Dem. railroad commissioner candidate: fracking here to stay, sma

Dem. railroad commissioner candidate: fracking here to stay, smarter ways needed

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LEVELLAND, Texas -

The Hockley County Democrat Party welcomed the state party's candidate for railroad commissioner next year, Denton preservation officer Roman McAllen.

Saturday, McAllen said his background as a city planner contributes to his long-term thinking, which he said is needed to preserve the state's critical resources -- namely water. He said "fracking" is here to stay, as it's one of the most efficient means of oil and natural gas drilling, but said it's also devastating to our water supply.

 "Water's critical to all life," he said, "and we're using hundreds of millions of gallons of water. We're taking it out of our ecosystem, polluting it beyond -- where it's not possible to use it anymore -- and then we're injecting it down into the earth."

"Can anyone really say that they know what that's going to do?" he asked rhetorically. "Intuitively, my reaction, that doesn't sound like a good thing."

McAllen said the revenue from the oil and gas industry has been crucial for the state, but said it could stand to be distributed "a little more fairly, a little more equitably." He said he wants to be the only railroad commissioner to not be paid for by the oil industry.

Railroad Commission chairwoman Christi Craddick's seat is up for election in 2018.

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