RRC Open Meeting Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

The next RRC Open Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday June, 22 at 10:30 a.m. (please note the different start time). The virtual meeting can be viewed live at this link: http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/rrc/open_meeting/20210622/

News

Christi Craddick's Press Room

News Items - 2016

  • Christi Craddick Elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas

    December 06, 2016

    AUSTIN – Commissioner Christi Craddick was unanimously elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas at today’s Commission meeting. Following her election as Chairman, Craddick gave remarks on the agenda she will carry forward at the agency.

    “We are in a pivotal time for enormous energy growth in the United States, and particularly in Texas,” Craddick said.

    “Through innovative regulatory oversight, the Railroad Commission has been a thought leader for energy states in keeping the public and environment safe. I am honored to serve as Chairman as we continue to drive Texas and the nation forward during this important time for American energy development.

    “My priorities for the agency continue to include our focus on maximizing efficiency throughout our processes and rules so that we are able to do our job better and at less expense to taxpayers and industry,” Craddick said. “As part of that efficiency effort, our modernization of the Commission’s IT programs and processes will bring more data online for public use, improve productivity and increase transparency across all divisions.

    “Just after the New Year, I will launch a number of specific initiatives to help our overall efficiency goals,” Craddick said.

    Those initiatives will include:

    • Meetings with Texas operators to outline a five-year plan that will allow us to better understand where the industry is headed technologically to ensure the agency employs best practices that keep pace with industry innovation.
    • Sessions with our district office staff throughout the state to ensure we are consistent in the application of our rules and enforcement actions carried out at the district level.
    • Input from staff involved in our day-to-day operations on potential ideas for cost saving and efficiency measures.
    • Tours of South Texas, Eagle Ford Shale and West Texas, Permian Basin regions throughout the spring to meet with local leaders about the effect the downturn has had in their communities as we work to understand regulatory impacts on industry and resulting economics within those communities during this time.

    “It is critical we focus on hiring high-quality staff and place an emphasis on work force recruitment, development, and retention,” Craddick said. “Next year, we will enhance the development of our technical experts, including, cross training for inspections and permitting, updated training for oil and gas inspectors and succession planning within each agency division.

    “As we begin the Legislative Session in January, we look forward to continued work with legislators to complete the agency’s Sunset review,” Craddick said. “We have also put a great deal of effort into our budget request for the upcoming biennium. We will make our case for necessary consistent revenue sources for the agency as well as immediate funding so that we are able to fully carry out the agency’s important functions.

    “Earlier this year, I was appointed to the National Petroleum Council, and I look forward to working with the new administration’s Secretary of Energy on ways to protect states’ regulatory authority of energy production for the benefit of local industry growth and state economies,” Craddick said.  

    RRC commissioners Christi Craddick, David Porter and Ryan Sitton .
    Christi Craddick,(center) was elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission today
    by  fellow Railroad Commissioners David Porter (left) and Ryan Sitton (right).



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Discusses Future of Texas Energy at Greater Houston Partnership

    Praises Region’s Energy Leadership
    October 26, 2016

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today visited with members of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Energy Advisory Committee about the current strength of the Texas energy industry and impacts to major energy hubs throughout the state.

    “The Greater Houston region remains critical to the success of Texas’ overall energy industry and will continue to serve as the state’s energy center for the foreseeable future,” Craddick said. “The region is unique in that it has not only centralized the industry’s intellectual capital but also provides a nexus for infrastructure in an optimal location for exporting our state’s mineral resources.  Houston continues to be the energy capital of Texas and arguably the world, helping drive innovation and growth in this vital industry, and I will ensure that growth continues.”

    Greater Houston Partnership is comprised of community-minded business leaders who share an interest in Houston's positive growth. The Partnership addresses Houston's unique challenges, and champions the growth and success of the Greater Houston region.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Advises Tax Association on State of Texas Energy

    October 07, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today met with the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) at their annual meeting in Austin to discuss the current and future outlook of the Texas energy industry and its economic impact to the state. 

