New Clinton Emails Reveal Revolving Door Corruption
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New Clinton Emails Reveal Revolving Door Corruption
(Photo: AP/Charlie Neibergall) Democratic presidential candidates stand on stage during the Iowa
Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame Dinner on July 17 in Cedar Rapids. From left, Bernie Sanders,
Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton, and Lincoln Chafee.
Note: The State Department is doing a rolling monthly release of Hillary Clinton emails that would
have been public if Clinton had not kept them on a private server. That means, each month the press
will have a Hillary Clinton feast to chew on highlighting her performance as Secretary of State in a
negative way. This month Steve Horn focuses on her role in Mexico energy reform and the corruption
around those issues.
Emails released on July 31 by the U.S. State Department reveal more about the origins of energy
reform efforts in Mexico. The State Department released them as part of the once-a-month rolling
release schedule for emails generated by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now
a Democratic presidential candidate.
Originally stored on a private server, with Clinton and her closest advisors using the server and private
accounts, the emails confirm Clinton’s State Department helped to break state-owned company
Pemex‘s (Petroleos Mexicanos) oil and gas industry monopoly in Mexico, opening up the country to
international oil and gas companies. And two of the Coordinators helping to make it happen, both of
whom worked for Clinton, now work in the private sector and stand to gain financially from the energy
reforms they helped create.
The appearance of the emails also offers a chance to tell the deeper story of the role the Clinton-led
State Department and other powerful actors played in opening up Mexico for international business in
the oil and gas sphere. That story begins with a trio.
David Goldwyn, who was the first International Energy Coordinator named by Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton in 2009, sits at the center of the story. As revealed by DeSmog, the State
Department redacted the entire job description document for the Coordinator role.
Goldwyn now runs an oil and gas industry consulting firm called Goldwyn Global Strategies, works of
counsel as an industry attorney at the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, and works as a fellow at
the industry–funded think tanks Atlantic Council and Brookings Institution.David Goldwyn; Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
The emails show that, on at least one instance, Goldwyn also used his private
“firstname.lastname@example.org” (Goldwyn Global Strategies) email address for State Department business.
It remains unclear if he used his private or State Department email address on other instances, as only
his name appears on the other emails. But Cheryl Mills, a top aide to Secretary Clinton at the time,
initiated the email that he responded to on his private account.Image Credit: U.S Department of State
Carlos Pascual, Goldwyn’s successor as International Energy Coordinator, who oversaw the creation
of the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources as mandated by the Department’s 2010
Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, serves as another key character.Carlos Pascual announcing the creation of the Bureau of Energy Resources; Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
So too does Neil Brown, a former top-level staffer for Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) who now works at
the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).
Brown now works with former CIA Director David Petraeus at the KKR Global Institute, where he
serves as Director of Policy and Research, and formerly served as senior-level staff for the U.S. Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations. He also still serves as a senior advisor for Goldwyn Global
Strategies, according to the firm’s website.
Energy Dipomacy and Security Act
A May 2009 email written by top Clinton advisor Cheryl Mills, in which she shared an early draft of
the job description for International Energy Coordinator (redacted in the email), points to the origins of
the idea behind the job. That is, it actually came from Lugar and Mills wrote that it would continue to
“fulfill the mission outlined by the legislation” he introduced.
Mills was referring to the Energy Diplomacy and Security Act of 2006 and 2007, bills introduced by
Lugar and co-sponsored by then-Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel, among others.
Defense Secretary Hagel formerly served as Chairman for the Atlantic Council and sat on the Board for
Chevron, one of Atlantic Council’s top funders.
That bill called for the creation of the International Energy Coordinator position.Image Credit: U.S. Government Printing Office
Neither of those bills passed. Instead, the measure was inserted into the broader Energy Independence
and Security Act of 2007 as Section 931. Lobbying records show Marathon Oil, ExxonMobil and
Goldman Sachs all lobbied for both the original bill and the omnibus bill, with scores of other oil and
gas companies also lobbying for the latter.Lugar announced the bill for the first time at a Brookings Institution event in March 2006 at an
convening moderated by Carlos Pascual, then Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Studies
In October 2006, Gregory Manuel — who now works at MNL Partners, a clean energy project
development and finance shop focused on China — became the firs t ever International Energy
Coordinator for the Bush Administration State Department. The Manuel announcement occurred the
same month as the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), heavily funded by the oil and gas
industry, published a report advocating for the creation of a similar position within the White House’s
National Security Council.
David Goldwyn, future International Energy Coordinator, sat on the task force (with current Secreatry
of Energy Ernest Moniz) that authored the report and called for creation of the job.
Goldwyn also co-wrote a two-page “Additional View” section, which reads “We subscribe to the
report’s analysis and recommendations, but the report understates the gravity of the threat that energy
dependence poses to U.S. national security...All told, an incremental approach to the challenge—as
advocated in this report—will not be adequate.”
