Saturday, September 6, 2014

Federal Judge who wrote Minisink opinion is invested in... FRACKING & PIPELINE COMPANIES!

Judge Robert L. Wilkins, DC Circuit Court of Appeals

"Given the choice, almost no one would want natural gas infrastructure built on their block. 'Build it elsewhere,' most would say. The sentiment is understandable. But given our nation's increasing demand for natural gas... it is an inescapable fact that such facilities must be built somewhere." -- Judge Robert L. Wilkins, DECISION AND ORDER, Minisink Residents v. FERC, 8/5/2014

(I read this as, "Suck it up, Minisink! America needs the gas!"):$file/12-1481-1507746.pdf

Majority Opinion authored by Judge Robert L. Wilkins
   -- his Ethics Filings (interesting info if you dig a bit):

I am just starting to review his ethics filings... these are really tedious,
as you have to dig, 2,3,4 levels deep to find the dirt.  Much of this data is deeply obfuscated,
so there is likely much more investment in energy than is immediately apparent.

Found this easily:

He's invested between $100k-$250k in Pimco Total Return Fund investments.This earned him between $5k-$15k in interest/dividend income in 2012.

Pimco Total Return Fund Energy highlights:
  • $429M Gazprom (Russian state-owned gas corp)
  • $297M Petrobas (Brazilian O+G)
  • $222M Transocean (plead guilty to neglience in BP Gulf Disaster, $400M fine)
  • $68M Chesapeake Energy (fracking company, large holdings in PA)
  • $32M Entergy (Local power utility in several cities, owns 10 nuke plants, including Indian Point in NY)
  • $27M Ras Laffan LNG (exports LNG from Qatar to Korea)
  • $26M KazMunayGas JSC (state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan)
  • $25M Pioneer Natural Resources (massive contamination in Alaska, selling $1.6B in US fracked gas to Reliance of India-- connected to Inflection Energy which is drilling for gas in NY)
  • $23M Pacific Gas & Electric (potential $1.4B fine for San Bruno disaster)
  • $16M Energy Transfer Partners (natural gas and propane)
  • $16M Canadian Natural Resources (Alberta tar sands)
  • $14M Enterprise Products (gas and liquids pipelines)
  • $8M Duke Energy (fracking, Spectra Energy (pipelines) was a Duke spinoff)
  • $5M Williams Partners (gas pipelines)
  • $3M Dominion Resources (Cove Point, +NY pipeline expansion)

With $5k-$15k, you can make a nice down payment on an Escalade*,
which gets a Federal Judge to his chambers in style:

Yeah, baby.
Gas is GOOD!

(* I have no proof that Judge Wilkins owns an Escalade-- it's just an obvious symbol for conspicuous consumption, seeking happiness through wealth accumulation, greed without caring for the victims created as a result of the action).

UPDATE: I am sorry, I do not mean to judge the judge: Robert L. Wilkins.
I do not mean to create greater alienation. 

I would love to see come reconcilation.
I would love to see Robert L. Wilkins
and meet with Asha, Pramilla, 
and all of the affected families.

I would love to see Robert L. Wilkins

visit the BLACK DIRT region of NY.
It is called that because it is a fertile land,

it is a place where food is grown for many people. 
Robert L. Wilkins
you are invited to Minisink 
come and meet my friends.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Don't forget to sign the
Pledge to Resist
the Constitution Pipeline:


Sandie said...

Mr. Huston, I am wonderdering if the judges ruling could be overturned if Pimco had investments in Millennium or it's subsidiaries DTE Energy, NiSource,or National Grid? Thanks for sharing this information. It means a lot to many people.

Bill Huston said...

I don't know, Sandie. Need a lawyer I'd say.

I know that Judges are very protected with legal immunity. Tt's possible remove or punish a judge, but it's rare.

There is guidance that judges should "appear" to be without financial bias, and disclose, which he did. But it's all voluntary, discretionary.

It seems he should have recused himself, but didn't.

I'm sure if you dug into his financials, you'd find MUCH more connection to O+G investments. This was just from a casual glance.

They will probably react by getting shiftier about hiding the contents of these private equity funds. There is already much that is hidden on these disclosure forms.

But the way it looks to me is these federal judges are broadly invested in the general business community. They get big cash dividends each year-- I'd estimate between $5k-20k/year for a junior judge, or it could be in the millions per year for a senior judge.

These dividends and IRAs are like encouragement to judges to grow ALL businesses! Mining, energy, trucking, factory farms, big box stores, pipelines, highways... whatever baby.

Make it grow, and you get a check.
It's easy to understand. This results IMO as a general pro-business bias of the federal courts.

I think Judges should be paid from a federal pension, and be PROHIBITED from having ANY private investments.