Westell, Casey, Jr.
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Center for Public History, University of Houston; University of Houston Libraries, University of Houston
This is an oral history interview with Jr. Westell conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Dr. Casey Westell, Jr., former Director of Tenneco’s Industrial Ecology Department (Chief Ecologist) for 35 years. Casey Westell, Jr. was born during the Great Depression in Wisconsin and served during WWII. He earned a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Michigan in 1955 and studied forest ecology. He worked as a general manager for the Packaging Corporation, a pulp and paper company, and subsidiary of Tenneco, Inc., for 10 years before being offered the position of chief ecologist in Houston. He took the job in Houston in 1971 at the height of the environmental movement and environment reforms that were impacting energy and chemical related industries. Westell was hired by Gardiner Symonds, the founder and CEO of Tenneco, to manage Tenneco’s environmental affairs. Westell’s motto, as he preached to managers within the Tenneco conglomeration, was “environment as good business”. If a company, division, or plant was in compliance with environmental regulations, then it had a good chance of remaining profitable. Interviewer: Jason P. Theriot.
Energy development; Petroleum industry and trade; Westell, Casey, Jr.
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University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
Houston History Archives
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
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