Chevron board member Chuck Hagel

secdefChevron board member Chuck Hagel.

A spot of good news: If Chuck Hagel is confirmed as defense secretary, he will resign his seat on the board of Chevron. While it seems likely that the oil company would prefer he remain, helping guide its strategy as he simultaneously made determinations about the deployment and structure of the largest military in the history of the world, others disagreed.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Chuck Hagel will shed hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock in Chevron Corp. CVX -0.46% and private equity firm McCarthy Group LLC if the Senate confirms him to be the next defense secretary, according to his financial disclosure. …

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Mr. Hagel’s assets were valued between $2.9 million and $6.1 million in total. … In addition to his stock holdings, Mr. Hagel earned $116,000 in director fees from Chevron and between $5,001 and $15,000 in dividends.

In addition to divesting Chevron and McCarthy holdings, Mr. Hagel said he would resign his positions with both firms and 25 other entities.

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Why? “One conservative outside group, the American Future Fund, said that the Chevron holdings could have posed a potential conflict of interest because of the company’s fuel contracts with the Pentagon.” Oh, right. The massive conflict of interest. Thanks for pointing that out, conservative outside group.

Once Hagel resigns from Chevron’s board, he will forget all about the company’s priorities and its ongoing arguments for expanding the use of its products in the military. He will not fall back on the many discussions he had as a compensated member of the board and as a shareholder in the company when determining how the military should operate.

Leaving Chevron in the same unhappy position in which Halliburton found itself after its CEO Dick Cheney resigned to become vice president.