    “In Texas, one of our greatest economic opportunities continues to be the successful development of the country’s most significant oil and gas reserves,” Craddick said. “With consistent daily output of about 2.4 million barrels over the last year, Texas has proven our state provides the best environment in the world for sustainable energy production. Our state’s oil and gas industry has met market challenges through transformational change that is keeping energy affordable with homegrown oil and natural gas and shaping new domestic industries with the emergence of LNG export terminals along our coast. Texas’ energy future is looking brighter than ever before.” 

    TTARA is a non-profit organization of businesses and individuals from a range of economic sectors and activities in Texas who are interested in state and local fiscal policies, and the way those policies impact the state’s economy.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Examines Texas’ Prolific Permian Basin with Regional Experts

    September 28, 2016

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today spoke to the West Texas Geological Society at its annual fall symposium in Midland.  Commissioner Craddick highlighted the past, present and future importance of the Permian Basin to the Texas energy industry. The technical group meets annually to discuss research, studies, geological analysis and developing technologies in the region that will further the development of one of the country’s most significant oil and gas basins.

    “The Permian Basin’s current and potential production, for Texas and our nation, is truly invaluable,” Craddick said. “This oil rich region enables us to meet our domestic energy demands with reliable, affordable energy for consumers. Without a doubt, the Permian Basin is responsible for catapulting the U.S. into the role of the world’s top oil producer, providing us greater national security by reducing our reliance on imported sources of oil. Essential to this success is the skilled workforce and vast technical expertise of the West Texas Geological society and the region’s industry members.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Christi Craddick Highlights Importance of the Coastal Bend in Keeping Texas a Leader in Energy Production

    September 02, 2016

    CORPUS CHRISTI – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick this week outlined the importance of Port Corpus Christi and the entire Coastal Bend region in the flow of energy exports from Texas. Commissioner Craddick made her comments in a joint meeting Thursday with the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi.

    “Less than a year ago, the first crude oil exports to leave U.S. shores in more than 40 years set sail from Port Corpus Christi showing Texas energy will compete and win anywhere in the world, and the Coastal Bend will help us lead the charge,” Commissioner Craddick said. “The role of the port in helping Texas remain a global energy leader cannot be overstated, and in fact will only grow more critical with a new harbor bridge and massive infrastructure improvements on the way.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Cites Importance of Pipeline Safety as State’s Energy Infrastructure Grows

    August 25, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick spoke to members of the Texas pipeline industry today at the annual Railroad Commission Pipeline Safety Conference in San Antonio. Pipeline operators from across the state attended the conference to learn about new or changing rules at the state and federal level and to exchange ideas and best practices with industry members.

    “As we have watched major growth in U.S. energy development, the expansion of pipeline infrastructure has also skyrocketed,” Craddick said. “Today, Texas has more than 439,000 miles of pipeline, representing the most total pipeline mileage in the United States.

    “Pipelines are critical to the safe and timely transport of our resources,” Craddick said. “And, regulation of the pipeline industry is one of the most important duties of the Railroad Commission in protecting our citizens and enabling the industry to keep pace with transporting our increasing energy supplies. As regulation of pipelines evolves, we will continue to ensure that industry has the information they need to safely operate in Texas.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative Will Reduce Bureaucracy, Save Oil Patch Jobs

    by Commissioner Christi Craddick
    August 23, 2016

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick’s editorial on her Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative and its impact on the current and long-term success of Texas’ oil and gas industry published in the Tyler Morning Telegraph Monday.

    “The Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative builds upon the successes we have already achieved and makes the agency more effective in the way it regulates the production of energy,” Craddick said. “It means we are applying common sense to reduce bureaucracy so that oil and gas companies can save costs they would have spent complying with over-burdensome rules and instead use those dollars to put Texans back to work in the oilfield. Ultimately, it means business is easier to conduct in Texas, attracting more oil and gas producers to our state, creating more jobs and safely producing more energy. It means Texas can help move the U.S. that much closer to energy independence.”

