Memo: EDF Action Votes Work in Texas

October 28, 2020
Hannah Blatt,, 202-572-3534

To: Interested Parties
From: EDF Action Votes Spokesperson Jim Marston
Date: October 28, 2020
Re: EDF Action Votes Work in Texas

The Environmental Defense Action Fund (EDF Action) has had deep ties in Texas, working to push for pro-environment policies that protect the air, water and health of all Texans. This cycle, we knew that we had to continue our work at the federal level and help support Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, but we also had the opportunity to make real change across the state by helping to elect pro-conservation candidates to the state legislature and the Railroad Commission.

With Texas becoming more and more competitive politically, the time was ripe to help elect candidates who are committed to growing our clean energy economy while safeguarding our air, water and health. Through pragmatic policy solutions, Texas can fully realize it’s potential as a global leader in clean energy, accelerate job-growth in this increasingly important sector of our economy, and do it all while helping to ensure a healthy environment for everyone.

That’s why, when all is said and done, EDF Action Votes, a FEC-registered independent expenditure committee supporting the goals of EDF Action, will have spent approximately $2.5 million in the state this cycle. The 2020 cycle marks the first-ever investments in down ballot work in the state, and the largest down ballot expenditure of the cycle. That total includes approximately $391,000 for state legislative races across Texas, and approximately $1.8 million for the Railroad Commission race. EDF Action Votes also spent $267,000 to help re-elect Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.

The Texas Railroad Commission:

The Railroad Commission is a three member board, who are currently all supported by the industry they are charged with overseeing. They hold the critically important job of regulating the state’s oil and gas industry, which has come under recent scrutiny for excessive methane flaring, making this one of the most important races of the 2020 cycle for climate progress – not only for Texas, but for our nation and indeed our planet.

When Jim Wright pulled off a shocking primary win over a sitting member of the commission, EDF Action Votes looked closely at the race. The organization researched his background and uncovered a troubling history of shady business dealings, legal trouble, and violations of health and safety regulations, including regulations adopted by the very commission Mr. Wright seeks to serve on.

Over Wright’s career, he has had a long history of legal issues, being sued and fined for violating state regulations.

In stark contrast, Chrysta Castañeda is an engineer, community leader and longtime energy attorney who will protect our natural resources with responsible oversight of the oil and gas industry. Castañeda is dedicated to good governance – enforcing laws already on the books to stop the waste and abuse of our natural resources while promoting a healthy and safe future for Texas families and our environment.

While we know it will be a tough race, it is one worth fighting. This race has a consequential impact on the health and safety of Texas families, not to mention for climate progress and the future of our planet. That’s why EDF Action Votes launched a comprehensive 5-piece mail campaign along with digital ads running across the state to inform voters about Jim Wright and his concerning history. As the ads make clear, Wright is wrong for Texas.

Texas State Legislative Races:

In the Texas state legislative races, EDF Action Votes invested approximately $391,000 in helping to elect candidates who will prioritize clean air and water while growing the clean energy economy and protecting public health. These campaigns are a mix of digital and direct mail in six state legislative races to build voter support for pro-conservation candidates: Representative Erin Zwiener (HD-45), Lorenzo Sanchez (HD-67), Jeff Whitfield (HD-92), Celina Montoya (HD-121), Ann Johnson (HD-134) and Akilah Bacy (HD-138).

Winning these races will help usher in important pro-conservation voices to a state legislature that is overly attuned to the concerns of special interests, putting at risk clean air, clean water and the health of Texas families.

Texas 7th Congressional Race:

In 2018, EDF Action went all in to help elect Lizzie Fletcher to the U.S. House, and this cycle EDF Action Votes went back in with a mail campaign. This mail campaign is part of a larger $1 million program that ran in four key Congressional districts across the country.

2019 Mayors’ Races:

In 2019, EDF Action invested in on-the-ground efforts to help re-elect Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner who is making progress on clean energy priorities in the city. Also in 2019, EDF Action gave money to a local group who helped re-elect pro-climate Mayor Ron Nirenberg in San Antonio.

Paid for by EDF Action and EDF Action Votes


Paid for by EDF Action,, and EDF Action Votes,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.