Protesters expect more than 100 to rally against Texas Parks & Wildlife Department commissioner Kelcy Warren at this morning’s commission meeting in Austin.
Activists are ramping up protests against the Energy Transfer Partners chief executive, urging the state senate to reject Warren’s appointment.
The protesters argue that Warren is conflicted: His company is building pipelines that run through culturally sensitive Indian land and ecologically fragile wilderness — though not through state parks, they say. Energy Transfer is building the Dakota Access Pipeline that runs above the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, site of turbulent and sometimes violent protests this fall, and has nearly finished the Trans-Pecos pipeline from the Permian Basin in West Texas to Mexico.
The rally is being organized by Alpine-based Big Bend Defense Coalition and the Society of Native Nations.
“We will continue to come to TPWC and all houses of government until our concerns are properly addressed,” said Pete Hefflin, Mescalero Apache and board member of the Society of Native Nations. “We need to protect the sacred Rio Grande River and these ancestral Native lands.”
The Texas Senate, which votes on all Governor appointments, is expected to vote on Warren’s nomination during the 2017 session.