    The editorial can be read in full here.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick Announces Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative

    August 09, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today announced details of her Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative as the first rule amendments of the project were rolled out during the Commissioners’ open conference. The initiative improves efficiencies for the state’s energy regulatory body, as well as oil and gas producers working to sustain business operations during the current downturn in the energy sector. The initiative will reduce the regulatory administrative burden on industry while ensuring the Commission continues to protect the public and environment.  

    “This initiative is part of my ongoing efforts to adjust our processes and put in place common sense practices that achieve greater effectiveness in regulating energy the way it is produced today,” Craddick said.

    “During my time at the Commission, these efforts have not only included a reevaluation of our methods and rules, but also an overhaul of our IT programs.

    “This initiative is an extension of our commitment to best serve Texas with innovative regulatory practices, yet calls for a more thorough review in a time of industry slow-down when we should find ways to save time and money for the state and those doing business at the agency,” Craddick said. “These initial ideas brought forth in the initiative will save extensive time for our staff and tens of millions of dollars for oil and gas operators. This initiative serves as phase one of a long-term effort to streamline our operations that our executive director and staff will continue to carry out.”

    The initiative results from a comprehensive review of the Commission’s regulatory processes, and takes careful consideration to avoid weakening public and environmental protections, correlative rights, or measures designed to prevent the waste of resources.

    The initiative is receiving broad praise from industry-related members:

    “With the current industry downturn, at stake is the survival of the state's small producers and the oil industry's many marginal wells, which make up 85 percent of total U.S. oil wells and 18 percent of the nation's total oil output,” said Judy Stark, Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association Executive Vice President. “During this critical time, Commissioner Craddick's initiative will provide relief to Texas' independent producers, the backbone of both our state and nation’s oil industry. For that, PPROA's members are truly grateful.”

    “The Commission’s efforts could not be more timely given the current economic struggles the industry faces,” said Ben Shepperd, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President. “Throughout its history, the Railroad Commission has continually evolved to perform its duties in the most effective manner possible.  The Permian Basin Petroleum Association applauds Commissioner Craddick’s leadership of this effort.”

     “As Chairman of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, I applaud the leadership of Commissioner Craddick and pledge our participation and support of her regulatory initiative,” said Bob Osborne. “The challenges facing the oil and gas industry have never been greater, and our contribution to the State's economy never more important.”

    “TIPRO applauds Commissioner Craddick’s leadership in developing an initiative that will provide necessary and timely improvements to the efficiency of Railroad Commission procedures and practices,” said Ed Longanecker, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association President. “These reforms will provide much needed relief to operators across the state as we continue to confront depressed commodity prices.”

    “Texas’ oil and natural gas industry is the lifeblood of our economy in terms of jobs, economic activity and state and local tax revenue,” said Todd Staples, Texas Oil and Gas Association President. “I commend the Commission for their work on the Oilfield Relief Initiative and their commitment to ensure that the oil and natural gas industry continues to anchor our economy, protect our environment and provide for Texas families well into the future.”

    Commissioner Craddick’s Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative includes the following items for implementation:

