Texas Critic of ESG Faces Crowded Field for Oil Regulator Role
(Bloomberg) -- Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian, a frequent critic of climate-change activists and alternative energy, is facing an increasingly crowded field for re-election next year.
The staunch Donald Trump supporter who leads the Lone Star state’s top oil regulator is seeking a second term on the three-person panel. Less than four months away from the March 1 Republican primary, Christian already has been targeted by two GOP challengers who plan to throw their hats into the ring when formal filing opens this weekend.
Christian, a former gospel singer in the Mercy River Boys band that was nominated for a Grammy in 1979, has been an outspoken contrarian on issues such as global warming and what he recently characterized as “woke” ESG investing. During a deadly February freeze, he was among those who enacted a controversial ban on selling Texan natural gas across state lines under orders from Governor Greg Abbott.
Thomas Slocum, an oil consultant who specializes in plugging old wells, told Bloomberg he intends to run against Christian in the GOP primary. Slocum faulted the agency for failing to work as closely with landowners as it has with the industry.
“There are issues where landowners are not being heard,” Slocum said. “That’s a problem in Texas.”
Another Republican challenger is Dawayne Tipton, a veteran of deepwater drilling and pipeline projects around the globe. Among other announced candidates for the commission seat are Green Party aspirant Hunter Crow, a notary public, and Democrat Luke Warford, the former chief strategy officer for the state party organization.
It’s the not the first time Christian has faced a crowded field. The former East Texas legislator bested six opponents in the 2016 primary.
“Chairman Christian is constantly on the road visiting with Texans about his record of fighting against the overreach of the Biden Administration to ensure energy is cheap, plentiful, and reliable for his constituents,” said Travis McCormick, Christian’s campaign manager. “We are not taking his re-election for granted and are running a professional campaign to ensure we have the resources, endorsements, and conservative grassroots support necessary to be successful.”
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