Trevor Rees-Jones

Founder and Chairman of Chief Oil & Gas

Dallas-based Rees-Jones is a fracking pioneer and exploratory driller.

In 2014 he was listed # 277 on Forbes' list of richest billionaires.

"When it comes to business he plays for blood," one of his former financial backers said.




Chief Oil & Gas is one of the largest fracking companies in Pennsylvania. In 2010, Rees-Jones gave Tom Corbett a $50,000 contribution for his campaign for governor of Pennsylvania. After he won, Corbett proposed a gas extraction "impact fee" that is just one-fifth of rates typically paid by fracking companies in most states. Corbett also tried to soften opposition to fracking by forming a Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, whose members included Terry Bossert, a Chief government affairs executive.

During the 2011-2012 election cycle, Rees-Jones gave over $600,000 in state contributions and another $300,000 in federal contributions. But Rees-Jones' biggest donations have been to Karl Rove's American Crossroads super PAC, including $2 million during the 2010 cycle.

Living in an $11 million mansion, Rees-Jones told the Dallas business lifestyle magazine D CEO that he was "riding at a pretty high altitude."  His foundation also gave $1.2 million in 2012 to construct energy-efficient affordable housing in West Dallas.  Meanwhile, residents near his company's fracking operations in Pennsylvania say their drinking water is polluted and their property values are ruined.