Remove Kelcy Warren from his chair on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission
This petition had 9,143 supporters
Most people may know Kelcy Warren as the man behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The Dallas-based billionaire and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners has been making headlines for fast-tracking a 1100 mile crude oil pipeline across the Midwest and under the Missouri River, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. No environmental impact assessment, no respect for cultural sites, and no regard for the local and widespread communities living along the river. A similar story is unfolding out in West Texas, where Warren's company has split through the pristine Big Bend region with the 200 mile Comanche Trail Pipeline and nearly-complete 143 mile Trans Pecos Pipeline. These Pipelines mark the way for massive natural gas and oil developments in the Trans Pecos region.
With untold damages unfolding for cultural and environmental resources at the hands of Energy Transfer Partners, it would surprise most to know that nearly a year ago, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Kelcy Warren for a 6 year term as 1 of the 10 commissioners who preside over Texas Parks And Wildlife... Why? Probably the $550,000 in campaign contributions Abbott received from Warren.
TPWD needs our help.
For those of you who love the outdoors and live in Texas, you have probably visited one or more of the 95 state parks TPWD has to offer. From winding canyons to desert plains and mountain range, from barrier islands to evergreen forests, TPWD strives to protect the diverse ecosystems around the state based on their mission statement:
"To manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations."
Following this mission statement, TPWD has become one of the best ways for Texans to access the outdoors. Sadly, many of the governor-appointed representatives of the TPW Commission have often proven ill-fit to stand as a true representation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In particular, the personal interests held by chairman Kelcy Warren DO NOT line up with the TPWD mission statement and threaten the agency's integrity. Warren, according to his online TPW Commissioner bio, has "outstanding career achievements and contributions to the midstream industry", making his billions constructing pipelines. In Texas, despite ongoing protest, Warren's Trans Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines have used eminent domain to cut through the heart of the beloved Big Bend region to export natural gas into Mexico. These actions are directly harming the region's natural and cultural treasure West Texas is known for.
The Chihuahuan desert is considered the third most biologically diverse arid region in the world. Pipeline construction requires a 125ft pathway to be cleared and compacted, resulting in permanent habitat loss and fragmentation while also creating erosion of topsoil. Such a wide pathway over these 143 and 200 mile pipelines destroys a massive area of habitat. Further, Warren's pipelines are being installed to service the growing natural gas industry of West Texas. Although not directly related, pipelines add infrastructure for operations like the "Alpine High" oilfield: 350,000 acres of Chihuahuan desert that has been claimed for hydraulic fracturing. The intense fracking planned for the region threatens underground water sources and stands to transform the iconic West Texas desert forever. The desert ecology has not been the only thing damaged in construction, in September, ETP bulldozed the 5000 year old Trap Springs archaeological site in Brewster County. ETP has also made headlines for bulldozing burial grounds and stone circles held sacred by Lakota people in North Dakota, using private security armed with attack dogs and mace to "pacify" the peaceful protesters. The president and CEO of such a company IS NOT FIT TO SERVE as a TPWD commissioner.
I am writing this petition as a concerned Texas citizen, who sees interests held by Kelcy Warren as a direct threat to what TPWD stands for. Seats on the TPW Commission should not be earned through campaign contributions for status or business/political leverage; the seats need to be appointed to those who actually care about TPW, who care about our environment, and who truly want to preserve our beautiful land for future generations. I am asking Governor Greg Abbott, and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to remove Kelcy Warren from the TPW Commission, or for Warren to step down under his own power. Warren has brought nothing but bad attention to TPWD and it is in the best interest of the agency to operate without him as a commissioner. Our goal is to receive at least 10,000 signatures, after which this petition will be delivered to Greg Abbott.
My name is Andrew Lucas and I am an Environmental Science major at UTSA and former Texas State Park Ambassador. I write this out of love for our beautiful Big Bend and Trans Pecos regions. I, like many other people, draw so much inspiration from this land. I do not want to see the future of our wild places left in the hands of corporate interest, so let us keep these interests separated from the agency's that are here to help preserve and protect it.
Thank you, please sign and share.
Dear Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn,
Due to the obvious conflicts of interest between the Mission of TPWD and the highly destructive industrial ventures of Commissioner Kelcy Warren, we request that you remove Mr. Warren from his chair on the TPWD Commission immediately.
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