Texan businessman Mr. Kelcy L. Warren is the current chairman and Chief Executive Officer of energy pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. In 1995 Warren and Ray C. Davis cofounded Energy Transfer Equity, a master limited partnership that owns the general partner and 100% of the incentive distribution rights (IDRs) of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ETP) and Sunoco LP (NYSE:SUN).
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1978, Warren started his career in energy industry. Also he serves as a Member of Development Board at University Of Texas At Arlington.
Chief Executive Officer at PennTex Midstream Partners, LLC and Penntex Midstream GP LLC since November 01, 2016
Chief Executive Officer of Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co LP.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Co-chief Executive Officer of the general partner of ETC OLP and as Co-chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of the Board of the general partner of La Grange Energy since 2002
Chief Executive Officer at LE GP, LLC since August 15, 2007
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C. since August 15, 2007
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of the Board of Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C. since January 2004
President of the general partner of ET Company I, Ltd., since 1996 (Prior to the combination of the operations of ETC OLP and HOLP)
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of Energy Transfer Partners LP and U S Propane LLC since January 2004
Co-Chief Executive Officer of OEC Compression Corp. since September 1999
President and Chief Operating Officer of Cornerstone Natural Gas Inc. from June 1993 to 1996 and its Executive Vice President from 1989 to 1990
Prior to forming Energy Transfer Company, he was employed by Endevco Inc., a natural gas pipeline and processing company and predecessor of Cornerstone Natural Gas Inc., from 1981 to 1992. At Endevco, he served in many capacities, including President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Endevco, he started his career working at Lone Star Gas Company.
In addition to his private island in Honduras, Warren keeps a 23,000 foot mansion in the exclusive Preston Harlow neighborhood of Dallas and manages a record label, Music Road Records. His wife, Amy Warren, manages an affiliated music festival called Cherokee Road which takes place each Summer on the Warren’s 8,000 acre Los Valles Ranch in Cherokee, TX.
“Concerns about the pipeline's impact on the local water supply are unfounded.”
- Energy Transfer Partners Letter in Response to #NoDAPL Protests
"I just don't think it's going to happen. This is state of the art."
-Kelcy Warren was asked by the host of Valley News about what is he doing with Dakota Access Pipeline to make sure there are no oil leaks and environmental impacts on November 21, 2016
"This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given … To propose, as the Corps now does, to further delay this pipeline and to engage in what can only be described as a sham process sends a frightening message about the rule of law.”
- Kelcy Warren on the US Army Corps of Engineers Decision Not to Proceed Until Warren Talked to Native Leaders
PRWatch lists Energy Transfer Partners as a Trustee Level sponsor of a 2014 ALEC conference.
Money in Politics and Bankrolling Climate Deniers
Warren and his company intervene in local and national politics, and bankroll organizations and people that deny climate change science.
Rick Perry, the former Governor of Texas and the current Secretary of the Department of Energy, took a position on the corporate board of Energy Transfer Partners only two weeks after ending his term as governor. Kelcy Warren has been a major backer of Perry's political career, contributing $6 Million to Perry's 2016 campaign for president. This made Warren the 6th largest politcal donor in the US at the time.
When Rick Perry was the governor of Texas his appointees at the state’s environmental agency interfered and censored references of climate change and sea-level rise in Galveston Bay in an environmental report, and unsurprisingly sparked revolt among scientists who contributed to this report.
Kevin Brady, a representative of the state’s 8th District and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, received $15,000 from the Energy Transfer Partners PAC. Republican Representative Brady voted YES on “opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling” and “barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases” in 2011, and voted NO on “enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution” in 2009 and “tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets” in 2008.
Pete Olson, a representative of the state’s 22nd District and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, received $12,000 in donations from Energy Transfer Partners. Olson is a vocal opponent of controls on emissions of greenhouse gases and the Paris climate treaty. He voted YES on “opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling” and “barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases” in 2011, and voted NO on “enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution” in 2009.
In 2016 election cycle, Energy Transfer Partners raised $634,400 and spent $366,300. Total Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates is $130,500, and 3% of the contributions goes to Democrats and 97% goes to Republicans. In 2014 election cycle, the Dallas-based energy giant raised $598,219 and spent $581,317. Total Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates is $320,999, and 21% of the contributions goes to Democrats and 79% goes to Republicans.
In 2016 election cycle, all recipients at the House: Open Secrets - Energy Transfer Partners
Environmental Violations and Pollution
After co-founded Energy Transfer Partners with Ray Davis in 2005, the company quickly became one of the most prominent American natural gas and pipeline companies, as well as one of the nation’s top 20 polluters. ETP has reportedly accrued over $22 million in penalties for environmental violations since 2010 alone. Sunoco Logistics (SXL.N), the company merged with Energy Transfer Partners and the future operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline, has an unmatchable records of oil spills. According to EPA’s records, Sunoco has 31 records of environmental violation merely since 2010.
Kelcy Warren has been called “shady” by the Motley Fool after a failed merger with Williams, Co in 2015, and the publication listed ETP as one of two dividends stocks to never buy.
