Newspaper clipping headlined, "GOP Clements assails Democrat Mark White," November 21, 1979
Newspaper clipping headlined,"GOP Clements assails Democrat Mark White," by the Associated Press, Kilgore News Herald, November 21, 1979, regarding Attorney General White's telegram to oil companies concerning possible oil spills.
Clippings (information artifacts)
White, Mark, 1940-Clements, William P., 1917-2011SEDCO, Inc.
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Kilgore News Herald
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
PR Press Office | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Mark WhiteIxtoc I oil spillSEDCO
Clements Texas Papers
PRESS CLIPS 10133.. Pits s ssoci AII°N - 718 WEST 5th ST. AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701 4771"; News Herald Kilgore, Texas NOV 2 1 1979 GOP Clements assails Democrat Mark White AUSTIN (AP) — Protocol was the issue Tuesday as Republican Gov. Bill Clements assailed an unbothered Attorney General Mark White, a Democrat, for overstepping his authority. In a hotly worded letter distributed by his press secretary, Clements accused White of misrepresenting his authority in regard to oil spills and of "politicizing" the issue of the Campeche Bay runaway oil well. Attached to it was a copy of a telegram Clements said White sent to various oil companies on Nov. 12. The telegram invites the companies to send representatives to a meeting in White's office Tuesday to discuss what might be done in response to future spills. White said Clements handed him the letter and read him part of it at the close of a meeting they had Tuesday afternoon on another matter. White described Clements' demeanor a "mercurial," but added, "We left o very kind terms. As I have said before, I intend to get along with all the elected people." In the telegram, White says he had been "unimpressed with the ability of the existing governmental and com- mercial structures" to respond to the Mexican oil spill and the collision of a tanker and freighter that has resulted in an ongoing spill fouling beaches around Galveston. "As I told you in a telephone conversation today, I take strong issue with inferences you made in the attached telegram," Clements told White. He said the telegram impugns actions taken during the oil spills by agencies ranging from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the gov- ernor's office. "Your communication inviting at- tendance at today's meeting amounts to a misrepresentation of your authority, and I hereby urge you to limit your activities to those matters within the purview of your office. I also call upon you once again to quit politi- cizing the oil spill issue," Clements said. He said White had refused the governor's request to allow either Clements' general counsel, David Dean, or Frank Cox, state coordinator of disaster emergency services to attend Tuesday's meeting with the oilmen. This, the governor said, "clearly calls into question your motives and intentions in this matter." White said he refused to let Dean and Cox attend because he then "would have had to let everybody else in. I was just trying to get an exchange of ideas with industry." Clements told White the attorney general has neither constitutional nor statutory authority to involve himself in state actions to clean up oil spills. "I take offense when you purport to exercise authority over matters outside your jurisdiction, and I will not let such actions go unchallenged," Cle- ments said. White filed suit recently against SEDCO, Inc., the drilling firm founded by Clements. SEDCO owned the drilling rig Ixtoc I, leased by a driller under contract to the Mexican national oil monoploy, which drilled the well that blew out in June in the Bay of Campeche. The blowout resulted in large quantities of oil washing ashore on Texas beaches.