Lamar Smith : “Science” Chairman Slathered in Oil. Surprised?

December 22, 2018

Long, but useful, article on the Oil and Gas interests of the long-time House Science and Technology Committee Chair, Lamar Smith.

I’ve profiled Lamar Smith’s long term crusade against science and the climate scientists who have brought bad news for the fossil fuel industry.  A new investigation details his deep involvement in the fossil fuel industry.

E&E News:

PREMONT, Texas — Rep. Lamar Smith’s cattle brand is shaped like the number 2, with a check mark in the top right corner. It’s supposed to be burned in the right hip of an animal.

The Texas Republican registered it in 1977, shortly after his grandmother, Harriet Frances Seeligson Wells, left him rights to a sprawling family ranch near this town of 3,000 people. It features a Dairy Queen, a down-and-out hardware store and dozens of derelict houses.

“My grandson shall have the full power and authority during his lifetime,” she wrote in her last will and testament, “to drill, develop and operate the mineral estate.” The document gave Smith the “power to lease for oil, gas or other minerals” on the 14-square-mile property. That’s about the size of 9,000 football fields.

In four decades, as Smith climbed the political rungs of San Antonio, Austin and Washington, he controlled the ranch and made some money selling crops and cattle. But the soft-spoken Texan never made millions on the range roping livestock, clearing brush or searing that hot number 2 iron into bulls and heifers.

He made much of his money through oil and gas — the industry that gave the Seeligsons, his mother’s family, their fortune and clout.

An E&E News examination found that the retiring congressman raised millions of dollars through his family’s ranch. As fossil fuels were being removed from his Texas lands, Smith was making a name for himself as a sharp skeptic of climate science. He followed a different path from mainstream researchers as chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, whittling away at the consensus among experts that humans are making the Earth warmer.

Smith had control of the property since the 1970s, and he used that authority to strike deals with fossil fuel companies that drilled on the land. Separately, he has held dozens of undisclosed oil and gas royalty accounts spread across the state.

This article is based on an examination of documents filed in four Texas counties in connection with Smith’s property. E&E News also reviewed documents from state and federal agencies and interviewed residents, landowners and local officials during a trip to Jim Wells County, Texas, where Smith’s ranch is located.

Congress requires members to report undetailed financial information, so lawmakers often meet a “very minimal level,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “Lamar Smith is apparently complying with the letter of the law in completing his financial disclosure forms, but he appears to be very much in violation of the spirit of the law.”

Scherb argues that Smith should disclose every legal contract he made in connection to his land.

“Given the kind of minimal disclosure that’s on his personal financial disclosure form, it’s impossible for his constituents to see how he’s potentially profited from any legislation that he’s pushed.”

One of the first bills Smith introduced when entering Congress in 1987 would have expanded a tax break for people who own stakes in oil and gas wells from 15 to 27.5 percent. Smith also offered several bills to protect landowners against lawsuits and federal government intrusion.

Much much more at the link.

7 Responses to “Lamar Smith : “Science” Chairman Slathered in Oil. Surprised?”

  1. neilrieck Says:

    Peter, The first hyperlink of this post navigates to a dead page.

    Not Found Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.


  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Also had no problem with the links.

    May I begin the chant for Smith?

    Actually, the real punishment is going to come when Smith, Barton, Inhofe, Cruz, and Trump are condemned to hell for eternity. There will be a special corner of hell for them, and they will all live in a (bankrupt) Trump Tower where nothing works and the only entertainment will be reading Trump tweets.

    • Abel Adamski Says:

      Even that may not happen.
      Rev 11:18
      God will DESTROY those that destroy the earth, in a way Hell with suffering and an eternity of regret would be more appropriate, but then we are adaptable and can learn to love such suffering, after all there are masochists

      • Terry Donte Says:

        Which God are you referring to, up to 10,000 and counting at the present time. Humans cannot destroy the earth, we may be able to destroy some life on the surface but will never touch the life living below it which by some new estimates exceeds in mass the amount living on the surface.

  3. neilrieck Says:

    The problem has now been fixed. The link on the email is “” but was never redirected to this article.

  4. Terry Donte Says:

    Moonbeam out in California must have heard about this guy as he went to the Oil and Gas division and got a free, one of a kind, survey of the oil and grass potential of his ranch property in California. Only if you are governor can you do that.

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