When ETPs CFO Jamie Welch stepped down in early 2016, Welch sued Energy Transfer Equity for breach of contract.
Close Financial Ties with Donald Trump
Warren has been a noted Trump supporter and has close financial ties with Trump. According to campaign finance disclosure records, Warren donated $3000 to Trump’s campaign directly, and another $100,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that includes the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party of Arkansas and the Connecticut Republican Party.
Warren has also donated $66,800 to the Republican National Committee after Trump secured the nomination.
Trump is also directly invested in Kelcy Warren’s company, Energy Transfer Partners. This year, Trump disclosed between $1,500 and $50,000 in investments in the primary builder of the pipeline, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. This figure is down from the $500,000 to $1 million in investments he disclosed in 2015.
He also disclosed between $100,000 and $250,000 in investments in Phillips 66, which would own one-quarter of the Dakota Access Pipeline once completed.
Accusations of Environmental Racism
Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline remains highly controversial, especially in its methods of land acquisition. Their landowner FAQ page indicates that both land surveying and contracts between ETP and landowners are voluntary, but if a mutual agreement to have one’s rightfully owned land cannot be made, then ETP clarifies that they will pursue action through the courts to move forward with land surveying, and the landowner will pick up the tab.
Opponents of the pipeline point out that though the project was re-routed for public safety when authorities originally deemed it to pose a hazard to the drinking water in the majority-white city of Bismarck, the new route takes the pipeline (DAPL) through another populated area -- a Sioux reservation.
The violent response to peaceful water protectors have led many to ask whether the government has violated constitutional law and treaties, and international human rights standards for treatment of protesters. Energy Transfer Partners have made no effort to intervene even in the face of brutalities such as the release of police attack dogs on indigenous children.
In Texas, protesters are also calling for Warren to be arrested.
On January 24, 2017, President Trump signed a Presidential Memoranda to urge “the relevant Federal agencies (including the Army Corps of Engineers) to expedite reviews and approvals for the remaining portions of the Dakota Access Pipeline”
Fool Me Once: A Deadly Pattern of Exploiting Communities of Color for Profit
Kelcy Warren spent the majority of 2016 in conflict with the mayor and community members of Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras regarding another construction project he initiated without approval from local authorities, and nine years ago his private security forces were responsible for the death of three teenage ladino islanders and serious injury of eleven others.
The Roatan Electric Company (RECO) is the primary energy provider to Roatan, which serves as capitol city to the wealthy Honduran department of the Bay Islands. The departments of Honduras are somewhat analogous to states or provinces. RECO was originally founded by residents as a user-owned utility cooperative, but was declared insolvent in 2007 and put under emergency management. It was then bought out by Kelcy Warren in 2008 through a public private partnership with ENEE, a nationally-owned power company of Honduras. Warren went on to abandon the cooperative structure, privatizing the company and by extension its profits, a transition which abruptly limited the power of Roatan’s energy consumers. RECO is simply no longer accountable to the public in the way it was when its public users actually owned the company.
Warren’s Private Security Team Kills 3 Local Teens on his Private Island, Injure 11 More
As of 2005, Kelcy Warren owns the majority of Barbareta, which has essentially become his private island east of Roatan. Residents have expressed concern about changes in ownership of the island leading to suppression of the cultural enjoyment of the environment.
Oscar Mejia, congressman with the left-leaning Democratic Unification Party expressed deep concern over the practice of selling islands to foreigners. Mejia used Kelcy Warren’s purchase of Barbareta as an example of how such sales not only compromised the Honduran constitution, but also posed potentially deadly consequences for locals.
According to the Bay Islands Voice, Warren’s private security guards killed and critically injured 14 young islanders of ladino ethnicity who were fishing near his estate on the island of Barbaret in 2007. Relatives of the deceased publicly considered charging Warren with the deaths, and apparently had garnered enough public support for this campaign that elected officials began openly espousing discomfort of the implications on foreign relations that would come with charging a wealthy American businessman with such a crime.
The liability was ultimately pinned solely on the security employees, and not the man paying them to “guard” the island. Media reports offer absolutely no indication of any threat of violence from the fishermen which could have inspired the attack. Warren’s private security killed 3 teen boys, putting one in a coma, causing another to lose an eye, and injuring 9 others--all for fishing. Police statements to the press indicate that, by their analysis at that time, the act was premeditated.
Prior to becoming a private island, locals had regularly enjoyed the coral reefs and lush fishing areas of Barbaret.
Waren’s RECO holds an effective monopoly over Roatan’s energy supply, a claim which by itself has raised concerns from local government. First, RECO insists that it is “the only company that can distribute and generate electricity on the island of Roatan,” though Mayor Ebanks stated that RECO must abandon its scheme to monopolize Roatan’s energy grid and prepare to compete with other providers. Secondly, the diesel powered energy supplied by RECO is dirty.
Residents have long been protesting against outmoded diesel fuel storage tanks kept in their residential areas. The local government has asked RECO to move the tanks.