    • Identify agency reports and filings that can be reduced or eliminated, saving operating costs without impacting public or environmental safety.
      • Amend Statewide Rule (SWR) 28 to modify gas well deliverability reporting requirements.
      • Reduce the need for G-10 (Gas Well Status Report) filings except for surface commingled production. 
    • Allow a calculated well shut-in pressure to be provided when filing Form G-10 for gas wells to reduce regulatory administrative burden. 
    • Amend production requirements for marginal and stripper wells to reduce regulatory administrative burdens. 
      • Revise “Active Oil Well” definition from ten barrels of oil (BO) per month for 3 consecutive months to five BO per month for 3 consecutive months or any reported production in each month for a consecutive 12 month period (SWR 15). 
      • Revise “Active Gas Well” definition from 100 mcfg per month to 50 mcfg per month or any reported production in each month for a consecutive 12 month period (SWR 15). 
    • Implement a revised internal inspection priority system so Commission inspectors prioritize drilling rig inspections and hydraulic fracture treatments in sensitive areas like cities or wetlands without affecting other inspections. 
    • The agency’s new on-line completion program calculates the depth of cement behind casing (cement tops) using washout factors that have been used by the Commission for decades. A review of these washout factors should be conducted to determine whether different washout factors should be used in certain areas of the state to calculate cement tops. This will expedite the process of verifying compliance with these rules for both operators and the agency without compromising well integrity. 
    • The Groundwater Advisory Unit (GAU) will identify counties or portions of counties in which the usable quality water protection depth is constant. Those areas will be eligible for area-wide recommendations for meeting surface casing requirements, streamlining regulatory requirements for industry.  
    • Issue guidance for implementation of the Texas Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Privilege Act, permitting operators of new property to identify and remedy violations resulting previous to their ownership. This ensures compliance without punishing an operator not responsible for the cause of the violation. 
    • Conduct an extensive review of all Railroad Commission forms required for application and reporting purposes and determine whether data collected is currently used or no longer necessary. Eliminate forms no longer useful to the Commission’s regulatory functions to reduce regulatory administrative burden on staff and industry. 
    • Simplify the complete duplication of a drilling permit application with a sworn statement of no changes to the original application. The operator would then pay the fee for reissuance of the permit, speeding up the review process and reducing regulatory administrative burden for both the agency and industry.

     

    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Discusses RRC Emergency Preparedness at National Petroleum Council Meeting

    July 29, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today highlighted Texas’ energy agency’s emergency response policies and actions during recent flooding in Texas at the 126th meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC) in Washington D.C. At today’s meeting, council members discussed implementing the NPC’s 2014 report Enhancing Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters.

    “In the event of a natural disaster-related emergency, the Railroad Commission has a standing State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) response team that works alongside the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM),” Craddick said.

    “The Commission’s SOC team serves in a support capacity for first responders, and as necessary, assists incident command with data, information and technical expertise. Our SOC team was most recently deployed during the state’s historic flooding in the spring of this year.

    “In addition to emergency preparedness and response procedures, our agency maintains a robust inspection schedule, inspecting close to 135,000 oil and gas leases and other related facilities each year,” Craddick said. “A vigorous inspection process allows the Commission to do everything it can within our regulatory framework to minimize the impact a disaster may have on infrastructure related to energy development within the state.”

    The NPC is a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy. From 1946 until the implementation of the U.S. Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, the NPC served as an advisory body to the Secretary of the Interior. The sole purpose of the Council is to advise, inform, and make recommendations to the Secretary of Energy, at his request, on matters pertaining to oil and natural gas or oil and gas industries.

    A video archive of the NPC meeting will be available on the NPC website: www.npc.org. The NPC’s 2014 report Enhancing Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters is available here: http://www.npc.org/reports/2014-Emergency_Preparedness-lr.pdf


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Directs Railroad Commission Staff to Review Processes, Find Efficiencies

    June 21, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today at the Commission’s open meeting directed agency staff to conduct a full review of the Commission’s rules and processes. This initiative is designed to both create efficiencies at the agency and reduce regulatory burdens on industry without impacting environmental or public safety during a slowdown in oil and gas activity in Texas. 

    “During my time at the Commission, I have often discussed with our staff, industry members, trade associations and others, areas where the Commission can be more efficient, more effective, and simply do its job better,” Craddick said. “In light of the current downturn, I feel it is appropriate to look at certain ways to save time and money for both the State of Texas and for those doing business at the Commission. I look forward to the staff’s feedback as we prepare to launch this initiative at our next Railroad Commission Conference on Aug. 9.”



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Talks Future of Texas with Youth Leaders from Across the State

    June 17, 2016

    AUSTIN – Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick met with youth leaders from around Texas this week who have come together to learn leadership skills in government, politics and public service. Commissioner Craddick spoke with groups of high school students during the Texas Boys State and Texas Bluebonnet Girls State gatherings in Austin.

    “Nowhere in America is the future brighter than right here in Texas, and a big reason for that is the leadership I’ve seen in action by some of our state’s best and brightest young people this week,” said Commissioner Craddick. “As they have for generations, some of our state’s greatest opportunities – and greatest challenges – arise in the production of our energy resources, so it’s vital we do everything we can today, to prepare our leaders of tomorrow.”

