Two weeks ago we reported on former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson’s failure to disclose his Advisor and Chairman positions at consulting firm APCO Worldwide, in his TIME op-ed promoting exporting liquified natural gas (LNG). From December 2012 to January 2014, APCO was contracted by the Ukrainian State Agency for Investment and National Projects for $330,000 to consult on improving the image of an LNG infrastructure project in the country. In November 2013 Richardson was busted for not disclosing this conflict of interest in an article he authored for the Financial Times on exporting LNG to Europe. The Financial Times was forced to issue a correction.
It seems that Richardson has yet to learn his lesson, and is in fact poised to benefit from his high-profile stance supporting LNG exports. On “Platts Energy Week TV” Sunday, Richardson supported speeding up the Department of Energy’s review process for LNG export terminal applications and stressed the role of LNG in providing security to countries in Europe:
“I think it’s important that the United States, as a nation, either pass legislation or executive orders that make it easier to construct these LNG terminals, export natural gas and oil, and increase our energy friendship with these countries that are really fearful of what’s going to happen to them, like what happened to Ukraine.”
You can view the full interview below:
Platts host Bill Loveless introduced Richardson primarily as a former Energy Secretary but also noted his other former government positions. Conspicuously absent yet again: his ties to APCO.
Yesterday CNN published Richardson’s latest op-ed: “Wake up to the reality of climate change.”
The science tells us that much deeper reductions are needed in the decades ahead. Ultimately, a national price on carbon would be the most effective way to expedite a transition to a safer, low-carbon future.
The evidence is overwhelming: Further inaction guarantees disaster. Alternately, we can re-balance our energy mix and rise to the challenge of the 21st century. Let’s hope that a decade from now we will look back with confidence that we stood up to the global climate crisis.
How is Richardson turning talk into action and standing up to this global climate crisis? By joining the board of an oil and gas company, naturally.
Shortly after CNN published his op-ed, Miller Energy Resources announced Richardson’s nomination to its board, as part of a settlement with shareholders. Miller is an oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and Tennessee. The company’s directors made between $131,583 and $291,770 last year.
In introducing Richardson, CNN mentions that he sits on boards and consults for companies “in the energy field”, but does not note his developing relationship with the oil and gas industry. Richardson was first put forward as a candidate for the board in December 2013, by Miller shareholders.
Now that Richardson has all but secured a lucrative position at a publicly-traded natural gas company, will he begin disclosing these ties to the public? Or is he still going to leave that to us?