AUSTIN -- Democratic candidate Chrysta Castañeda lost her race for a seat on the Railroad Commission of Texas last night.
Emma Pabst, global warming solutions advocate with Environment Texas issued the following statement:
“In one of the most important races for our climate this election, Chrysta Castañeda shined a light on an obscure, but powerful agency. She exposed the vast amounts of pollution and waste coming from the oil and gas industry, and showed Texans how our state can lead the way towards a cleaner future for everyone.
While we are of course disappointed in the outcome, Chrysta ran a great race. She raised awareness about the oil industry’s worst practices and demonstrated the need for the Railroad Commission to crack down on routine flaring. For that, we are incredibly grateful.
These results mean that the Railroad Commission will likely continue to be a feckless regulator, failing to protect public health and the environment from the oil industry’s worst excesses. We know from polls that the public wants to reduce flaring -- even some in the oil industry and on Wall Street favor reform. So, we will continue to fight.
In the absence of state action, we are hopeful that a Biden administration will work to reduce pollution from the oil industry, empowering Texans with other pathways to change.”
A September poll by Data for Progress found that Texas voters support flaring restrictions by a 21-point margin when provided with arguments for and against restrictions. More information about flaring and venting is available in Environment Texas Research and Policy Center’s 2020 report “A Cleaner Path for Oil in Texas.”
Environment Texas is a non-profit advocate for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.