Wyatt is a noted wheeler-dealer who created two multi-billion dollar companies, The Coastal Corporation (now owned by El Paso Corporation) and Valero Corporation. Valero was spun off from Coastal after a major scandal involving natural gas shortages and contracts in the early 1970s:
In the early 1960s Coastal purchased the Sinclair Oil Corpus Christi refinery and pipeline network and established a subsidiary called Lo-Vaca Gathering to supply natural gas to Texas cities and utilities. When Lo-Vaca curtailed its gas supplies and raised prices during the energy crisis of the early 1970s, customers sued Coastal. Regulators ordered the subsidiary to refund $1.6 billion in 1977, and Coastal spun off Lo-Vaca as Valero Energy to finance the settlement.When Wyatt shut the gas supplies off the some South Texas towns because the delivered cost of gas far exceeded the contract prices, he was referred to in Texas Monthly as "the most hated oilman in Texas." On the other hand, he is repsonsible for creating companies that employ several thousand people and allows them to put food on the family table.
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