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.