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 - 2017

  • RRC Commissioners Approve FY 2018-19 Well Plugging and Site Remediation Plans

    RRC to Plug Up to 3,000 Orphan Wells During Biennium
    November 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – All three Texas Railroad Commissioners today approved the Railroad Commission’s 2018-19 well plugging plan. Under this proposal, the Commission plans to plug up to 3,000 abandoned wells over the biennium. The estimated cost of the well plugging plan is $67 million, which will come from fees paid by oil and gas operators into the Oil & Gas Regulation & Cleanup Fund (OGRC) and the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). No taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for well plugging activities. 

    This year the 85th Texas Legislature approved allowing the Commission to use OGRC and ESF industry fees to plug wells abandoned by operators. The majority of oil and gas operators take care of their own wells, plugging a total of 10,325 in Fiscal Year 2017. 

    The additional support from the Legislature will allow the Commission to substantially increase wells plugged to approximately 1,500 each year of the next biennium compared to 918 abandoned wells plugged in FY17. Since the well plugging program began in 1984, 36,610 abandoned wells have been plugged for $272 million. 

    Additionally, Commissioners approved the RRC’s site remediation section’s plan to complete 259 cleanup activities at abandoned oilfield sites in FY18 using approximately $9 million from the OGRC.

     

  • Chairman Craddick Highlights RRC Progress for PBPA

    Previews RRC Priorities for Next Year
    October 26, 2017

    MIDLAND – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today joined members of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) at their 55th annual meeting in Midland to provide an update on current Railroad Commission initiatives and the agency’s plans for the upcoming year.

    “I am so proud of the remarkable progress of our state’s energy industry in oil and gas production, particularly right here in the heart of the Permian Basin,” Craddick said. “The strides you are making are keeping Texas on top, leading the nation in innovative strategies for energy development and critical issues like conserving freshwater.

    “I’m especially proud of the Commission’s role in this effort by prioritizing efficiency and transparency, and ensuring common sense regulation that allows the industry to thrive through safe, responsible energy production,” Craddick said. “To build on our progress, next year, we are focusing on rule revisions and efficiency improvements, measures to retain and attract expert staff, as well as work with the legislature on a better funding structure for the agency. We look forward to your feedback as we begin these important projects.”

    PBPA is the largest regional oil and gas association in the U.S. with over 1,000 members spanning across the nation’s most prolific oil field.

     

    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 Appoint Interim Executive Director

    October 10, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick and Commissioners Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian today voted unanimously to appoint Wei Wang to serve as interim executive director, effective Oct. 16, 2017. Wang currently serves as the agency’s Chief Financial Officer. Wang will serve in this dual capacity while the Commission conducts a search for a permanent executive director to lead the agency’s day-to-day operations.   

    Chairman Craddick said, “Wei has the experience and institutional knowledge necessary to fulfill the important mission of the agency.  We appreciate his assistance and anticipate the positive impact that his expertise will bring during this transition period.” 

    Commissioner Sitton said, Wei has done a phenomenal job as chief financial officer and I’m confident in his ability to serve as interim executive director. He has been an instrumental member of our leadership team and is fully committed to the Railroad Commission’s mission to serve and protect the public and environment."

    Commissioner Christian said, “Wei has proven himself to be an effective leader at our agency, and has earned the respect of his fellow team members across the Commission. Our agency is in capable hands with Wei in the interim as we move forward with the search for an Executive Director.”  

  • Chairman Craddick Meets with National Petroleum Council, Energy Secretary Rick Perry

    Commits to Addressing Energy Infrastructure Challenges, Support for Carbon Capture Technology
    September 26, 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick this week attended the 127th meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC). While in Washington D.C., Craddick met with Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry to discuss support for new technologies and strategies to strengthen the nation's energy industry.

    Secretary Perry submitted a request to NPC members to study two items on behalf of the Council. These priorities include the changing dynamics of oil and gas transportation infrastructure, and potential pathways for better carbon capture, utilization and storage.

    Chairman Craddick said, "Our country's energy industry has achieved unbelievable advancements in innovation over the last decade, maximizing their ability to produce huge volumes of energy while decreasing emissions with clean technologies. The administration in Washington is taking every step necessary to allow for industry modernization and growth, unleashing President Trump's vision of American energy independence. As a member of the NPC, I am proud to support these studies and help drive forward an even brighter future for American energy."

    Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, and Deputy Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette also attended the meeting.

    Established by President Harry S. Truman in 1946, the NPC 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 and Rick Perry

    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.

  • Chairman Craddick Underscores Importance of Smart Regulation to Grow Energy Industry

    Emphasizes Environmental Protection and Economic Growth to Dallas and Kansas City Federal Reserves
    September 22, 2017

    Oklahoma City, OK – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today highlighted the importance of smart regulatory policy in creating an environment for strong growth in the energy industry. She made her comments at a joint conference of the Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas and Kansas City, during their 2017 Energy Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    “Striking the right balance between strong regulation and a strong energy policy, as we’ve done in Texas, means we protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to succeed,” Craddick said.

    “Our regulatory structure gives industry the certainty it needs to invest their dollars in job creation, industry innovation and expansion, which results in safe and responsible production of our natural resources.”


    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.

  • Chairman Craddick: Panhandle Producers are Essential to Texas’ Economic Success

    September 20, 2017

    AMARILLO – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today addressed RRC’s emphasis on common sense energy regulation at the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association (PPROA) 88th Convention and Annual Meeting in Amarillo.

    “Thank you to all of you who invest in the business of energy development, an industry that is critical to the economic success of our state and our country,” Craddick said.

    “Thanks to your efforts, our state’s energy producers, big and small, are setting the standard for American energy production, and Texas’ Panhandle producers play an important role.

    “Even through the recent downturn, the Texas oil and gas industry has shown extraordinary resilience,” Craddick said. “When times were tough, the industry did what it does best – innovate. Because of your ingenuity, we’re seeing industry growth today despite the price of oil. I will ensure our rules at the Railroad Commission will allow you to continue to safely find ways to grow and thrive.”

    PPROA was founded in 1929 as an industry association advocating on behalf of oil and gas producers, mineral royalty owners and industry support companies in the Texas Panhandle, Western Oklahoma and Southwestern Kansas.


    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 Grants Waivers, Takes Actions to Speed Hurricane Harvey Recovery

    September 02, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) today announced several actions to speed recovery from the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. These actions will permit energy industry operators under RRC jurisdiction to focus on restoring operations as quickly as possible without compromising public safety and environmental protection.  

    Among the actions taken by the RRC: 

    • Temporary administrative filing and reporting options for oil and gas operators impacted by Hurricane Harvey – The RRC’s P-5 Financial Assurance Department will delay severances for Form P-5 Organization Reports due Sept. 1, 2017 and Oct. 1, 2017. Rather than issuing severances for delinquent Form P-5 after the normal requirement of 30 days, the department will issue severances 60 days after the Form P-5 due date. Additionally, Rule 15 inactive well requirements, as well as all other administrative filings or reports will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 
    • Waivers permitting pipeline operators to use out-of-state personnel to participate in emergency response operations resulting from Hurricane Harvey – These waivers will be granted by the RRC on a case-by-case basis, for a period not to exceed 30 days, with possible extensions. The RRC enforces rules addressing operator qualifications established by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA agrees with RRC action. Pipeline operators granted this waiver are required to track the covered tasks and locations performed by any non-qualified and/or other assigned personnel (including out-of-state) for the duration of the waiver. 
    • Waiver of certain licensing requirements for liquified petroleum gas (LP-gas) activities, employee certifications and vehicle operations – This is a blanket waiver granted by the Governor of Texas at the request of the RRC. This waiver temporarily reduces the regulations for operation of some LP-gas containers and system activities, certifications required for LP-gas workers and vehicles transporting LP-gas. Where applicable, licensing, certification and inspection requirements in an employee or vehicle’s home state must be met. Written notice to the Commission is required prior to any entity acting under this waiver. 

    Chairman Christi Craddick said, “As Texans recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, partnerships across all levels of government are assisting with critical recovery processes. In an effort to provide relief to our state's energy industry and help to speed up recovery operations in the energy sector, the Railroad Commission is taking action to extend deadlines on administrative paperwork and temporarily waive requirements while operators focus on safely getting oil and gas production back online. Texans are showing extraordinary resilience through this exceptionally difficult time, and the Railroad Commission is doing its part to support a strong recovery for our state.” 

