Several of the world’s largest oil and natural gas companies with operations in Houston have joined leading U.S. businesses and state organizations to publicly oppose so-called bathroom bills under consideration by the Texas legislature.
In a letter sent Monday to Gov. Greg Abbott by the Greater Houston Partnership, the CEOs of many of city’s leading employers urged the governor and legislature to abandon efforts to enact legislation to restrict the bathrooms available for use to transgender men, women and children. The legislature, meeting in a special session, has three bathroom bills under consideration that are among Abbott’s priorities.
"We support diversity and inclusion, and we believe that any such bill risks harming Texas' reputation and impacting the state's economic growth and ability to create new jobs," the executives wrote. "Any bill that harms our ability to attract top talent to Houston will inhibit our growth and continued success -- and ultimately the success of our great state."
Energy executives sending the letter represent BP America, BHP Billiton Petroleum, Chevron North American E&P, Calpine Corp., CenterPoint Energy, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical Co., ExxonMobil Global Services, Halliburton Co., Shell Oil Co., Superior Energy Services and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.
Also signing the letter are the CEOs of Accenture, Amegy Bank and BBVA Compass. Rice University President David Leebron signed the letter, as well as law firms that include Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, Baker Botts LLP, Bracewell LLP, Haynes and Boone LLP and Vinson and Elkins LP.
Major corporations, including AT&T, American Airlines, IBM and Texas Instruments, already have denounced the legislation, calling it discriminatory toward the transgender community and bad for Texas business.