    Commissioner Christi Craddick with members of Texas Boys StateCommissioner Christi Craddick with members of Texas Boys State

    Commissioner Christi Craddick with Railroad Commissioner-Elect for Texas Girls State
    Commissioner Christi Craddick with Railroad Commissioner-Elect for Texas Girls State

     


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick to Advise Department of Energy on National Energy Policy

    June 08, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick has accepted an invitation from United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, to serve as a member of the National Petroleum Council (the Council) for the 2016-17 term representing the views of States in public policy decision making at the federal level.

    “I am honored to accept Secretary Moniz’s invitation to serve as an information source on energy policy in the interest of Texas and all States,” Craddick said.

    “Throughout my time at the Commission, I have stood as an advocate on behalf of Texas’ depth of energy experience and knowledge, strength in regulatory structure and resulting successful energy growth. Texas provides an excellent model of effectiveness and efficiency for shaping national energy policies. I look forward to working alongside Secretary Moniz and my fellow Council members in advancing energy policy on behalf of the Department of Energy and the Nation.”

    Established by President Harry S. Truman in 1946, the Council is an advisory body to the Secretary and the Department of Energy, providing advice, information and recommendations on matters related to oil and natural gas and related industries, including governmental response to environmental and energy conservation, technology, legal issues, and emergency situations.



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Commissioners Today Ask AG’s Office to Consider Litigation Related to EPA Methane Rules

    June 07, 2016

    AUSTIN – All three Texas Railroad Commissioners are asking the Texas Attorney General to file a Petition for Review relating to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules over methane and other emissions from oil and gas wells and associated facilities. The Commissioners took this action today in their regularly scheduled, open Conference.

    Chairman David Porter said, “These rules are just another assault from the Obama Administration in its war against fossil fuels and a blatant attempt to forcibly take over the regulation of Texas’ oil and gas industry, a job the Railroad Commission has excelled at for almost a century. These overbearing regulations accomplish nothing other than encumbering business, wounding our economy and killing the jobs Texans rely on to support their families. I appreciate the Attorney General’s consideration in this matter and look forward to working together to protect our state from the oppressive ambitions of this Administration.”

    Commissioner Christi Craddick said, “These new rules would have little to no impact on the environment while placing an undue burden on an industry that is succeeding in this area on its own. As a natural response to the free market, methane emissions have dramatically fallen during recent energy growth, thanks to technology and industry leadership on the issue. One again, the EPA is improperly injecting bureaucracy and mandates where private business already thrives.”

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “The EPA’s methane rules will harm Texas energy producers and accomplish very little in terms of protecting the environment. EPA needs to follow the law, produce better scientific analysis, and properly consider the economic implications of their rules. I’m confident General Paxton will successfully challenge these flawed rules.”

     

  • Commissioner Craddick Encourages Oil & Gas Industry’s Lifeblood to Stay the Course at Texas Alliance Annual Meeting

    April 20, 2016

    WICHITA FALLS – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today noted the long-term growth expected for Texas’ oil and gas industry and praised the spirit and resilience of our state’s independent producers in keynote remarks at the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Annual meeting in Wichita Falls.

    “The oil and gas industry has seen its ebbs and flows over its long history in this state,” Craddick said. “Despite difficult times, Texas energy production remains a pillar of our economy, contributing 40 percent to state coffers. Independent producers are the backbone of the industry, and Texas oil and gas would not be what it is today without their determination and ingenuity. We cannot thank you enough for your hard work and commitment to keeping Texas first in energy production.”

    The Alliance has a combined membership of over 3,350 members and is the largest state independent oil and gas association in the nation. The Alliance brings together members for the common purpose of supporting the oil and gas industry and developing programs – including insurance and public education.
     


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioners Recognize Agency’s 125th Birthday

    Texas’ Oldest Regulatory Agency has Long, Proud Tradition of Protecting Public Safety & Environment
    April 12, 2016

    AUSTIN – At their regularly scheduled conference today, all three Railroad Commissioners recognized the Railroad Commission of Texas’ 125th birthday, and its long, proud tradition of protecting public safety and natural resources. The Commissioners also thanked former Railroad Commissioners in attendance for their public service. 

    The Railroad Commission—Texas’ oldest regulatory state agency— was established April 3, 1891 by the Legislature, giving the Commission jurisdiction over rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. Since then, it has been given responsibility for overseeing numerous industries and currently has primary oversight and enforcement over the state’s oil and gas exploration and production industry and intrastate pipeline safety. The Commission also regulates alternative fuels’ safety, natural gas utilities and surface mining. The agency’s jurisdiction over rail safety was transferred by the Legislature to the Texas Department of Transportation in 2005. 

    Chairman David Porter said, “The Railroad Commission has shaped Texas’ energy industry, and our energy industry has changed the world. Delegates from countries across the globe have traveled here to see how the Commission manages to successfully protect our citizens and natural resources without slowing down the most important industry to our economy. While the rules and regulations we have in place at the Commission have guided our success, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the hard work and dedication of our staff.” 

    Commissioner Christi Craddick said, “As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Railroad Commission, we look back on more than a century of balanced, consistent, yet innovative, pro-growth policies that have kept Texans and our resources safe and our state’s historic oil and gas industry, a pillar of the Texas economy, thriving. Today, we could not be more proud of the Commission’s position as a global leader in energy regulation, standing as a testament to the fact that environmental safety and energy development can coexist for the betterment of all Texans.” 

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “The Railroad Commission of Texas has succeeded in its mission to protect the public and our natural resources over the course of its 125-year history for one reason: its dedicated and hard-working staff. Without the knowledgeable staff, many of whom have served the agency for over 30 years, the commission would not have been able to provide the technical expertise and high degree of customer service this agency provides to the people of Texas.  I’m honored to serve with the dedicated employees of the commission and look forward to continually improving the job we do for Texans and the energy industry as a whole.”  

    Former Railroad Commissioners attending today’s conference were: Elizabeth Coleman; Victor G. Carrillo; Buddy Garcia; Clark Jobe; Carole Keeton; Dr. Charles Matthews; Mary Scott Nabers; Barry Smitherman; and Michael Williams.

    Current and former Railroad Commissioners at today's Railroad Commission of Texas 125th birthday celebration.
    Current and former Railroad Commissioners at today's
    Railroad Commission of Texas 125th birthday celebration.

     

  • Taking the Long View of the Texas Energy Industry

    by Commissioner Christi Craddick
    March 21, 2016

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick’s editorial on the long term outlook of crude oil exports and its impact on the Texas energy industry published in the Midland Reporter-Telegram Saturday.

    “It has been 40 years since Texas crude could be sold around the world,” Craddick said. “Texas is now poised to lead the U.S. back into the global marketplace where our producers can compete with anyone, anywhere. The groundwork has been laid and Texas producers are ready for the competition and unleashing of true U.S. shale potential. In 40 years, historians will look back upon the decision to lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports as a victory for free markets and a long overdue economic shot in the arm for Texas and our nation.”

    The editorial can be read in full here.



    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioners Testify Today Before the Texas House Energy Committee

    March 07, 2016

    AUSTIN – All three Railroad Commissioners today provided invited testimony before the Texas House Energy Resources Committee. The Commissioners updated committee members on the agency’s activities. The Railroad Commission of Texas has primary regulatory oversight over the state’s oil and gas exploration and production industry, intrastate pipeline safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and alternative fuels safety.

    Chairman David Porter said, “While we remain firmly committed to protecting the people of Texas and our natural resources, I am deeply concerned current price and activity levels in the energy industry could hurt the long-term sustainability of the Commission under our current funding structure. We must have a serious conversation with the Legislature about how the Railroad Commission is going to be funded moving forward if we’re going to continue to have the financial resources we need to do our job here in Texas and not let the federal government takeover by default.”