At her 2009 confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, then-
Committee Chair Lugar asked Clinton if she intended to continue funding the position. She confirmed
she did, and not long thereafter followed through on the promise — by hiring Goldwyn.
Both Clinton and Goldwyn did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this story.
An October 2009 email written by Mills mentions “engaging with...Mexico” as among Goldwyn’s top
“energy security priorities.” Congressional testimony he delivered in April 2013 confirmed Goldwyn
initiated energy reform efforts in Mexico while at the State Department, as did a story published a
couple weeks later by Reuters.
A State Department diplomatic cable unearthed by Wikileaks sheds further light on Goldwyn’s efforts
“Mexico officials remain extremely sensitive about any public – especially US – comments regarding
energy reform and production,” reads a February 2010 “scenesetter” cable written by the U.S. Embassy
in Mexico for Goldwyn’s upcoming trip to Mexico. “We should retain the [U.S. government’s] long-
standing policy of not commenting publicly on these issues while quietly offering to provide assistance
in areas of interest to the [Mexican government].”
At the time that cable was published, Carlos Pascual served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, a job he
would eventually leave to become Goldwyn’s successor as International Energy Coordinator. After
leaving the State Department, Goldwyn continued that effort “to provide assistance” for energy reform
alongside Neil Brown in the private sector.Carlos Pascual. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
One of the last things Brown did in the Senate before getting a job with Goldwyn was to co-author a
December 21, 2012 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report on the then-proposed and
since-passed U.S. Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement.
That agreement served as the first step of Mexico’s energy reform efforts, which opened up offshore oil
in the Gulf of Mexico to international oil and gas companies, and was lobbied for by the likes of
ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Producers of
America and others.
Brown “worked on the [Mexico energy reform] issue...as lead Republican international energy aide in
the Senate,” according to Reuters and also went on a taxpayer-funded trip to Mexico during his last few
months as a Foreign Relations Committee staffer.
Pascual also worked on the Transboundary issue when he was Ambassador, another Wikileaks
“Publicly, the [government of Mexico] will emphasize that the negotiations allow Mexico to defend its
natural resources,” reads the Pascual-authored cable titled, “Transboundary Reservoirs – A Window of
Opportunity.” “[M]any Mexicans consider oil a part of the country’s DNA. A treaty would address
these concerns and avoid any unnecessary irritants between the two countries.”
Pascual then stated that, while the government of Mexico would posture one way to the people of
Mexico, it intends to act in an entirely different way in terms of the policy it would push.
“[While the government of Mexico] will portray negotiations on trans-boundary reservoirs to the
Mexican public as an effort to defend the country’s natural resources, the government sees a treaty as
an important opportunity for PEMEX to work with IOCs and gain expertise in deepwater drilling,” hewrote. “For the first time in decades, the door to the USG‘s constructive engagement with Mexico on
oil has opened a crack. It would be in our interests to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Not long after Brown left his Foreign Relations Committee job, Goldwyn and Brown co-authored a
report for the Brookings Institution in August 2013, “Time to Implement the U.S.-Mexico
Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement — Congress: Drop the Poison Pill.” The bill would pass
months later and be signed into law by President Obama.
They also co-authored a report a year later for the Atlantic Council, “Mexico’s Energy Reforms: Ready
to Launch.” Goldwyn also published a December 2013 Atlantic Council report, “Mexico Rising:
Comprehensive Energy Reform At Last?,” which came out just one week after Mexico’s legislature
passed constitutional reforms opening up its oil and gas spigot to international drillers.
Goldwyn, Pascual and Brown now stand to gain financially from the Mexico energy reform
architecture they helped envision and construct.
Goldwyn works of-counsel for Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, a firm that helped the Enterprise Product
Partners become the first company to get a permit to export processed oil condensate from the U.S.
Department of Commerce in June 2014. In a biography appearing at the end of a September 2014
presentation he delivered to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Sutherland partner Jacob
Dweck disclosed he is presently “assisting clients” looking to export crude oil “as part of an exchange
Doing a “swap” means exporting U.S.-produced crude oil to Mexico and trading it with Mexican-
produced oil, serving as a way to wedge open the door on the current ban on U.S. oil exports.
Dweck and his Sutherland colleague Shelley Wong both sat on the Brookings Institution Crude Oil
Task Force co-chaired by Goldwyn. All three of them contributed to a September 2014 Brookings
report calling for increased exports of U.S.-produced crude oil, which was written in reaction to another
report they funded and released simultaneously written by National Economic Research Associates
Just months later, Columbia University’s Adrián Lajous released a 13-page white paper calling for U.S.
crude oil exchanges with Mexico. In the acknowledgements for the paper, he thanked Dweck for
“comments and suggestions that helped improve” it.
