Commission Chairman Victor Carrillo suffered a stunning upset in the March primaries, setting up a contest between candidates who represent the state’s two major parties but who are also unknowns: Republican David Porter, who wrested the nomination from Carrillo, and Jeff Weems, the Democratic nominee.
Weems, 52, is the best choice in this race. He literally knows the oil and gas business from the ground up. He started his career as a “land man” — someone who negotiates oil and gas leases — and is now a successful energy lawyer in Houston.
Porter, 54, is an accountant whose clients include energy firms. He lives in Giddings and apparently hasn’t strayed from there during this campaign.
Weems, on the other hand, has been campaigning aggressively on a platform of consumer and environmental protection and more consistent enforcement of Railroad Commission rules.
Weems won’t need a break-in period if elected to the commission and has the background and education to be a forceful advocate for the energy industry as well as consumers.
And four for four.
We recommend that Texas voters elect Weems to the post. Before becoming a lawyer, Weems gained hands-on experience in the energy industry, including work on rigs, as a drilling mud representative and handling leases for Shell Western E&P Inc.
He has a degree in petroleum land management from the University of Texas and also graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. For 20 years, Weems’ Houston law practice has focused on energy industry activities, representing clients including energy companies and royalty owners. Weems’ background makes him particularly suited for the job.
Dedicated to the commission and not pursuing another public office, Weems supports a resign-to-run rule requiring commissioners to step down if they become candidates for another office.
Weems is clearly the right choice for the job.
I’ll say it again: You can have a knowledgeable, capable Railroad Commissioner who is working hard to be elected, or you can have a guy with an R next to his name who expects to be elected because of it. Your choice.