Cory Doctorow #BLM+ Your Authors @doctorow Pre-order the audio- and e-book for ATTACK SURFACE, the third Little Brother book, on my first-ever Kickstarter: tinyurl.com/AttackSurfaceKS Sep. 15, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Things are very dire. The world is aflame. Our political will is in tatters. But despite all this, there are leverage points, where a small intervention can have gigantic consequences.

One of these is an obscure political race in Texas.

1/

It's been 26 years since a Democrat was elected to the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the state oil and gas industry, whose practices are lethally dirty, even by the industry's own homicidal standards.

 https://capitalandmain.com/race-obscure-texas-office-could-have-lasting-impact-climate-change-0910 

2/

Particularly egregious is Texas's world-killing flaring process - burning off usable gas and creating massive amounts of CO2 for no useful purpose, merely because it is inconvenient to capture it - in 2018, West Texas flared enough gas to power the whole state for the year.

3/

For the first time in a generation, one of the three seats on the board that oversaw a transition from responsible capture to toxic, reckless flaring might go to a Dem.

4/

The Democratic candidate is @LawChrysta, the superlawyer who got T Boone Pickens $145m from the partners who ripped him off.

Her GOP opponent is bizarre: Jim Wright, who primaried the GOP incumbent. Wright's company paid a $181k fine for violating commission rules.

5/

Wright - who, recall, is running for a seat on the commission - owns DeWitt Recyclable Products, a company that "toxic waste to pile up and leak into the soil."

It's also been repeatedly sued by oilfield operators for fraud.

6/

Wright is a staunch proponent of flaring, insisting in print that "If you do away with flaring today with no other technology, that would shut our oil business down." (This is not true)

7/

The Railroad Commission is a century-old, extremely powerful bulwark against pollution, and it can only grant licenses to flare if all three commissioners agree. A single commissioner COULD END ALL TEXAS FLARING.

8/

Castañeda is a long-time opponent of flaring. Her work led to ex-commissioner Ryan Sitton publishing a report that called out the worst flarers, and the oil industry promptly raised a war-chest to mount a primary challenge against him, creating this competitive race.

9/

"Wright, who won the primary with barely $12k on hand compared with Sitton’s $2m, now has more than $400k in his campaign bank, much of it from employees of the sectors he intends to regulate. (Castañeda has slightly more than $120k)" -@judlew/@capitalandmain

10/

Here's Castañeda's campaign site. I just made a donation - these leverage points are few and far between, and we can't waste 'em.

 https://www.chrystafortexas.com/meet/ 

Image:
EdJF (modified)
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kuwaiti_Oil_Well_Fire.jpg 

CC BY-SA:
 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en 


You can follow @doctorow.



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