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “Hurricane Harvey has been devastating, and I remain concerned for the safety of our friends and families in impacted communities all across Texas in the wake of this storm. As Texas continues rescue efforts and begins recovery, the Railroad Commission acknowledges the challenge operators face with regulatory filings, and are extending deadlines to provide relief. Our number one priority is public and environmental safety, and we continue to require operators to report spills, leaks or other incidents. I am incredibly proud of how Texans have come together to help one another and so appreciative of the efforts of Governor Abbott, members of Congress and the federal government agencies responding to this catastrophe.” 

    Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “From rescue operations in flooded neighborhoods to providing warm meals for those displaced, Texans have stepped up and provided for their friends, neighbors, and even strangers during this time of great need. As Texans continue to come together and rebuild in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the last thing we want anyone to have to worry about is late paperwork. I am proud to support this common-sense measure to provide relief to operators that have been impacted by this hurricane.” 

     

  • Statement by Chairman Christi Craddick

    on RRC Readiness and Response to Hurricane Harvey
    August 28, 2017

    AUSTIN—Please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s statement below regarding the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) efforts during Hurricane Harvey:

    “Railroad Commission personnel continue to staff the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s State Operations Center (SOC) to assist Texas leaders with response to Hurricane Harvey,” Chairman Craddick said.

    “RRC district offices in Corpus Christi and San Antonio are open and assisting the public and energy operators with their needs during this disaster. The Railroad Commission’s Houston office remains closed for the safety of our staff.

    “The RRC urges anyone with information on an oil spill or release to contact our 24-hour, toll free emergency hotline at 1-844-773-0305. We will dispatch RRC inspectors to reported incidents as soon as is safe to do so. As a reminder, oil and gas operators are required to report to the RRC any spills into water.

    “Protecting public safety and the environment in Texas is always our top priority, and I’m extremely proud of the commitment to our mission RRC staff are showing during this critical time,” Chairman Craddick said.

     

    RRC Contact Information:

    Main Number: (877) 228-5740

    Emergency Number:  1-844-773-0305

    Houston District Office: (713) 869-5001 (This line will be answered while office is closed.)

    San Antonio District Office: (210) 227-1313

    Corpus Christi District Office: (361) 242-3113 

    Public E-mail Inquiries: publicassist@rrc.texas.gov 

     

  • Craddick: Expanding Offshore Energy Exploration Critical to Texas, U.S. Energy Security

    August 17, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today urged the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to include all 26 Outer Continental Shelf planning areas in the development of a new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024.

    “U.S. federal waters contain approximately 148 billion barrels of oil equivalent in undiscovered resources, which is enough energy to meet the nation’s oil and natural gas needs for more than a decade,” Craddick said in a letter to BOEM.

    “By expanding access in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and the Gulf States will continue to supply Americans with reliable, U.S. crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas. This means Texas businesses and families spend less on energy and more on goods, services, and investments that are vital to maintaining and enhancing our economy and standard of living.

    “In FY 2014, offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico generated over $64 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 650,000 jobs, including 193,000 jobs and over $20 billion in GDP for Texas, greatly benefitting the Texas economy,” Craddick said.

    Quest Offshore Resources, estimates an increase in Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas activity could support more than 62,000 jobs and over $5 billion in annual GDP for Texas alone.

    “One of the great benefits of the shale revolution has been our ability to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy, enabling us to export our vast resources to allies overseas,” Craddick said. “Indeed, energy policy is foreign policy, and expanded access to American energy is good for American interests.”

    Chairman Craddick’s letter is in response to BOEM’s request for comments on the preparation of a new National OCS Program, and can be read in full here. Upon completion, the National OCS Program for 2019-2024 will replace the National OCS Program for 2017-2022, which was approved on Jan. 17, 2017, and will succeed the National OCS Program for 2012-2017 on July 1, 2017.


    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 Increases Public Access to Legal Hearings Process

    Commission Streamlines Administrative Hearings Rules
    August 02, 2017

    AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission today approved updated procedures for its administrative hearings process. The changes make it easier for anyone, including members of the public representing themselves, to prepare for and participate in hearings. The rule changes become effective Aug. 21. 

    Approximately 50 percent of hearings at the Commission involve people representing themselves without an attorney, said RRC’s Hearings Division Director Randall Collins. 

    “We want the public and anyone else participating in administrative hearings before the Commission to have the greatest possible access to this important legal process. These rule updates bring greater consistency with legislative changes made to the Administrative Procedure Act, and make our processes clearer and easier to follow,” Collins said. 

