AUSTIN – Commissioner David Porter of the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) sent a letter today to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry questioning the extent to which the State Department is enforcing its sanction against a rogue Russian oil and gas cartel, and protecting U.S. interests.
“Gazprom Bank is currently under U.S. sanctions as a result of Russia’s role in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which resulted in the death of 283 passengers, 15 crew members, and at least one American citizen,” said Porter in his letter. “I am greatly concerned that a blacklisted, government owned, Russian bank is able to continue its campaign to weaken the American oil and gas industry and to hire two former United States Senators to exert pressure on American policymakers.”
In his letter, Commissioner Porter explains that Gazprom has secured contracts worth tens of millions of dollars with several international public relations and lobbying firms of ill repute such as Ketchum Inc., in an effort to damage and shut down the natural gas industry in Europe and the United States to increase Russian market share of natural gas production and distribution.
Components of their campaign include funding anti-hydraulic fracturing environmental organizations, placing misinformation in the public, and even mass media propaganda — namely their assistance with the distribution ofGasland, an incredibly deceitful film about hydraulic fracturing in America.
Commissioner Porter added, “Gazprom’s effort, with the assistance of the Kremlin and Ketchum, has already resulted in the ban of hydraulic fracturing in many EU countries, and now, they have their sights set on the U.S.”
The Commissioner is in the process of developing a solution to assuage the Russian onslaught to Texas industry, including encouraging Congress to streamline the permitting process to build LNG plants in Texas and to allow oil exports.
The RRC is the chief energy regulator for the state of Texas, having primary regulatory jurisdiction over the oil and natural gas industry, as well as pipelines, natural gas utilities, the propane industry, and coal and uranium surface mining operations. The agency works to ensure fair and consistent energy regulation in Texas so businesses can safely, efficiently, and economically produce the energy that is needed to power Texans and the Texas economy.
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