Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Report: Two of Energy Secretary Rick Perry's Political Backers Won 'Potentially Lucrative' Ukraine Oil and Gas Deal

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 1:20 PM

  • Michael Vadon / Wikimedia Commons
Two key supporters of U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry landed an oil and gas exploration deal with the Ukrainian government a month after the former Texas governor recommended one of them as an advisor to the country, the Associated Press is reporting.

Longtime Perry backer Michael Bleyzer was one of four people the secretary recommended early this year to Ukraine's newly elected president as potential advisors on energy issues, according to AP's investigation.

A week later, Bleyzer and business partner Alex Cranberg submitted a bid for a "potentially lucrative" pact to drill in a petroleum field controlled by the Ukrainian government. In 2011, Perry appointed Cranberg, a major Republican donor, to serve on the University of Texas System’s board of regents.

Representatives for both Bleyzer and Cranberg told the AP they won the contract in competitive bidding, adding that Perry didn't intervene on their behalf. The Energy Department said the secretary advocates for the U.S. energy industry but not for individual companies.  

However, Jessica Tillipman, who teaches anti-corruption law at George Washington University, told the wire service that the transaction, while probably not illegal, doesn't pass the smell test.

"My gut says it's no crime," the professor said. "It's just icky."

The revelation appears to come at an inopportune time for Perry.

House committees have subpoenaed documents from the energy secretary as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Amid the probe, Perry announced he'll be leaving his cabinet position by the end of the year.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.



Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation