April 3, 2020: Roy’s Conflict of Interest Grows as Kinder Morgan Pollutes TX-21 Water

Drilling by pipeline company Kinder Morgan recently polluted the water supplies of at least three homes in Hays County. The “Permian Highway Pipeline” will run across environmentally sensitive Hill Country land, including at least three counties in Texas’s 21st Congressional District. Kinder Morgan is taking land for the pipeline by eminent domain, and has been successfully sued for not paying landowners fair value for their property.

In response to the negligence that fouled his constituents’ water supply, Chip Roy wrote a remarkably toothless letter to the company, politely inquiring what had happened.

Chip Roy letter to Kinder Morgan

One possible reason Roy is so friendly with the company that is tainting his constituents’ water: he owns stock in it. Roy’s ownership of Kinder Morgan stock was reported in the Financial Disclosure forms he is required to file with the House of Representatives. According to his most recent filing, in July 2019, Roy owns up to $15,000 worth of stock in Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI).

Roy’s extremely polite letter to the company he’s invested in calls the water contamination “concerning,” while praising Kinder Morgan for being “very responsive to my previous correspondence” (on what topic, he does not divulge). Poisoning Texans’ drinking water is “unacceptable,” Roy says, adding meekly, “I hope you would agree.”

Roy closes his letter by assuring Kinder Morgan that even Texans whose water is being polluted “support American energy independence and the development of Texas’s oil and gas resources to the benefit of society.” He says he wants answers about the pollution, but he’s not in any hurry. He’ll settle for a response “at your earliest convenience.”

After all, he wouldn’t want to slow down any of the dividend checks Kinder Morgan might send him.