Filemon Vela

Representing the 34 District of Texas

New Congressional Caucus Seeks to Explain Positives of Oil and Gas Development to Democrat Members

June 26, 2017
In The News

Freshman Congressman Vincente González (D-TX) recently announced the formation of the Congressional Oil & Gas Caucus. This caucus aims to educate members of Congress about oil and gas production and the issues involved.

Congressman Gonzalez will chair the caucus, and will advocate the benefits of fully harnessing America’s natural resources, something he is fully vested in.

 

“We would like to educate our party”

The main purpose of the caucus is for Democrats that support energy development to have a platform. “We need to be part of the conversation,” the Congressman told Oil & Gas 360®. Congressman González said he seeks to “assure that there is support on this side of the aisle for the oil and gas industry.

“I think the assumption for a long time has been that the industry is only supported by Republicans, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. South Texas, in particular, is a pretty Democratic area, and we’re all very involved in the oil and gas industry.”

The caucus will allow pro-industry Democrats to respond to the traditional narrative among much of the Democratic party, that oil and gas development is a negative thing. “We would like to educate our party on certain types of production that may be seen as hazardous to the environment, which really are not,” said Congressman González .

“In a lot of cases, I think it’s just a lack of knowledge and education. You hear a lot of people criticizing LNG, but it is actually a very clean way of transporting natural gas. I believe, personally, that it is cleaner and safer than crude, but you’ll hear a lot of rhetoric on the Democratic side against it.”

Representatives Filemon Vela (D-TX), Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) immediately joined the caucus, and have since been followed by Collin Peterson (D-MN). In an interview with Oil and Gas 360®, Congressman González mentioned hopes to grow the caucus’s membership quickly. Democrats from California, the Dakotas and Pennsylvania were mentioned as potential members.

Three of the four representatives that initially joined the caucus have districts in the heart of the Eagle Ford while the fourth represents part of Houston, meaning each one can directly observe the effects of oil and gas development.

When the new caucus was announced, Congressman González commented on his district’s experience with oil and gas operations, saying “The 15th District of Texas is home to several refineries, pipelines, and part of the Eagle Ford Shale – I have witnessed the effects of a thriving oil and gas industry firsthand.”

Elaborating on the goal of the new caucus, Congressman González commented, “As a Texan, I have a unique understanding of how the industry works and its importance for the communities in my district, across the country, and around the world.

Elaborating on the goal of the new caucus, Congressman González commented, “As a Texan, I have a unique understanding of how the industry works and its importance for the communities in my district, across the country, and around the world.

“I hope that the Oil & Gas Caucus can serve as a space for members from all over the country to learn more about the oil and gas industry and come away not only with a better understanding of the scientific and technical aspects, but also gain a better understanding of how technological advancements and growth benefit all of us.”

Current caucus members

Representative Vincente González was first elected in 2016 representing Texas’s 15th congressional district.

 

Representative Henry Cuellar was first elected in 2004 representing Texas’s 28th congressional district.

 

Representative Gene Green was first elected in 1992 representing Texas’s 29th congressional district.

 

Representative Filemon Vela was first elected in 2016 representing Texas’s 34th congressional district.

 

Representative Collin Peterson was first elected in 1991 representing Minnesota’s 7th congressional district.

 

Representative Lou Correa was first elected in 2016 representing California’s 46th congressional district.