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Primary Member, State of Texas, Royalty Policy Committee

William “Drew” Darby is a member of the Department of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee, and as a member of this committee advises Secretary Zinke “on policy and strategies to improve management of the multi-billion dollar, federal and American Indian mineral revenue program.”

William “Drew” Darby is a member of the Texas House of Representatives and an ally of the oil and gas industry. Darby, who attended the University of Texas for undergrad and for Law School, “owns and operates the title companies Surety Title and Darby Title Inc. and a law firm, Drew Darby and Associates.” He is also “of Counsel to the Energy and Real Estate practice group at the law firm of Jackson Walker, LLP.” Darby was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2006, and currently serves “as Chairman of the Energy Resources Committee, Chairman of the Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility Committee, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Redistricting Committee.” Darby represents “nine counties in West Texas spanning the Concho Valley and Permian Basin,” which is “an oil and gas producing machine.”

Sources: [Department of Interior, Press Release, 09/01/17, “Capitol to Capitol,” National Conference of State Legislatures, 09/05/17, Nexis Public Records Search for William Drew Darby, accessed 09/30/17,”Meet Drew,” Drew Darby, accessed 09/30/17, Jude Clemente, “Texas’ Permian Basin: An Oil And Natural Gas Production Machine,” Forbes, 02/12/17, and “Rep. Drew Darby,” Texas Tribune, 01/18/17]

Special Interests

LeClair Operating (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby receives income from LeClair Operating, an Abilene, Texas-based company that "owns and operates oil and gas leases."

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Kachina Pipeline Inc. (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby has assets in Kachina Pipeline Inc., a company that "builds pipeline and operates crude oil and natural gas.

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Texas Oil and Gas Association (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby won the "2017 Legislative Champion Award" from the Texas Oil and Gas Association.

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Pioneer Natural Resources (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby has taken in $4,500 in campaign contributions from Pioneer Natural Resources since 2014.

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Chesapeake Energy (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby has taken in $13,000 in campaign contributions from Chesapeake Energy since 2010.

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Atmos Energy Corporation (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby, since 2007, has taken in $18,000 in campaign contributions from Atmos Energy Corporation.

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NuStar Energy (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby, since 2009, has taken in $12,500 in campaign contributions from NuStar Energy, a company that "transports and stores crude oil and refined products."

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Marathon Oil Corporation (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Darby, since 2014, has taken in $6,500 in campaign contributions from Marathon Oil Corporation.

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Background Information

Previous Employers

Surety Title

Darby Title Inc.

Drew Darby and Associates

Jackson Walker LLP

Texas House of Representatives

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

While in the Texas House of Representatives, Drew Darby has authored legislation that helps oil and gas companies.

In 2015, Drew Darby authored legislation to clarify that “oil and gas regulation is the exclusive jurisdiction of the state,” in order to overrule “a voter-approved decision” that banned fracking in the city limits of Denton, Texas. Darby’s bill had “the strong support of the oil and gas industry.” [“HB 40,” Texas Legislature, 84th Legislative Session, and Asher Price, “Bill overriding Denton fracking ban passes Texas House,” Austin American-Statesman, 04/17/15]

An “attorney representing 25 cities in the Barnett Shale region” said that Darby’s bill would “‘have a chilling effect on smaller cities.'” [Marissa Barnett, “Fracking bills in Legislature fuel city-control debate,” Dallas Morning News, 03/23/15]

In 2017, Drew Darby authored a resolution “urging Congress to identify federal regulatory programs that harm the Texas oil and gas industry and delegate relevant regulatory responsibilities to state agencies.” [“HCR 84,” Texas Legislature, 85th Legislative Session]

Political Connections

Since 2006, Drew Darby has taken in over $120,000 in campaign contributions from extractive industries.  

Some of his biggest donors include Chesapeake Energy, Atmos Energy, and Nustar Energy.

[Campaign Contributions Search for Darby, Drew, National Institute of Money in State Politics, accessed 09/30/17]

Current Activity

  • Possible Conflict of Interest:

Drew Darby has disclosed that he has a financial interest in at least two Texas oil companies.

Drew Darby “has disclosed that he receives income from Leclair Operating,” an Abilene, Texas-based company that “owns and operates oil and gas leases.”

He also “has assets in Kachina Pipeline Inc. valued at more than $25,000. Kachina builds pipeline and operates crude oil and natural gas wells.” As a primary member of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee, Darby will be advising Zinke “on policy and strategies to improve management of the multi-billion dollar, federal and American Indian mineral revenue program.” Holding this position while having financial assets in oil companies could be a potential conflict of interest.

[“Rep. Drew Darby,” Texas Tribune, 01/18/17, “Company Overview of LeClair Operating,” Bloomberg, accessed 09/26/17, “Kachina Pipeline Company,” Manta, accessed 09/26/17, and Department of Interior, Press Release, 09/01/17]

Other Information

In May 2017, Drew Darby was appointed to the Southern States Energy Board.  

The Southern States Energy Board is “an interstate compact organization that promotes innovation in energy and environmental programs to enhance economic development and quality of life in the South.”

[Jackson Walker, Press Release, 05/08/17]

Drew Darby won the “2017 Legislative Champion Award” from the Texas Oil and Gas Association.  

[“Drew Darby,” Jackson Walker, accessed 09/30/17]

Drew Darby “faced a felony charge after he attempted to take a weapon through a security screening at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.” The charge was later dismissed.

In November 2013, Drew Darby was arrested after he attempted to take “a .38 caliber Ruger and six rounds of ammunition in a magazine” through a TSA security screening. Darby said that he “‘forgot his handgun was in his bag.'”

The “possession of a weapon in a prohibited place is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.”

In January 2014, a Travis County Judge dismissed the charges against Darby. The investigation into the incident “‘revealed (Darby) forgot to remove the gun.'”

[Claudia Grisales, “State Rep. Drew Darby charged with taking weapon to Austin airport,” Austin American-Statesman, 11/22/13, and Monique Ching, “Judge dismisses Darby’s charges for carrying gun into airport,” Standard-Times, 01/10/14]