CREDIT: Texas Tribune
Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, who is running to be the next state Attorney General, is preparing his state to secede from the United States and become an “independent nation.”
In an interview with WND, a right-wing birther hub, Smitherman argued that Texas not only has the capability to survive without the rest of the country, but is actively taking steps to prepare for that day. “Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation,” he declared. “I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity.”
From the interview:
“We are uniquely situated because we have energy resources, fossil and otherwise, and our own independent electrical grid. Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.”
Smitherman said he feels Texas officials must do what they can to prepare the state.
“This was one of my goals at the Utility Commission and it is one my goals currently as chairman of the Railroad Commission. That’s why I stress so vehemently oil and gas production, permitting turnaround times, and everything that enables the industry to produce as much as it can, as quickly as it can,” he said.
Railroad Commissioner is not a ceremonial position in Texas. Smitherman is charge of regulating the state’s energy industry, including oil, gas, coal, and other minerals. (Fun fact: the Railroad Commission no longer regulates Texas’ railroads.) And the fact that Smitherman could soon be the state’s Attorney General, a springboard for the governorship, makes his secessionist tendencies all the more alarming.
Smitherman’s not the highest-profile Texas Republican to openly ponder secession. That honor goes to Gov. Rick Perry (R), who told reporters in 2009 that Texas may have to secede “if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people.”
Of course, Texas and a handful of other states tried secession once before. It didn’t end well.