"Oil’s Financial Ties to Texas Legislators"

"Friendliness toward the drilling industry is typical for Texas, where many lawmakers receive campaign contributions from oil and gas groups or have investments in drilling companies. The three elected members of the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees the oil and gas industry, have received significant contributions from the very industry they regulate."

"Critics say that the industry exerts excessive control over elected officials, especially in boom times. But lawmakers and the drilling industry say that the donations are the way things operate. And lawmakers say that they make their decisions based on the best interests of the state.

Mr. Keffer, who heads the House Energy Resources Committee, holds an interest in a fund that specializes in mineral rights. His broad stock portfolio includes shares in well over a dozen oil and gas companies, according to a 2011 filing with the Texas Ethics Commission. He received nearly $73,000 in the 2011-12 election cycle from the industry, according to the left-leaning nonprofit group Texans for Public Justice."

Kate Galbraith reports for the Texas Tribune April 11, 2013.

Source: Texas Tribune, 04/12/2013