On Monday, Texas gubernatorial candidate and former Rep. Beto O”;Rourke revealed that Energy Transfer LP and Executive Chairman Kelcy Warren had sued him for “;defamation, slander, and libel”;–;specifically because of O”;Rourke”;s comments connecting Warren”;s love for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the staggering profits the oil tycoon”;s company pocketed during the 2021 winter storm that left more than 200 people dead in Texas. Speaking during a press conference, O”;Rourke said that he”;d been “;directly threatened”; by Warren over the course of the past few weeks.
“;As I was meeting with you all over the course of February I began to get letters from Kelcy Warren”;s attorney telling me that I had to back off this story,”; O”;Rourke said. “;I had to stop connecting the dots or else there would be consequences. I chose not to back down…; We have now learned that he is following through on his threat and he is going to try and take me to court, use his billions of dollars to try to shut me down and shut us up.”; That suit, filed in San Saba County court, refers to O”;Rouke as a “;failed politician”; and takes shots at the Democrat for holding Warren and his ilk accountable.
Gas company Energy Transfer Partners says: “;give us $22M or we cut the power for Texans.”; That’s extortion. Abbott isn”;t stopping them because their CEO bought him off with a $1M check. That”;s corrupt. I will fix the grid & hold extortionists and corrupt officials to account. https://t.co/7NcOENzqy0
–; Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) January 20, 2022
New development in Abbott”;s power grid scandal https://t.co/GDFdlMZXI4
–; Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 7, 2022
Energy Transfer”;s VP of Corporate Communications issued a statement regarding the lawsuit, taking shots at the candidate just as the lawsuit does. “;Beto O”;Rourke clearly hasn”;t read or doesn”;t understand the lawsuit filed personally by Kelcy Warren,”; Vicki Granado said. “;Mr. Warren is not interested in barring Mr. O”;Rourke from talking about the winter storm. That is the right of every Texan and every American. What Mr. Warren is interested in stopping are the irresponsible, defamatory, and highly offensive statements by Mr. O”;Rourke related to his donation to Gov. Abbott”;s campaign. This is also the right of every Texan and every American to contribute to the campaigns of candidates they support without being defamed in the process.”;
It”;s worth noting that Warren donated $1 million to Abbott–;and he wasn”;t the only oil and gas bigwig to do so. While O”;Rourke received just $41,380 from the energy industry, Abbott”;s campaign pocketed $7.8 million. In all, 11 energy companies and industry giants showered nine politicians with cash, including Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Matthew “;Dade”; Phelan, Sen. Kelly Hancock, Sen. Charles Schwertner, Sen. Chris Paddie, Rep. Craig Goldman, Sen. Bob Hall, and Sen. Robert Nichols. The Texas Tribune notes that energy companies like Centerpoint, NRG, and Vistra and their executives donated double the amount typically seen the year prior to candidates with a vested interest in keeping polluters powering the state.
Read more: dailykos.com