    Commissioner Christi Craddick said, “Over the last few dynamic years for Texas energy production, we have adjusted our processes to stay ahead of our state’s fast-paced energy industry. The Commission continues to function under the mission of providing thorough, business-minded regulation and real-time response to issues surrounding public safety and the protection of our natural resources, and we become more efficient in this effort every day.” 

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “I’m excited to continue working with the Legislature to ensure the Railroad Commission is doing the best job possible for the people of Texas.  Our agency is committed to giving Texans confidence in the way our natural resources are produced.  I know that the Legislature shares our commitment to protecting the environment and public while responsibly producing our natural resources, and that we will move forward together to ensure the Railroad Commission remains a high- caliber and high-performing state agency.” 

    The Commissioners’ archived testimony can be viewed here.

  • Craddick: Texas Is the Bellwether of U.S. Energy Investment through the Downturn

    March 04, 2016

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today reflected on the opportunities ahead as Texas invests in future energy development during her keynote remarks at the University of Houston Law Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Spring Lecture Series.

    “Through the downturn, Texas and our oil and gas industry stands to gain a great deal in investments such as a strong regulatory structure, infrastructure and work force that will benefit our state and keep us first in national energy production for the long haul,” Craddick said. “Now is the time for the Commission to focus on fine-tuning our rules for optimal business growth while also continuing our agency’s primary mission of protecting public safety and natural resources. This is also a good time for industry to develop its infrastructure and support education efforts for technically skilled laborers. Texas has led the nation in energy production since the beginning of oil and gas development in this nation, and we are continuing to make progress even today.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Highlights Oil and Gas Work Force’s Long-Term Importance to Texas Energy Development

    February 17, 2016

    DALLAS – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick spoke to the Dallas Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) today at their February meeting about the state of Texas’ oil and gas industry and what the industry’s work force may expect throughout the next year.

    “One of the industry’s greatest challenges is access to a technical work force,” Craddick said. “Texas has consistently ranked high in providing an expert work force across a broad spectrum of industries, particularly in energy development. You are one of the greatest reasons why businesses often choose Texas for their operations over other states. And, it is critical to our state’s continued success that we focus on consistent work force development.”

    SPE was officially founded in 1957 as an arm of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME), and became a separately incorporated organization in 1985. SPE is the largest individual member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry.

    “While it is not easy to see the jobs lost today, we must remember the long history of this great industry in our state and look confidently toward the future,” Craddick said. “Texas oil and gas production has sustained generations upon generations of workers, and I encourage you to carry on this industry’s rich history.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Points to Strong Long-Term Outlook for Texas Energy

    February 10, 2016

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick today pointed to the positive impact Texas and U.S. oil producers will see as open crude oil markets increase demand for lighter, sweeter U.S. shale oil in keynote remarks at the North American Prospect Expo’s (NAPE) Global Business Conference in Houston.

    “The opening of the markets for U.S. oil producers will translate into enduring success for the overall industry and subsequently Texans as a whole,” Craddick said. “When you apply sensible regulations, encourage investment, open new markets for products and stimulate competition, economies grow. In this case, it’s our long-standing oil economy. And with our state’s plentiful resources, the industry’s technology and innovation, and the Commission’s strength in regulation, the sky is the limit.”

    NAPE was founded by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) in 1993 and joins with partners, The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and The American Association of Exploration Geologists (AAPG), to bring together oil and gas industry professionals for idea-sharing and business development.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Commissioner Craddick Reinforces Oil Industry’s Future at Midland YPE

    February 09, 2016

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick continues to emphasize the importance of next generation innovators and entrepreneurs for the Texas oil and gas industry. Speaking to the Midland Chapter of Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) last night at the Midland Petroleum Club, Craddick told the group they will be key in launching the industry’s next big growth cycle in Texas. The Permian Basin-based group represents technically skilled young professionals working to develop and advance the industry’s workforce.

    “For those of you who are worried about the industry today, I want to emphasize Texas oil and gas is a resilient industry, and Texas is a resilient state,” Craddick said. “The recent shale revolution in Texas was the result of incredible innovation and perseverance from the industry itself. And, you too will contribute greatly to the next chapter in our storied history of energy production through new ideas, new technologies and old fashioned hard work that will move the industry and our state forward.