    Anyone determined to have standing in a case may participate in an RRC hearing on matters including, but not limited to enforcement actions, oil and gas facility permits, gas utility rate cases and surface mining applications. RRC hearings provide participants an opportunity for due process and have the effect of law. 

    Among key changes, the rule updates now allow for electronic service of documents and the filing of smaller pleadings by email and fax with the Commission’s docket services. The changes also reorder the rules in the Texas Administrative Code, making them easier to understand. All the changes were made following an open public comment period on Chapter 1 of 16 Texas Administrative Code, which contains the RRC’s rules and regulations governing the agency’s practices and procedures. 

  • Chairman Craddick: “Vital for Energy Infrastructure to Keep Pace with Growing Domestic Oil, Gas Production”

    July 25, 2017

    ASPEN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick this week led a discussion with industry experts on the importance of keeping the development of the nation’s energy infrastructure on pace with thriving domestic oil and gas production at the Aspen Institute’s 2017 Global Energy, Economy and Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado.

    “The recent expansion of domestic energy production in Texas and across the country has created new, high demand for infrastructure to transport our growing energy supply to consumers,” Craddick said.

    “Over the last few years in Texas, our pipeline mileage has increased exponentially, and our ports have seen billions of dollars of investment related to the export of oil, liquid natural gas and other petrochemicals.

    “The current energy opportunity presents us with a challenge,” Craddick said. “If we want domestic energy production to continue to grow, we need sound policies that allow for the timely expansion of our nation’s energy infrastructure. This essential infrastructure will support our economy for the long-term future by allowing us to develop our domestic energy resources to their full potential, providing consumers with low-cost energy options, and reaching energy independence while also supplying energy to our allies overseas.”

    The forum is an annual convening of nonpartisan thought leaders, creatives, scholars and members of the public to discuss changes in global energy markets and the strong links between energy and national economic and security concerns.


    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.

  • Chairman Craddick Highlights Successful RRC Technology Overhaul

    June 08, 2017

    SAN ANTONIO – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today noted key advancements and on-going efforts by the Railroad Commission to improve the agency’s technological infrastructure at the 6th Annual Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Conference in San Antonio. 

    “Technology plays a critical role in allowing us to do our job in a more efficient and effective manner, facilitating better service at less cost for the public and industry,” Craddick said.

    “The Commission collects and houses massive amounts of data. We recognized it was time to bring the agency into the 21st century, and we are making great strides improving outdated systems and antiquated processes.”

    The Information Technology Modernization Program (ITMP), a multi-biennia effort, was launched in January 2013. The legislature appropriated $24.7 million to the Railroad Commission in the 83rd Legislative Session and work began on ITMP in September 2013.

    “With the ITMP effort, we have spent the last four and half years implementing extensive upgrades across the agency,” Craddick said. “The changes we have made reducing paper filings, automating processes and bringing more data online for public use are saving countless hours of staff time for the state and substantial dollars for industry that can instead be used to hire workers, invest in technology and produce more energy in Texas.

    “Our technological capabilities have improved but there is still plenty to do,” Craddick said. “This past session, the Legislature appropriated $3 million to the agency to establish an Inspection and Enforcement Tracking and Reporting System. In addition to that project, this year, we plan to implement the online filing of well plugging forms. We will continue to look for ways to advance technology and become more efficient across the board.”

    Completed ITMP items include:

    • Performance improvements to queries for drilling permits, production reports and statewide field rules;
    • Establishment of online filing processes for well status reports, groundwater letters, Rule 13 exceptions, pipeline permits, well logs and identifying gatherers and purchasers;
    • Improvements to efficiencies in processes for issuing drilling permits, submitting completion information and utilizing the RRC Payment Portal;
    • Launch of new internal applications, including Surface Mining permitting and Oil and Gas inspection management;
    • Launch of a new public GIS viewer;
    • Improved usability and accessibility of all agency IT applications;
    • Redesign of the Railroad Commission public website and RRC Online home page;
    • Migration of RRC Online and other critical systems to the state data center, and;
    • Deployment of Windows 7, Office 2016 and MS Cloud email services to staff.

     

    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.