Pascual now sits as a Fellow at an outfit many believe is industry-funded, but which does not disclose
its funding on its website: Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. The Center does,however, disclose it “welcomes support” from corporations. Both officials at Columbia and its
spokesperson at BerlinRosin did not respond to repeated requests for comment on funding sent
Besides Columbia, Pascual also works as Senior Vice President of Global Energy Affairs at IHS Inc., a
for-profit consultancy business that provides analysis on behalf of corporate clients.
IHS has a unit devoted to “evaluating future options in Mexico with a scenarios-based approach built
on quantitative and qualitative data to help shape a successful upstream entry strategy for Mexico that
centers on the client’s specific needs,” its website explains. “A variety of foreign companies – ranging
from the Majors to Independents to service sector firms – are expressing interest in capitalizing on
Mexico’s largely untapped resource potential in six major plays, including: deepwater, offshore gas,
shale and marginal PUDs in conventional areas..
The Center on Global Energy Policy has also proven a friendly forum to promote energy reform efforts,
which has both published pro-reform reports and also housed panels on the topic. Adrián Lajous,
another Fellow at the center, formerly served as CEO for Pemex and wrote his own pro-reform paper in
June 2014 bankrolled by none other than Goldman Sachs.
Pascual recently testified in front of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee in support of energy
reform efforts in Mexico wearing his IHS Inc. hat, with his placard referring to him
as “Ambassador Pascual.”
Carlos Pascual; Photo Credit: U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee
He had previously done the same thing on multiple occasions as head of the State Department’s Bureau
of Energy Resources when he was officially serving as an Ambassador.
Pascual denied comment for this story. But Jeff Marn, energy and natural resources spokesman for IHS,
told DeSmog “We do research on several topics around the world, energy among them. But we don’t
have a ‘stake’ in any development or outcome.”
IHS, though, does take huge batches of industry funding for its reports. A case in point: its two recent
studies on U.S. oil exports, both of which were funded by companies ranging from ExxonMobil,
Chesapeake Energy, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Halliburton and many other companies.Brown
KKR, where Brown now works, has already put its feet on the ground to profit from energy reform
efforts in Mexico. This may explain why Brown and Petraeus co-wrote a July 2014 opinion piece
published by the Houston Chronicle titled, “Mexico’s miracle: Political productivity.”
Neil Brown; Photo Credit: Twitter
In December 2014, Petraeus and colleagues from KKR took a trip to Mexico and expressed excitement
over the “promise that the financial community sees in this country.”
“Obviously we’re looking very closely at the energy space, upstream and downstream production, the
entire gamut of that,” Petraeus told Bloomberg at the time.
His trip to Mexico came just two months after he co-authored a CFR report with Robert Zoellick
(former head of the World Bank, now a chairman of international advisors at Goldman Sachs) calling
for the “integration” of North America’s energy markets.
Just months later, KKR announced the launch of a joint venture with Monterra Energy, a new start-up
created in the aftermath of Mexico’s energy reforms. KKR will serve as financier for the development
of midstream oil and gas assets (like pipelines and related delivery infrastructure) owned by
Monterra in Mexico.
Brown and KKR did not respond to repeated requests for comment.“Integration”
“Integration” is where the story comes full circle. In March 2009, Lugar introduced legislation that
would create a “Western Hemisphere Energy Cooperation Forum,” a concept recycled from section six
of the initial Energy Diplomacy and Security Act.
That Forum, had the bill passed, would have served to “strengthen integration among countries in the
Western Hemisphere through closer cooperation.” It was lobbied for by Marathon Oil, one of only 26
companies approved to bid for shallow water oil and gas reserves in Mexico during its recent July
Lugar introduced the concept of the Forum, like the International Energy Coordinator idea, during his
2006 Brookings address moderated by Pascual.
Image Credit: U.S. Department of Energy
Although it never became a piece of congressional legislation, it did become the de facto law of the
land as a chapter in the U.S. Department of Energy’s recently-released Quadrenial Energy
Most recently, Goldwyn, Pascual and Brown all sat on Atlantic Council’s Task Force on the U.S.
Energy Boom and National Security. That Task Force, co-directed by Godlwyn, released a report
pointing to the QER to advocate for “infrastructure and policy integration” with Mexico.
Climate of Profit
view this map on LittleSis
Hillary Clinton recently released her energy and climate plans for her presidential campaign, lauded by
But to date, she has not commented on the energy reform efforts in Mexico her State Department
helped spearhead, which will usher in more deepwater offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and
onshore fracking in Mexico’s portion of the Eagle Ford Shale basin. It will also flood the electricity
grid with fracked gas emanating from the U.S., a fact proudly proclaimed by Goldwyn and the U.S.
Department of Energy“[A]s secretary of state, we know that there was quite a revolving door between the oil and gas lobby
and her people at State and on her previous campaign staff,” Naomi Klein, author of the book “This
Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” said in a recent appearance on Democracy Now!
“And I think there’s real reason for concern about whether or not she would be willing to stand up to
the oil and gas lobby on Keystone, on Arctic drilling, [or] on any...other issues.”
One thing appears certain: those who laid the groundwork