said Delaney Marsco, senior legal counsel of ethics at the Washington-based good government group Campaign Legal Center.

John Kerry wearing a suit and tie: John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, delivers remarks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, April 22, 2021 © Tom Brenner/Reuters John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, delivers remarks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, April 22, 2021

Marsco said it's not unusual for concerns to arise when a public servant has complex financial holdings, and that Kerry "should be recusing anytime even the appearance of a conflict arises" and "should be constantly consulting with ethics officials when he thinks there could be an issue."

The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap

  The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Joe Biden's global climate summit (all times local): 9:10 a.m. An analysis shows President Joe Biden’s climate summit and the run-up to it cut the so-called emissions gap, a crucial measurement used to see if the world can limit global warming, by about one-eighth. Climate Action Tracker is a group of scientists who monitor nations’ pledges of carbon pollution cuts. It calculated that targets announced since last September cut about 12% to 14% from the emissions gap. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb.

John Kerry , President Biden’s special chairman for climate change, according to financial forms, invested in oil companies to divest from shares before stepping down. Carey’s financial disclosure forms obtained by Ferry News suggest the former Secretary of State was financially invested in several oil He The $ 5 million was paid from Bank of America and collected hundreds of thousands in honoraria from the likes of Deutsche Bank, Zurich Insurance Company and Medstar Washington. The State Department told Axios, which previously Reported On Kerry ’s financial disclosure, that Climate czar

John Kerry , President Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate change, held investments in oil companies prior to divesting from the stocks as he took over the position, according to financial forms. The State Department told Axios, which first reported on Kerry ’s financial disclosure, that the climate czar has divested from all assets that could pose conflicts of interest . Kerry has signed an ethics pledge stating he will not participate in decisions involving his former clients and employers.

"He should also be mindful of all the ethics rules that may apply to any former client he may have from his previous work," Marsco said. Kerry's disclosure report shows that he served as the chairman of the advisory board for Climate Finance Partners and as the president of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Corporation.

Among the energy-related companies in which Kerry and his family had held investments prior to March were multinational hydrocarbon exploration company ConocoPhillips, international petroleum refinery company Valero Energy and major gas and electric utility provider Southern Company.

Kerry's stake in each of these companies was relatively small, with values ranging from $1,001 to $50,000 and totaling between $204,000 and $960,000 at the time he sold those assets in March.

MORE: Several of Biden's top White House aides aren't required to disclose personal finances

The latest disclosures show that Kerry has significantly reduced his financial interests in the energy sector over the years. Past disclosure filings from his time in Congress and in the Obama administration show that Kerry had owned millions of dollars' worth of holdings in the oil and gas industry and in other energy-sector companies.

Kerry faces calls to step down over leaked Iran tapes

  Kerry faces calls to step down over leaked Iran tapes U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry is facing calls for his resignation from Republican lawmakers and pundits for reportedly discussing Israeli military operations with Iran's foreign minister when he served as then-President Obama's secretary of State.Republican blowback is running the gamut from calling for Kerry to leave his position as the top official addressing climate change to calling for an investigation and his prosecution. Biden administration officials are dismissing the allegations, saying the information Kerry allegedly shared was widely known at the time. Sen.

Beyond his stake in the energy industry -- which accounts for only a small fraction of his total net worth -- disclosures show that Kerry has a diverse portfolio of income and holdings that make him one of the wealthiest members of Biden's administration.

The bulk of Kerry's income from the past year came from Bank of America, where he earned a $5 million salary for his role as chair of its Global Advisory Council.

a sign on the side of a building: A Bank of America bank branch stands in San Francisco, Calif., April 13, 2021. © Bloomberg via Getty Images A Bank of America bank branch stands in San Francisco, Calif., April 13, 2021.

The disclosures indicate Kerry also took in speaking fees of more than $300,000 from an array of corporations, foundations, and educational institutions across the globe, from Deutsche Bank in Germany to Hong Kong-based investment capital firm CSLA Limited. He also made $125,000 in consulting fees from the Rise Fund, a $2 billion "social impact" investment project founded by musician-turned-activist Bono and philanthropist Jeffrey Skoll.

Kerry also reported earning at least $15 million to $65 million from his other investments in the past year, much of it dividends and capital gains from divesting his financial assets, including big shares in major corporations like Alphabet Inc., Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Comcast and Goldman Sachs.

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The filing also shows Kerry took out a $1 million loan last year with investment bank BNY Mellon.

The vast majority of Kerry's holdings, however, lie in a trust belonging to the family of his spouse, Teresa Heinz -- an heir to the Heinz food processing empire. The disclosure form notes that neither Kerry nor Heinz exercise any control over the management of the family trust.

In his filing first signed in late January and last revised on March 8, Kerry reported owning at least $41 million in assets with his family, but his current net worth is unclear due to the substantial reallocation of his assets over the past few months and because government disclosure reports only require officials to report their holdings within general numerical ranges.

Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy .
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