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Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer, Appointed to Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department headquarters in Austin, TX

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Commission, alongside three other appointments from across the state.

Warren is President and CEO of Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based pipeline company behind the planned Trans-Pecos Pipeline and at least one other West Texas natural gas project in the works - the Comanche Trail Pipeline. The company already operates thousands of miles of pipeline across Texas and the U.S.

Abbott also appointed Jeanne Latimer of San Antonio and Anna Benavides Galo of Laredo. Galo is Vice President of ANB Cattle Co.

Reed Morian, President and CEO of the Houston-based water treatment chemical company DX Service Company, was re-appointed to the commission.

Galo's term will run through February 1, 2019, Warren, Latimer and Morian's terms expire on that same day in 2021.

Other commissioners whose terms aren't yet expired will remain in place. That includes Bill Jones, the Austin man behind a planned nuclear waste storage site in rural Culberson County.

The family of former TPWD Commissioner Dan Allen Hughes, Jr. recently backed out of talks to put that nuclear site on the family's land just north of Kent, Texas, though it's still not clear what that means for the plan going forward. Jones has not responded to multiple requests for comment on where the plan stands.

According to the governor's office, the state parks and wildlife commission "manages and conserves the natural and cultural resources of Texas," along with ensuring the future of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for Texans.

Coyne Gibson, a volunteer who's been heavily involved in the fight against the Trans-Pecos Pipeline in the Big Bend, described all of the governor's appointments as "an outrage - an egregious insult to the citizens of the State of Texas, to those who cherish, utilize and enjoy the natural resources of Texas, our parks, and who steward and preserve our wildlife."

Still, Gibson doesn't think Warren's appointment affects the prospects for the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, positively or negatively.

A spokesperson for Energy Transfer didn't immediately respond to requests for reaction to the news of Warren's appointment.

Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.