Cruz Has a Huge Vested Interest in Oil and Gas Industry

money-grabberAs a Republican from Texas, it should not come as a surprise to find out that Sen. Ted Cruz has huge investments in the oil and gas industry. But it should certainly be a concern that as much as 25% of his net worth is tied up in those investments, which gives him a clear vested interest in eliminating government regulation of those industries that might impede corporate profits, and therefore shareholder dividends and net worth.

Nearly a quarter of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) current personal wealth is made up of direct investments in fossil fuels, an unusually high amount for an elected official.

The Republican presidential candidate holds up to $850,000 worth of stock in six oil- and gas-related companies, which make up anywhere from 15 to 23 percent of his total personal assets, according to Cruz’s financial disclosure forms. That’s an unusually high percentage for a member of Congress, according to one professor who studies lawmakers’ personal wealth and how it relates to public policy.

“That’s definitely an above-average amount of assets in the oil and gas industry compared to other members of Congress,” said Christian R. Grose, an associate professor of political science at the University of Southern California. Grose analyzed the fossil fuel investments in Cruz’s financial disclosure forms for ThinkProgress.

According to an analysis of Cruz’s forms, he holds anywhere from $365,006 to $850,000 in energy and oil stocks. Cruz’s total assets could be anywhere from $1.6 million to $4.3 million, excluding a large campaign loan valued anywhere from $500,001 to $1 million. According to Grose’s calculations, that means fossil fuel investments make up anywhere from 15.8 to 22.7 percent of Cruz’s total assets…

At the same time, Grose’s research has shown that legislators’ personal financial interests are likely to impact their decision-making. Along with his graduate student Jordan C. Peterson, Grose has found that public officials are more likely to support financial and housing market deregulation if they had a personal stake in the financial and housing markets.

Though Grose’s research doesn’t consider fossil fuel investments specifically, he theorized that the effect may be similar. “His own personal financial well-being rests on how well the energy sector is doing,” he said. “So any regulation that could hurt that sector would be detrimental to his bottom line.”

That last paragraph is from the Department of Duh. Cruz doesn’t even need to be bribed, he’s self-bribed to protect the financial interests of the oil and gas industry, which usually means not protecting the environment or the people affected by that industry’s immense output of pollution.

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