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Home » 2016-03-01 Republican primary » Texas » Railroad Commissioner » John Greytok

John Greytok
Party Republican
Education B.A. Economics (with Honors), UT Austin J.D. (with Honors), UT Austin
Occupation Attorney
Religion St. Theresa’s Catholic Church
Marital Married

John Greytok


MCTP Rating of 88 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-01-05 13:46:36


  • Solid legal background. 
  • Highly rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell(5 out of 5).
  • Very assertive/aggressive & proactive in asserting Texas rights, particularly 10th amendment.
  • Said he'd follow what AG Abbot did protecting Texas rights, including filing suit against feds when necessary.
  • Recognizes technology deficiencies in RRC. 
  • Said current but outgoing chairman (David Porter) was either lazy or incompetent to carry out duties.  


  • Not sure of downhole knowledge(on fracking question, didn't know micro-seismic technology - most do know it as a way of measuring real-time fracking location as relates to groundwater contamination).
  • Said he'd sunset AFRED to save money, but didn't know how much or how big staff was. 

MCTP Interview Source

Submitted by kenneth vaughn on 2015-12-28 17:41:27



What are the three main attributes that make you the most qualified for this position?

The Railroad Commission is a special type of state agency, known as a “quasi-judicial” agency.  This means that the 3 commissioners sit as a type of tribunal.  In their formal hearings they have evidence, objections, and briefs, just like a court.  They hold contested case hearings.  They exercise their authority by issuing rulings.  This position is a fundamentally legal job.  

I am an honors graduate of the Universityof Texas School of Law, former briefing attorney for the Chief Justice of the Austin Court of Appeals, former Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, I am AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, and I have 27 years of law practice experience. 


What are the three main reasons you are running for this office? Do you see any potential conflicts of interest?

a.   We must fight back against the Obama EPA’s irrational war on the Texas energy Industry.  The Texas Railroad Commission is an underutilized resource in this battle against Washington D.C.

b.   We must transform the RRC to bring it up to the level of modern business practices in terms of response time, customer service and efficiencies.  Private entities that fail to provide the best products or services risk going out of business.  Government agencies do not face such market pressures and we must elect leaders who strive to make government agencies accountable to all Texans.  

c.   We must return ethics to the Railroad Commission.  The current Chairman has not operated the agency in a transparent and fiscally conservative manner

What differentiates you from your opponents?

I am the only candidate with strong legal credentials for this judicial-type position.  I am not making false claims that wildly exaggerate my oil and gas experience.  I am not trying to buy a public office, and I’m not running over and over again for different public offices.  Most important I am running to accomplish big goals for the people of Texas, and the election is just a step in that process (not an end in itself).

What is the most important problem you see that needs to be addressed by the position your running for and what do you propose to solve it?

The Commission is undergoing its third Sunset review in 5 years.  No major state agency has ever had this kind of institutional instability.  We’ve got to simplify, focus, and complete the process.

Civic, Political or union organization or individuals to whom you have contributed (five years):

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Texas Values, Texas State Rifle Association, Central Texas Republican Assembly, Texas Alliance for Life, Republican Party of Texas, Texas Republican Victory Fund, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Michael McCaul for Congress, Friends of Randy Weber, Friends Of David Puryear, Travis County Republican Party, Sylvester Turner, Northwest Austin Republican Women, George P. Bush, Texans for Rick Perry, W. Kenneth Paxton, Dana F. Miller, Jose M. Lozano, Texans for Jason Villalba, Rick Galindo Campaign, Friends Of Ken Legler, Friends Of Barry Smitherman, Dan Huberty, Hispanic Republicans Of Texas, Larry D. Gonzales, Gilbert Peña, Dwayne A. Bohac, Robert D. Thomas, Republican Club Of Austin Political Action Committee, Texas Bar Foundation, Austin Bar Foundation, Texans For Dan Patrick, Texans For Greg Abbott, Jerry Patterson, Texans for Victor Carillo, Texans for John Davis, Sid Miller Campaign, Free Enterprise Institute, Austin Republican Women, Associated Republicans of Texas, Gary Elkins Campaign, Ted Cruz Campaign.

List all individuals/groups you have represented or lobbied for before any governmental entity during the past five years.

In my small firm law practice I advocate for clients in various ways; sometimes that includes representation before state agencies or the Legislature.  To comply with the Government Code, I have registered as a lobbyist for those projects.  The clients for those projects include: City of Austin; City of Missouri City; City of Stafford; Clear Lake City Water Authority; Concerned Homeowners of Pharaoh Valley; Houston NFL Holdings, LP; Houston Texans; Milagro Power Company; National Association of Mass Appraisal, Inc.; Palmetto Partners, Ltd.; and Texas Thoroughbred Association.


