Energy & Environment

Pipeline Company CEO’s Parks and Wildlife Appointment Draws Opposition, Again

Kelcy Warren has sat unconfirmed on the commission since being appointed by Governor Greg Abbott in 2015.

Activits are again speaking out against a pipeline company CEO’s presence on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Commission.

People testified against Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren at the state capitol on Wednesday.

There has been opposition to Warren being on the commission since he was appointed by Governor Greg Abbot in 2015. Some have called for his resignation, expressing concerns about his energy business ties. His company owns pipelines across Texas, along with the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

Warren has yet to be actually confirmed for the seat.

At a senate hearing, Austin resident David King argued that if the parks department wants Warren’s expertise on energy issues, they could always ask him for it.

“But for him to actually serve on the commission I think creates potential conflict of interest, where he would have to recuse himself from time to time,” he said.

Warren has recused himself from a vote before, when the commission was deciding whether to let a pipeline company separate from his build through a state wildlife area near Port Arthur, TX.

Still, he’s not the only person with oil and gas ties to serve on the commission. Those seats are usually given to influential and wealthy Texans, and another newer commissioner Anna Galo is connected to the industry.

Warren spokesperson Vicki Granado says he is “honored” by the appointment to serve on the commission.

“As a native Texan, he looks forward to continuing to serve on the Commission and to carry out its mission to manage our state’s natural and cultural resources,” she said. 

A committee vote on his nomination is set for a separate hearing next week.

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Travis Bubenik

Travis Bubenik

Energy & Environment Reporter

Travis Bubenik reports on the tangled intersections of energy and the environment in Houston and across Texas. A Houston native and proud Longhorn, he returned to the Bayou City after serving as the Morning Edition Host & Reporter for Marfa Public Radio in Far West Texas. Bubenik was previously the...

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