AUSTIN -- Dale Henry (D-Lampasas) Tuesday announced that he will seek his party's nomination for Texas Railroad Commissioner in the 2008 Democratic Primary.
"For years, the Texas Railroad Commission has made the oil and gas companies their priorities, not the people of Texas. It's time to reverse that trend," Henry said during a press conference at Texas Democratic Party Headquarters in Austin.
Public safety, environmental protection, and encouraging the utilization of safe, renewable and clean energy are Henry's top priorities. Over the past several years, the Commission has neglected both areas, Henry says.
"The Commissioners have just stuck their head in the sand when it comes to public safety and our environment," Henry notes. "As a result of their failure to use their statutory authority to require gas companies to replace faulty couplings in the Dallas area, two elderly Texans have died. And, the commission has simply looked the other way as saltwater injection wells have polluted the water supply up and down the Barnett Shale region in North Texas and in other areas of the state," Henry said.
Dale Henry has more than four decades of experience in the oil and gas industry including oil field work and a lengthy tenure in research and development for companies including Dowell, a division of Dow Chemical Company, Dowell Schlumberger, and Gearhart-Owen-both internationally and in the United States. He holds a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has also served as city manager for the city of Lampasas, as a County Commissioner in Mills County, and as a member of the Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group.
Henry also will work toward campaign finance reform for the Railroad Commission.
"It is pretty hard to properly regulate the oil and gas industry when you are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from their political action committees and executives," Henry said. "The Railroad Commission doesn't rule for the public anymore, they rule for the people lining their campaign war chests. I will work to get legislation passed to prohibit Railroad Commissioners from taking money from the industries the Commission is supposed to regulate," he said.
Henry faces Art Hall of San Antonio and Mark Thompson of Hamilton in the March 4 Democratic Primary. The winner of the March 4 Democratic Primary will face Commissioner Michael L. Williams in the general election.
Read more about Dale Henry on his website: ELECT DALE HENRY