Jeb Bush Conveniently Started Promoting Fracking After Investing In It

The more we learn about Jeb Bush, the more less he appears ready for primetime:

“Some states, like yours here in New York, are choosing not to grow. They won’t approve fracking,” Bush said, his veiled shot at Cuomo drawing roars of approval from Republicans gathered at a Sheraton in Manhattan. “Meanwhile, in parts of New York where huge opportunities exist for the restoration of economic activity, people languish.”

Bush left unmentioned that fracking in the Marcellus Shale beneath the New York-Pennsylvania border also presented a big opportunity for himself.

One of his private equity enterprises at that time was raising $40 million to back a Denver-based company acquiring fracking wells in hopes New York would lift its ban. The company, Inflection Energy, has active leases in Pennsylvania, and one of Bush’s equity partners sits on the board. He also has fracking ties through a separate business with both of his sons.

The intersection between Bush’s private and public life — calls for fracking have been a part of his speeches and came as recently as last month in San Francisco — triggers questions of disclosure.

It’s not just that fracking is a horrid, unpopular practice. It’s that the self-dealing in this case is so obvious it will confirm voters’ suspicions about the dangers of putting another Bush in the White House. One of the less highlighted but most damaging subtexts of the Bush Administration was the number of members of the Bush White House who were invested in moneymaking schemes directly profiting off the invasion of Iraq, not least of them being Dick Cheney and Halliburton.

With Jeb Bush hiring the same foreign policy advisors, ramping up rhetoric for war with Iran and evidently engaged in self-dealing over oil in his speeches, the same suspicions will arise with him. As well they should.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.