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Thursday, October 31, 2019
Schatz Chief of Staff Pours Money into Big Oil Stocks
By Selected News Articles @ 6:37 AM :: 2545 Views :: Energy, Ethics, Congressional Delegation

Spouse of Brian Schatz chief of staff has substantial fossil fuel investments

Eric Einhorn lists stock owned by spouse valued at $168,000-$445,000

Roll Call, Oct 30, 2019 (excerpt)

While Sen. Brian Schatz aims to lead the charge in fighting climate change as chairman of a special panel dedicated to the issue, his top staffer’s spouse has substantial holdings in fossil fuel companies that produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

The Hawaii Democrat’s chief of staff, Eric Einhorn, lists stock owned by his spouse valued between $168,000 and $445,000 in his financial disclosure across four oil and gas companies: ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66 and Enterprise Products Partners LP. All of the securities are owned by Einhorn’s spouse and listed under the assets component of Einhorn’s filing with the Senate.

Schatz, chairman of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, describes himself on Twitter as a “climate hawk.” The senator does not have stock in any fossil fuel companies, according to his disclosure forms. He does have several mutual funds and retirement plans, but it is not clear to what extent, if any, those funds have equities in fossil fuel companies. 

Schatz’s Senate website characterizes him as a leader in promoting the growth of a strong domestic clean energy economy and reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“Senator Schatz has been committed to a clean energy future since the beginning of his public life and continues his leadership on clean energy and climate issues in the U. S. Senate,” the website says.

The chief of staff position is usually one of the most integral positions in a congressional office, but that can depend on the individual office structure.

Einhorn’s spouse has between $115,000 and $300,000 of stock in ConocoPhillips, a company that explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, LNG and natural gas liquids globally. The spouse has between $50,000 and $100,000 in Phillips 66 stock, between $2,000 and $30,000 in ExxonMobil equity and between $1,000 and $15,000 in Enterprise Products Partners LP securities; the three companies are all players in the oil and gas industry.

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Schatz’s office and Einhorn did not respond to repeated requests for comment over more than a week.

Separately, Einhorn did not respond to a request asking for insight into his spouse’s job and the nature of the oil and gas holdings. For this reason, it is unclear if the equity is managed as part of a mutual fund or outside trust or whether it is a requirement of the spouse’s employment…. 

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