Campaign contributions to Railroad Commissioners continue to pour in

Hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into the coffers of the state’s oil and gas regulators over the past seven months, according to campaign finance filings from mid-January.

The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates the state’s energy industry, which has a history of backing the three commissioners with large campaign contributions. And the latest filing, covering the five month period between July and December 2016, was no exception:

  • Commissioner Christi Craddick, who was made the commission’s chairwoman in December, has a nearly $2 million war chest. Between July and December, she received more than $726,000 in campaign contributions. Some of her biggest contributions, of $10,000, came from James Davis, owner of West Texas Gas, a West Texas gas distributor, and from Donny McClure, president of McClure Oil Co., a Midland-based oil exploration company.
  • Commissioner Ryan Sitton received more than $754,600 in campaign contributions. His biggest donation, of $50,000, came from Jay Graham, a CEO Houston-based exploration and production company Wildhorse Resources.
  • Commissioner Wayne Christian, who was elected to the post in November, reported $117,018.88 in campaign contributions between Oct. 30 and Dec. 31, 2016. Some of his biggest contributions, of $10,000, came from Kirk Rogers, who identified himself in filings as a landman for S.K.Rogers Oil, Inc., and Timonthy Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Operating, a Midland-based oil and gas exploration company.