  • Chairman Craddick: Revisions Could Make NAFTA Even Better for Texas

    June 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for Texas and the state’s energy industry, as published in the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday, June 6. The editorial can be read online here and below. News organizations are welcome to post or publish this editorial in their respective publications or websites.

    When I think about the upcoming NAFTA renegotiations, I think about the origins of the Railroad Commission of Texas, on which I have the honor of serving.

    The Texas Legislature created the commission in 1891. Its charge was to oversee the state’s transportation industry, specifically railways.

    When oil and gas pipelines came along, the commission had already been doing similar regulatory work — and doing it well — for decades. Since pipelines raised many of the same issues as railways, it was given regulatory authority over them. Fast forward to today, and as most Texans know, even though we are still called the Railroad Commission, we are no longer in the railroad business.

    Instead, we are one of the leading regulators of oil and gas in the world — thanks to Texas’ continued dominance of the industry. If it were a country, the Lone Star State would be in the top 10 globally for oil production and second in the world for natural gas production, behind Russia.

    The commission has fulfilled its responsibility of safeguarding our natural resources, securing community safety and achieving economic development because of relationships that were first negotiated in a different sector more than 100 years ago. We may see a similar trajectory around the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Overall, NAFTA has been great for Texas. We run a trade surplus with our neighbor to the south, with Mexican exports accounting for 6 percent of the state’s GDP, compared to 1.3 percent nationwide. However, there are some areas where the original 1993 agreement is either silent or outdated.

    President Trump’s plans to work with Canadian and Mexican officials to revise the treaty could offer U.S. businesses and consumers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build on what came before. Given my focus in the energy sector, three areas I would like to see included in negotiations relate to energy infrastructure, investment and the environment.

    Infrastructure development is already out ahead of Washington. American gas exports to Mexico have doubled in the last two years. By the end of 2018, six transnational pipelines will be carrying gas from the U.S. into Mexico.

    But our policies and practices are not harmonized across national lines. A revised NAFTA could allow us to coordinate the location and funding of future projects and develop a uniform and comprehensive regulatory framework to deal with the transportation and distribution of energy across North America. As an acknowledged leader in this area, Texas could influence the standards ultimately set.

    As for investment, when NAFTA was originally negotiated, Mexico banned private development of its energy resources. That changed in 2013. Last December, Mexico awarded deepwater exploration and development rights to American, French and Chinese companies. Future investments are likely to follow, but their long-term stability will be uncertain until NAFTA is revised to explicitly protect foreign investors within North America.

    When it comes to the environment, critics have long charged that the treaty’s existing protections are inadequate and fail to properly incentivize sustainable development. We can do better.

    At the Railroad Commission, we have worked with industry experts to develop best practices around the extraction and distribution of natural resources in order to ensure environmental and public health. These standards should be written into any future agreement, along with a mechanism for enforcing the treaty’s protections on both sides of the border.

    The most difficult part of any negotiation is nailing down the terms of that first, hard-fought agreement. It may well be that NAFTA was merely a first step — and that what began as a free-trade agreement will become much more than that. We should not ignore this potential. Indeed, if NAFTA’s revision is negotiated well, it could help realize energy independence for North America.

     

    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.

  • Chairman Craddick Emphasizes Importance of Texas LNG Growth

    June 02, 2017

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today delivered keynote remarks at the LNGgc Americas Conference in Houston, detailing Texas’ unique position in the overall expansion of U.S. liquid natural gas (LNG) exports. With Texas and the Gulf of Mexico playing key roles in the new national LNG export market, stakeholders gathered to discuss challenges, pricing and future infrastructure projects in the region.

    “U.S. proven natural gas reserves rank fifth in the world; and, as the U.S. has become one of the world’s largest natural gas producers — second, only behind Russia — the industry has been working as quickly as possible to transition LNG import terminals to export terminals,” Craddick said. 

    “The export of natural gas represents one of the most promising economic opportunities of the new American shale boom. LNG exports will reduce our trade deficit, increase government revenues, grow our economy and support millions of American jobs. And, as our country’s LNG export market grows, it will also help to position us as a global energy superpower.” 

     

    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.

  • Chairman Craddick Thanks Legislature for Railroad Commission Funding

    FY 2018-19 Budget Includes Additional Inspectors, IT Upgrades
    May 30, 2017

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today thanked the 85th Texas Legislature for recognizing the important role the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) plays in keeping the state’s citizens and natural resources safe. The Legislature’s FY 2018-2019 budget includes increased funding for the RRC to strengthen the agency’s inspection and enforcement capabilities, as well as increase transparency for the public.

