Retiring Texas Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), who has served in the state legislature for 20 years and is the current chair of the energy and natural resources committee, talked in an interview with the Texas Observer about his feelings on environmental stewardship and climate change.

“We have to be good stewards of what we have,” Keffer said. “The environment doesn’t run us, but it can certainly devastate us if we don’t [use natural resources] well. I guess I fall in the camp that it’s there for our use, but we better be dang sure and very judicious and very thoughtful in how we use it.” Keffer has taken a balanced approach on energy issues in his state, and said he “believe[s] in climate change.”

“We have to take the stand that mankind not make it any worse, do what we can to make sure that we are as clean as possible. I’m sort of a hybrid in that regard,” he said.

As chairman of the energy and natural resources committee, the lawmaker led the charge in his state for fracking chemical disclosures, striking a compromise between industry and environmental groups. “You gotta find a happy medium,” he said about the process.