How much efficiency (savings) to the taxpayer can you introduce into the RRC?

Keeping in mind that the Legislature is the first branch of government and the final decisions will be up to them, I will advocate to the Legislature for the elimination of an entire division of the agency (the Alternative Fuels Education and Research Division, or AFRED).  Other than safety training, which could be moved to another division, there is no critical governmental function in that division.  Much of the current business of AFRED is handing out grants and subsidies which we shouldn’t be doing anyway. 


What are the best ways to fund government services and why?

In some cases a fee is a good method so that the person getting the services pays for (or helps to pay for) the cost of providing that service.  But taxes will be necessary for the majority of the government’s budget.  Instead of the “best” way, I would point to the “least bad” way.  It is very bad when the tax code is used to subsidize businesses, to shift taxes from one group of taxpayers to another, or to target the tax burden on a small group. Therefore, the least bad tax, the least unfair tax is one that applies to a wide range of people, that has very few or no exceptions, and that has the lowest rate possible.

Do you support or oppose a Business Tax to reduce property taxes?

I do not support using the current Texas business margins tax for reducing property taxes.  The great majority of states have a business tax, but Texas is the only state that has the margins tax and it is not working well and it is seen as unjust.  If the margins tax were replaced with a less dysfunctional business tax then it might be workable to use that tax money to offset some property taxes.  Like all taxpayers, I would want to see the details of the new tax first (especially since “tax swaps” are often not revenue neutral). 

10th Amendment

What's the biggest federal over reach issue for the position you're running for?

The Obama EPA is pursuing an irrational war on fossil fuels.  Texas has got to take an active view of the 10th amendment and do more to push back against the Obama EPA’s unconstitutional power grabs.  My vision is to do for the Railroad Commission what Greg Abbott did for the Attorney General’s office – that is, to use the agency’s resources as a critical tool in the fight against federal over reach but to do it before we get to the court house (the AG handles things in court).  I support suing the federal government when they do illegal and unconstitutional things, but these issues are too important to wait until it is time to go to the courthouse.  Texas had success – without going to court – in the dunes sagebrush lizzard situation.  We should expand that successful model and make it a permanent priority.  

Other civil liberty

Do you support spousal benefits for same-sex partners of State employees?



Please describe what you believe is the proper role for the state government in job creation and intervention in the economy.

No government, at any level, can create jobs.  The government should not attempt to do so.  Government jobs programs usually fail to produce the jobs intended, but always cause other bad impacts such as fraud or – at a minimum – waste of tax money and unfairness to other existing businesses.  

What side are you on in a clash between land owner and explorationists?

That depends what the clash is.  Both sides have rights.  Neither should automatically win.  Proverbs 18:17 says, “He that is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor comes and searches him.”  It is crucial not to rush to judgment on these important decisions that affect the whole state. 


How would you balance the use of existing energy sources with the development of alternate energy sources in Texas?

I would not do that or attempt to do that.  It is not the role of a government authority to centrally plan energy resources.  If innovation makes alternate energy competitive with fossil fuels, then consumers can and will choose those options without government interference.

How can companies assure nearby residents that hydraulic fracturing is safe for their drinking water.

The health, safety and welfare of all Texas residents has to be the top priority for all government officials, including the commissioners and staff at the Railroad Commission.  Therefore we have to take seriously all concerns about the security and purity of drinking water.  At this time there is no engineering or other reliable data to show ground water contamination by fracking.  To help keep it that way, the Commission has amended Rule 13 to increase the strength of well bore casing, and issues a groundwater determination for each well, and reviews permits to see that the depth of the fracking is not contiguous with water producing geological zones.  In other words, there are a combination of current efforts to protect water but we still always have to be alert for new evidence of problems and always ready to tackle and solve new problems when they arise. 


Are you active with any Tea Party or conservative grassroots organization? If so, list which, how long and what capacity? If not, what's your opinion of Tea Party groups here as to their effectiveness?

Co-founder and member of the Central Texas Republican Assembly.  15 years

What RRC energy source are you most familiar with?

Oil and gas.

What presidential candidate do you feel will best represent the USA and Texas?

Ted Cruz.  While the Republicans have several qualified candidates, Ted understands that we need a basic realignment of the priorities and procedures in Washington.  I don’t doubt that the other candidates are sincere and are running for good and patriotic reasons.  But I feel like Ted has the clearest vision and the strongest determination of returning America to the foundational virtues that made America strong and that can preserve America into the future.