    “During this time of incredible growth within the Texas oil and gas industry, it is critical that the Railroad Commission has the funds necessary to continue to regulate such a dynamic and foundational segment of our state’s economy,” Craddick said.

    “Oil and gas production generates billions of dollars in revenue for the state, providing funding for critical services in our communities and opportunities supporting our state’s bright future,” Craddick said.

    “Our state’s energy success is driven not only by Texas’ vast mineral wealth, but by the regulatory leadership of the Railroad Commission. We at the Commission are proud of the work we do to ensure the protection of all Texans and our environment while allowing the energy industry to safely innovate and thrive.”

    Senate Bill 1 appropriates approximately $256.1 million for the biennium, including an increase of 7 FTEs.

    The funding includes the following items, with a focus on additional staff inspectors and IT program upgrades:

    • $5.9 million increase for pipeline safety inspection;
    • $3 million and 7 FTEs for IT modernization projects related to inspection and enforcement tracking and reporting;
    • $40.7 million increase for oil and gas well plugging and remediation activities;
    • $39.6 million for operational stability.

    Senate Bill 1 is currently pending the Governor’s signature into law. 

    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: Sunset Review Legislation Comes at Critical Time for Texas, RRC

    May 15, 2017

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on the important and timely passage of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ Sunset legislation by the Texas Legislature published in the Midland Reporter-Telegram Sunday, May 14.    

    “Passage of the Railroad Commission’s Sunset review legislation has come at a critical time for the agency and energy industry,” Craddick said.

    “With Texas gearing up for another energy boom, certainty in regulation is critical for energy companies who now are making hiring and investment decisions in communities across the state.” 

    In Texas, state agencies are regularly assessed to determine if their purpose continues to be needed. The assessment, conducted by the Sunset Commission, offers the opportunity to make improvements to the way our state government works and to limit the size of government overall. 

    “At the Railroad Commission, energy regulators, industry and the public work together to craft policies ensuring the safe production of energy,” Craddick said. “We know economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive and that we must maintain the right balance between robust regulatory stances while supporting a strong energy industry. This careful balance means thousands of jobs for Texans, billions in revenue for our state and energy security for our nation.

    “All of us at the Railroad Commission share in the commitment to protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to remain an economic driver for our state,” Craddick said. “We look forward to continuing the important work we do for the great state of Texas.”

    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.

  • Statements by Railroad Commissioners on Legislative Passage of House Bill 1818

    RRC Sunset Legislation
    May 09, 2017

    AUSTIN – Chairman Christi Craddick and Commissioners Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian issued the following statements on the legislative passage of House Bill 1818 (HB 1818), the Railroad Commission’s Sunset legislation. HB 1818 now moves to Gov. Greg Abbott for his consideration. 

    "I want to thank the Legislature and our staff for their time and hard work on our agency's Sunset bill," Chairman Craddick said.

    "All of us at the Railroad Commission share in the commitment to protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to remain an economic driver for our state. This Sunset review has spanned several legislative sessions and has resulted in an even stronger Railroad Commission today. We look forward to continuing the important work we do for the people of the great state of Texas." 

    Commissioner Sitton said, “I appreciate the Legislature’s hard work in reviewing the agency and ultimately passing a Railroad Commission Sunset Bill. We recognize that there is always room to continue to improve, but our commitment to customer service, transparency and effectiveness has never been greater. Texas’ energy future is incredibly bright and I’m proud that this agency will continue to regulate the industry that remains the lifeblood of the Texas economy.” 

    Commissioner Christian said, “Ensuring regulatory certainty for our booming energy sector by completing the Sunset process has been one of my top priorities, both as a candidate and now as a Railroad Commissioner. I appreciate the Legislature’s hard work on this important legislation. Now the energy sector can fully focus on what it does best, employing thousands of Texans, strengthening our economy and providing billions of dollars in tax revenue that fund schools, public safety and other critical functions of our state.”

