Dept. of Energy's Cathy Zoi: Still Flouting the Law, Still Stonewalling the Investigation (PJM Exclusive)
From Tuesday's Energy & Environment Daily story, "Lawmaker ownership in BP, Transocean, Halliburton stirs controversy" (subscription required):
At least two dozen lawmakers own investments in the three companies tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as Congress investigates the disaster and considers reforms.
"This is a serious conflict of interest," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a watchdog group. "Only Congress exempts [itself] from this type of conflict of interest.
"They should not be making decisions that affect their own personal well-being," Holman added.
Documents obtained from the Department of Energy and elsewhere appear to present a prima facie case of a senior Obama administration official, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi, participating substantially in decisions impacting companies in which she is heavily invested. This flouts ethics requirements and would be a violation of U.S. criminal law.
The Department of Energy has yet to provide additional requested documents regarding Zoi. Even more troubling, the designated ethics officer has so far refused to even acknowledge the request for records she is required by law to provide the public.
Ms. Zoi's conflicts of interest have been reported previously at PJM. I also note her conflicts and involvement in questionable Obama administration activities in Chapter 3 of my new book (Power Grab: How Obama's Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America). That chapter is titled "Van Jones Was No Accident: The Obama Administration's Radical 'Green' Activists."
In the financial disclosure filed by Zoi (former CEO of Al Gore's pressure group Alliance for Climate Protection), Ms. Zoi attests that she and her husband have divested themselves of numerous utility and other energy-related company stock, for the obvious ethical and appearance problems of holding such assets while serving as a senior official in the Department of Energy.
Yet, as I have learned through independent sources, Ms. Zoi is not recusing herself broadly as would seem to be required. She remains deeply involved in developing and implementing policies that directly impact the interests of companies in which she and her husband maintain large holdings.