Friends in High Places

Why have Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus been so silent as communities across Texas have fought Green Group plans to destroy their quality of life with large landfills?

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality halted one landfill permit for the proposed Highway 6 landfill after discovering the landfill would be built deep enough to cut through the ground water. Legal fights show original soil samples for at least two planned garbage dumps were destroyed.

Caldwell County and Waller County have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting this unwanted invasion. What has the Governor and Speaker done?


Maybe it’s because Green Group has friends in high places.

Patricia Shipton is the Chief of Staff for Joe Strauss. His number two. You know what she did before that?

She was a lobbyist. For Green Group Holdings.

Texas Ethics Commission records show Shipton was paid up to $400,000 in three years as a lobbyist for Green Group and its associated entities.

When Governor Abbott was inaugurated he named Randy Erben as his Legislative Director. What did Erben do before that?

He served as general counsel for Texans for Rick Perry, Governor Perry’s primary political committee.

Erben was a registered lobbyist. For Green Group Holdings. Paid up to $25,000 to influence Texas government officials for the garbage guys.

The Erben-Yarborough Law Firm had even deeper ties to Green Group. Two other firm lobbyists show up on Green Group holdings payroll between 2012 and 2013 as the company was beginning its move into Texas.

Brian Yarbrough
Janiece Crenwelge