Thursday, April 21, 2011
NCTCA Press Release
Freshman Member of Energy Oversight Committee Received $59,000 in Campaign Contributions from Oil and Gas Interests
Questions regarding conflict of interest remain unresolved
(Austin, Texas) – State Rep. Stephani Carter received $58,850 in contributions from oil and gas interests for her successful campaign to win a seat in the Texas House of Representatives last year. A remarkable amount for a new member, the contributions came from an array of individuals employed by energy companies, political action committees affiliated with oil and gas interests, and energy industry groups.
Fortunately for the oil and gas industry, Representative Carter was appointed to serve on the House Energy Resources Committee -- the committee with oversight over the $186 billion oil and gas industry in Texas.
Rep. Carter received more campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than any other member of the Energy Resources Committee. Rep. Carter's campaign contributions place her in the top tier of beneficiaries of oil and gas largesse, having received the 8th highest amount of any member of the Texas House of Representatives.
According to data compiled by Texans for Public Justice, the contributions include:
• $27,000 from the President of Chief Oil and Gas, LLC
• $5,000 from the Texas Oil and Gas Association
• $5,000 from the Chair of the Belmont Oil and Gas Corporation
• $5,000 from the Chairman of the Mewbourne Oil Company
• $1,000 from an employee of Five Star Energy Co. LLC
• $500 from the Occidental Petroleum PAC
It is important to note that Chief Oil and Gas, the top and very large contributor to Rep. Carter’s campaign, is positioning their company to enter the Dallas County area for natural/ shale gas drilling.
The donation from the Texas Oil and Gas Association came less than one month before the election on November 2, 2010.
The Energy Resources Committee has considered 57 pieces of legislation this session dealing with various aspects of the regulation of the energy industry in Texas, including bills to:
• expand renewable energy production in the state,
• increase pipeline safety standards,
• increase public awareness of oil and gas drilling,
• expand municipal regulation of natural gas pipelines,
• require disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids,
• incentivize solar energy production at public schools, and
• limit regulation of harmful emissions from oil and gas facilities
Rep. Carter has not voted for a single bill opposed by The Texas Oil and Gas Association or the Texas Pipeline Association, both major oil and gas trade associations and contributors to her campaign. Such a voting record raises serious questions about conflicts of interest in decisions regarding legislation addressing these issues of such importance to Texans.