Oil!

Dear Donald –

Several weeks ago, what has been referred to as the “Steele Dossier” was leaked to the public. People tended to focus on the more sensational aspects of the dossier, including the accusation that, during a trip to Moscow, you had prostitutes urinate on each other for your pleasure. But it also included other, more nefarious accusations.

The Steele Dossier alleged that Carter Page, who worked for your campaign at the time, met with the president of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft in July 2016. At that meeting, Page supposedly offered Igor Sechin, the head of Rosenft, a quid pro quo. If Sechin would sell a 19% stake in the company, then, in the event you won the election, you would lift the sanctions on Russia. You, of course, said the Dossier was fake and claimed not to know Carter, despite previously saying he was one of your closest advisors. 

On December 7, Rosneft sold a 19.5% stake in the company, with approval from the Kremlin. Supposedly, the sale was to a Swiss company, which put up $320 million and a Qatari company which put up $2.7 billion with $5.6 billion in financing from an Italian bank, for a total of $8.6 billion. The only problem is that the sale was valued at $11 billion, meaning that $2.4 billion is unaccounted for. The conglomerate that bought the Rosneft interest is also based out of the Cayman Islands, which limits the availability of information on company ownership. On December 8, Carter Page flew to Moscow and met with representatives of Rosneft. 

Since your election, you’ve continued to avoid any implication of wrongdoing on the part of Russia in the election and have toyed with the idea of lifting the sanctions on Russia.

You’ve also nominated a former CEO of ExxonMobil as Secretary of State. Rex had a $500 billion deal fall through when the Russian sanctions were enacted and, while he will not get Exxon shares directly as part of his payout because of his ethics agreement, he will get paid out the value of 2 million shares of the company into a blind trust. 

And now, Congress is trying to undo an Obama Administration rule that requires oil and gas companies to publicly disclose  when they make payments to foreign governments. Exxon lobbied heavily to have the rule overturned, not wanting transparency about its level of foreign entanglements. 

I’m not saying it’s all connected, but these are some pretty big coincidences, all benefitting big oil companies. 

2 thoughts on “Oil!

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