(USA Features) Former Secretary of State John Kerry, whom President Joe Biden appointed to head his climate change agenda, made millions of dollars last year from stocks including those of oil companies, according to financial disclosure forms.
According to Axios, which first reported on Kerry’s finances, the former U.S. senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee has since liquidated a massive stock portfolio.
But his prior investments and current position matter because “he maintains significant influence over U.S. energy and environmental policy as Biden’s climate envoy, a role that comes after he advised a number of firms in the space following his time as secretary of State,” the outlet reported.
“Kerry received millions of dollars in salary, consulting fees and honoraria, according to the filing, which covers 2020 and most of January 2021,” the outlet added, noting that $125,000 in consulting fees were paid to him by The Rise Fund, an investment firm that has a large energy company portfolio.
He also received dividends from several oil companies including Duke Energy, Cimarex, Dominion Energy, and Exelon Corporation.
“The State Department’s Ethics Office reviewed Special Presidential Envoy Kerry’s assets and investments upon his appointment to identify holdings that could pose a significant risk of a conflict of interest,” a State Department spokesperson told the news outlet.
Kerry was accused of being a climate change hypocrite in January shortly after Biden appointed him.
Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer said Kerry once “opposed a wind project on the Nantucket Sound” because it would obstruct his view of the ocean.
Kerry has also been blasted for his frequent use of private jets to travel, which can emit up to 40 times more carbon per passenger than commercial airliners.