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According to a report by the non-partisan campaign finance watchdog group National Institute for Money in State Politics, Texas fracking billionaire brothers Dan and Farris Wilks and their spouses gave a collective total of $51,040 to more than 70 GOP legislative candidates in 2012. According to the report, in most instances they gave the maximum amount.
You can see the contributions from Dan, Staci, Dan and Staci, Farris, JoAnn, and Farris and JoAnn at FollowTheMoney.org.
“Sixty-four of the candidates they supported won; 63 are now legislators, and Tim Fox is the attorney general. Across both chambers, 70 percent of Republican legislators and 42 percent of the legislative body as a whole received contributions from the Wilkses during the 2012 election.”
You can read the full report here.
It’s worth a read.
The Follow The Money report draws attention to Dec. 13, 2012 Billings Gazette article detailing how the Wilks brothers are buying up huge tracts of land in eastern Montana:
“Near where the borders of Fergus, Musselshell and Golden Valley counties meet south of the Little Snowy Mountains, two billionaire Texas brothers have quietly collected more than 177,000 acres of ranch land in the last two years.”
According to Gazette reporter Brett French, the Wilks brothers own at least 276,000 acres in seven counties in eastern Montana.
According to Forbes, the Wilks brothers are worth an estimated $1.4 billion each. The Wilks brothers started out running a family masonry business in Texas and Oklahoma before venturing into hydraulic fracturing in and oil field serves in 2002.
According to Follow The Money some people are are concerned the Wilks brothers are amassing land to frack.
Regulation of fracking is largely left to the states; the EPA has limited authority to regulate the industry. Consequently, state lawmakers and officials determine the regulations and permitting requirements for drillers.