About Air and Water

Friday, November 2, 2007

Denton County man files to run for Railroad Commission

By Dan McGraw - Staff Writer - Denton Record-Chronicle - Nov. 1, 2007
Denton County resident Jesus Carrillo announced recently that he is running as a Democrat for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission.

Carrillo, 45, of Ponder, is the first Denton County resident to announce that he is running for a seat on the three-member commission, but he has entered into a crowded primary race that includes two other Democrats.

Former San Antonio City Council member Art Hall and retired petroleum engineer Dale Henry of Lampasas have already announced their intentions to run. Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, a Republican, is also seeking re-election.

The term for a seat on the Railroad Commission is six years.

Carrillo, who is not related to Texas Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo, works for American Airlines as an aircraft technician. He has previously served on the Ponder Planning and Zoning Commission as a commissioner and as chairman.

Along with his work with the city of Ponder, Jesus Carrillo has worked in the petroleum and utility industries, which he said offers him a unique perspective on the fuel industry.

“It is beneficial to know what the employees are going through,” Carrillo said. “Safety is my No. 1 concern for citizens, their employees and the company. Safety should be in everyone’s head.”

Along with pushing safety, Carrillo said oil and gas companies need to explore other viable options for fuel, and those options should be promoted to citizens. Carrillo uses the alternative fuel E85, containing 85 percent ethanol, and said he has to drive miles to find a station that provides it. He believes it should be available at more locations.

“I understand that we have a need for them [fuel companies], because they are our energy producers and one of biggest sources of income,” he said. “However, I think they need to work more closely with their community. They need to ask, ‘How it is going to fit in with the neighborhood?’”

Carrillo said companies can do that by looking for ways to blend in with the community or helping repair bridges and roads that have begun to deteriorate faster because of heavy loads.

“All that excess weight is burning out roads and wearing down our bridges,” he said. “When they need to be renovated, who is going to take care of them? Are we, as taxpayers, going to have to?”

Like many Texas residents, Carrillo has experienced gas wells springing up in his neighborhood. He said that constant interaction with gas wells was one of the reasons he became interested in running for the Railroad Commission post.

Carrillo is married and has three children. He was born in Corpus Christi and has lived in Texas nearly all his life. He graduated from the Hallmark Institute of Aeronautics in San Antonio with a technical degree in aviation science.

The Railroad Commission’s primary duties are preventing waste of oil and gas, protecting surface and subsurface water and protecting the mineral rights of landowners.

The commission does not have jurisdiction over roads, traffic, noise, odors, leases, pipeline easements or royalty payments.
Read more in the Denton Record-Chronicle

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