Pipeline Protesters rally at Texas Parks & Wildlife
Two days after the president's executive orders to revive the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Pipeline projects dozens of protesters rallied outside Texas Parks and Wildlife headquarters in Austin. They are calling for the removal of a commissioner heavily vested in the projects.
"Hey, Kelcy got no time. Got no time for your pipeline. Hey Kelcy,” shouted protesters.
Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioners were met with a thick crowd of protesters as they arrived for a meeting Thursday.
Their chants were focused on one person-- Commissioner Kelcy Warren, CEO of pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners.
They feel warren's participation with Texas Parks and Wildlife is a conflict of interest as his company is working on the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline and in Texas-- the Trans-Pecos Pipeline and Comanche Trail Pipeline.
"He absolutely needs to step down from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. There's a clear conflict of interest to have someone who has projects which threaten state parks to be protecting our state parks,” said protester Tame Ward.
Warren was not in attendance. Other commissioners told FOX 7 his absence was due to a family commitment.
Still the protesters took the opportunity to voice their concerns. Each was cut off as they were off topic.
Several had to be escorted out.
As the pipeline issue continues to make headlines security at Texas Parks and Wildlife headquarters will remain noticeably larger than usual.
Agency spokesperson Josh Havens says threats have been made to Warren and his family and they are taking it very seriously.
"We respect their right to assemble to express their opinions,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Communications Director Josh Havens. "Ultimately the priority for us is everyone who is visiting, the safety of our staff, the safety of our commissioners."
Governor Greg Abbott appointed Warren to the commission in 2015. His term goes until 2021.