    “We have seen ebbs and flows in energy production over the last couple decades, but Texas remains an oil and gas state with more than 100 years of experience,” Craddick said. “The industry supports more than one third of our state’s overall economy and is, without any doubt, here to stay. You are in the right place to learn from those who are the very best at enduring through the industry’s cycles, many of whom are still producing energy successfully in the Permian Basin today.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Craddick: Energy Production Will Sustain in Heart of Texas’ Oil Basin

    February 08, 2016

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick spoke to the Midland Chamber of Commerce’s board today about the current state of Texas energy, highlighting encouraging oil industry activity in the Permian Basin early this year.

    “There are a few key reasons why companies from across the world choose to produce energy in Texas, particularly here in the Permian Basin,” Craddick said. “Prime conditions - an ample supply of oil, a skilled workforce, vast infrastructure, cutting edge technology and innovation, and sensible government - have allowed producers to cut back overhead costs and sustain in times of low oil prices. Frankly, these factors have allowed companies to better weather the downturn.”

    Craddick said that the Permian Basin is still responsible for record oil production at 1.35 million barrels of oil per day even though the total number of active drilling rigs in the region is down.  

    “Even as foreign oil producing nations continue their economic assault on the U.S. energy industry, Texas and its associated energy companies are better positioned to compete because of higher efficiencies, advanced technologies and lower production costs. And when demand for oil rises again, as it is certain to, Texas will be well-positioned and ready to respond. Until then, production in the Permian Basin will carry on.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioner Craddick, Former Railroad Commissioner Smitherman Team Up for UT Energy Law Class

    February 03, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick joined former Commissioner and University of Texas School of Law adjunct professor, Barry Smitherman, for a guest-lecture on Texas energy regulation last night. The semester-long class focuses on the law, regulations and public policy that are the foundation for the successful development, extraction, and harnessing of Texas' energy related natural resources.

    “As a former UT graduate now overseeing the state’s top energy agency, I know firsthand how invaluable it is to students to have a practical understanding of energy development and the Commission’s regulatory structure,” Craddick said. “I am honored to serve as a resource for students looking to build their future in the energy industry. It is truly the most rewarding part of my job.”

    “The dedication and work of my former colleague, Barry Smitherman in providing college students with a real-world, in-depth understanding of Texas’ energy industry is a noble effort and critical to the continued development of the industry’s future workforce,” Craddick said. “Barry’s tireless work educating the next generation of attorneys and energy industry professionals is just as important as his time serving Texas as Railroad Commissioner, and I am proud to assist him in this effort.”


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commissioner Craddick Discusses Texas Shale Success with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy

    January 28, 2016

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick met with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) today as part of the Mexican delegation’s official mission to learn about the Texas view on shale industry best practices and regulations. Representatives from the country’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Ministry of Finance (SHCP), and a new agency charged with industrial and environmental safety for hydrocarbons, (ASEA), joined the discussion to better understand legal and technical factors and the overall regulatory structure necessary for shale development. 

    “Mexico’s success relies on their ability to cultivate a strong regulatory structure, and the Railroad Commission is a ready source of expertise,” Craddick said. “Mexico not only shares a cultural past and a strong trading relationship with Texas, the country also has access to many of the same geological formations that have driven the resurgence of our own energy industry. We have been a resource for Mexico since their energy reform process began, and as Mexico initiates shale exploration and production, we welcome greater cross-border cooperation, collaboration and regional success.” 

    Mexico’s energy agencies are currently defining contractual terms for an upcoming auction of contracts to the private sector for the development of its shale resources. The sale is expected to include Mexico’s unconventional assets in the Burgos Basin, located just south of the Texas-Mexico border. As Mexico develops its shale resources, SENER is reviewing key factors that have contributed to the regulatory success of the Texas shale industry.

    Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick meets with energy officials from Mexico.
    Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick meets with energy officials from Mexico.


    Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.





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