  • Chairman Craddick Addresses Women’s Energy Network at National Conference

    Discusses Importance of Women in Critical Energy Industry Roles
    April 27, 2017

    HOUSTON – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today spoke to members of Women’s Energy Network (WEN) at their annual national conference in Houston, Energy Resilience: Refueling Innovation. WEN’s national conference brings together women from various industry disciplines to nurture professional connections among experts, increase knowledge and transform careers while maximizing contributions to industry advancements.

    “While the energy sector has historically been viewed as a male-dominated industry, women have served in critical technical roles for generations,” Craddick said.

    “I am proud to say we are seeing more women out on rigs, on-site at refineries, and even in the board room where their perspective can have a greater impact on the industry’s future.”

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, women represent a smaller percentage of the work force in energy-related sectors, ranging from 22 to 34 percent, than compared to the overall economy where women make up 47 percent of employees.

    “The industry’s ebbs and flows have led to a labor shortage on top of an aging work force, pushing companies to cast a broader net for qualified employees,” Craddick said. “Bringing more women into the mix gives the industry a broader talent pool with which to meet challenges, and develop solutions for a fast-moving and innovative industry. At the end of the day, diversity in work force leads to better ideas and greater efficiency.”

    WEN serves more than 4,000 members through programs that foster career and leadership development of professional women working in the energy 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.

  • Craddick: “Texas Can Remain a Leader in Clean Energy"

    April 17, 2017

    AUSTIN – Please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on the leading role Texas is playing in developing clean energy technology. The editorial appears in the San Antonio Express-News Sunday, April 16.

    “Texas is a national leader in the development of clean energy,” Craddick said. “We have more wind power capacity than any other state and all but five countries. The solar power market in Texas is also taking off as the manufactured cost of panels have been reduced. Clean energy involves more than a commitment to the development of renewables. It includes investments in new technologies that can make conventional generation cleaner, too.

    “The United States must remain on the leading edge of energy technologies, just as we led the way on hydraulic fracturing, which is transforming America’s energy economy,” Craddick said.

    “Our commitment to develop renewable sources, to tap the potential of our shale formations, and to develop the technology needed to make our air cleaner and our economy stronger means Texas remains positioned as the nation’s energy leader.”

    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.

  • Chairman Craddick Lays Out Bright Vision for ‘The Future of Energy’ at Texas A&M Law Symposium

    March 23, 2017

    FORT WORTH – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today joined industry experts, academics and public officials at the Texas A&M University 2017 Energy Law Symposium to discuss future opportunities and challenges for the United States and global energy industry.

    “Today, we could not sustain life as we know it without energy of some kind,” Craddick said. “Over the course of the last few decades, our quality of life and the health of our environment have increased significantly thanks to energy. While there are plenty of uncertainties – OPEC, Russia, the Mexican energy market and changes in federal regulations – we know the U.S. energy industry is not going anywhere. In fact, through the last downturn, the industry only got better, producing more energy at less cost and with less impact to the environment.”

    “From the Texas perspective, the future of our state’s energy industry is very bright,” Craddick said.

    “Texas is leading the new U.S. energy renaissance. And, a few important factors are contributing to our energy success: an all-of-the-above energy strategy including oil, gas, coal and renewables; pro-growth policies that support a business-friendly environment; infrastructure development allowing for industry expansion; and education and training for a technically skilled workforce. It is important that the federal government employs those same concepts nationally in support of the overall U.S. energy 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.

  • An Energetic Outlook for Texas

    by Chairman Christi Craddick
    March 07, 2017

    AUSTIN – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on this year’s opportunities for the Texas oil and gas industry published in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times Monday, March 6.

    “Newfound enthusiasm in the oil patch extends beyond price measures, as producers hold out hope for political changes and economic opportunities that lie ahead,” Craddick said.

    “As Texas leads the way in energy development of all sources – from oil and gas to wind – the Texas Railroad Commission seeks to lead the way with a modern regulatory framework that keeps up with the times,” Craddick said. “At the Texas Railroad Commission, we are not only stewards of vital energy resources, but of the public trust. We want to ensure regulatory policies are modern and transparent, conducive to economic growth, and consistent with the environmental standards Texans have come to expect. If we do those things, we will have done our job. And Texas will prosper in 2017, and beyond.”

    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 Commission Presents 2018-19 Budget Request to Senate Finance Committee

    Priorities Include More Inspectors, IT Modernization, and Sustainable Revenue Source
    February 09, 2017

    AUSTIN—Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today presented the Railroad Commission’s 2018-19 biennial budget request to the Texas Senate Finance Committee. The Commission’s budget request totals $85 million for Fiscal Year 2018 and $85 million for Fiscal Year 2019.

