According to The Hill, billionaire President-elect Donald J. Trump owns a stock in Energy Transfer Partners(ETP), the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Associated Press(AP) reports that Trump’s most recent federal disclosure forms reveal that he owned between $15,000 to $50,000 in ETP, that’s down from between $500,000 and $1,000,000 the previous year.
“Trump’s investments in the pipeline business threaten to undercut faith in this process — which was already frayed — by interjecting his own financial well-being into a much bigger decision,” stated Sharon Buccino, director of the Land and Wildlife Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a renowned environmental group.
Trump also owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66, a company that owns a one-quarter share of Dakota Access.
Ethics experts speculate that this is among dozens of conflicts of interest that could be resolved if he placed his investments in a blind trust, which he has refused to do. Trump holds ownership stakes in over 500 companies worldwide.
Trump isn’t the only one in politics that’s cashing in on Dakota Access. At least two potential candidates for energy secretary also may benefit from the pipeline. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry serves on the board of directors of ETP, while candidate Harold Hamm, oil billionaire and owner of Continental Resources, may decide to ship his oil through the pipeline.
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, stated the following to the AP on Friday:
“We are in the process of vetting various structures with the goal of the immediate transfer of management of The Trump Organization and its portfolio of businesses to Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump as well as a team of highly skilled executives. This is a top priority at the organization and the structure that is ultimately selected will comply with all applicable rules and regulations.”