    To ensure the Commission continues to meet its mission of protecting public safety and the environment, it is requesting an additional $16.1 million. These funds would be used for staff retention through salary parity with other state agencies, additional oilfield safety and pipeline safety inspectors and enhanced enforcement tracking capabilities.

    Exceptional item requests include:

    • Priority 1: Salary Parity; $4.3 million (biennial total)
    • Priority 2: Additional Inspectors for Enhanced Oilfield Safety and Pipeline Integrity Initiative; $8.8 million and 55 Full Time Equivalent employees (biennial total)
    • Priority 3: Inspection / Enforcement Tracking and Reporting System; $3 million and 7 FTEs (biennial total)

    The Commission is also requesting a supplemental appropriation of approximately $45 million.

  • Chairman Craddick: Texas Energy Sector on Upswing; RRC Faces Critical Budget Needs

    Meets with Top Dallas Federal Reserve Economists to Discuss Future of Texas Energy
    February 02, 2017

    DALLAS – Chairman Christi Craddick met with leadership at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed) this week to discuss this year’s outlook for the state’s oil and gas industry. According to economists with the Dallas Fed, Texas oil and gas drilling activity will increase throughout this year. 

    “Oil and gas production today makes up more than 30 percent of our state’s overall economy,” Craddick said. “It is critical for the industry’s continued success and for the public’s safety that the Railroad Commission has as much information as possible about the industry’s near-term future as we determine strategic plans for the agency.”

    The Railroad Commission of Texas is currently presenting its 2018-19 biennium budget request to legislators as they meet for the 85th Legislative Session. Today’s briefing provides greater evidence of the need for more sustainable funding for the Commission.

    “We know from previous downturns that when the oil and gas industry ramps up, it ramps up quickly,” Craddick said.

    “We must be fully staffed and prepared for an uptick in industry activity. I am optimistic about oil and gas production growth in Texas this year, but look forward to seeing a continued rise in permitting and new drilling reports before we expect a significant shift within the industry. Until then, we will continue to move resources planned for permitting to other areas of the agency as needed.” 

    The Dallas branch of the U. S. Federal Reserve System is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., make up the nation's central bank. The Dallas Fed also serves as a research institution providing information on the United States and Texas economies, specializing in energy sector analysis in the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. 


    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 Commission of Texas Streamlines Oil and Gas Well Reporting

    Process Makes Well Log Information More Accessible to Public
    January 12, 2017

    AUSTIN – As part of the Railroad Commission of Texas’ commitment to increasing efficiency and transparency through the modernization of its Information Technology systems, oil and gas producers can now file well log data electronically. Because the Commission now has the technology to accept well log information electronically, operators will no longer be required to print this information and submit paper logs.

    This new electronic filing system will save operators about $362,000 annually and reduce the time and resources necessary for them to comply with reporting requirements, as well as make the information they submit more quickly and easily accessible to the public. Likewise, the Commission will save $105,000 and nearly 4,000 hours of staff time by eliminating the need for staff to receive the paper copies of these well logs and convert them to electronic files.

    “Technology updates such as these help close the gap in day-to-day business operations between government agencies and private business,” Chairman Christi Craddick said.

    “We are bringing more data online to allow for a more efficient solution that saves both the state and industry significant time and money. In turn, that means the generation of further business activity, the creation of more jobs and a stronger Texas economy overall. We at the Commission will continue to do everything we can to drive these pro-business policies forward throughout every aspect of our processes,” Craddick said.

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “Affordable IT solutions that enhance the Commission’s accessibility and modernize the agency are a priority for the Commissioners. It made no sense to require operators to provide us information in paper form that they already had in electronic form, so I’m glad we identified this issue and saved both operators and the agency time and money.”

    Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “Reducing the regulatory burden on energy operators in Texas, while making sure we continue to protect the people and environment across our state makes good economic sense for our state.  Smart regulation like this keeps operators in the field, Texans on the job and gives the Commission the tools we need to make sure energy production in Texas is done safely and responsibly.”

    Operators must submit well logs in both .TIFF and .LAS formats. To access the L-1 Electric Log Status Report form on the Commission’s website, click here.





Commissioners