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Wayne Christian's Press Room

News Items - 2022

  • RRC Chairman Christian op-ed: Democrats Want to Tax and Spend on Green New Deal Policies in an Inflationary Recession

    August 05, 2022

    By Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian

    President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have revived their progressive “Build Back Better” agenda to continue an almost two yearlong spending spree, paid for with debt and tax hikes on nearly every American. Few ideas are more economically disastrous than debt spending in an inflationary environment and raising taxes during a recession. And Democrats are planning on doing just that.

    The pending partisan proposal spends $370 billion on various pieces of the radical Green New Deal climate agenda, raises taxes by $326 billion, and increases regulations on energy production that will further drive up energy costs across-the-board. But this is just more of the same from Biden’s tenure to date. High taxes, unnecessary regulations, and irresponsible deficit spending is what caused the mess we are in – with $4 a gallon gas, inflation at 40-year highs, and two straight quarters of economic contraction.

    Now, President Biden is doubling down on his reckless over-tax, over-spend, and over-regulate agenda. All this is a recipe to continue increasing inflation, which has already cost the typical American more than $3,000. In Texas, ‘Biden-flation’ is running around 15 percent, costing the average Texas household around $755 a month or more than $9,000 a year.

    Only to D.C. Democrats would doubling down on doing more of the same make sense. Biden’s Build Back Broken agenda has already crushed Americans’ budgets and now they want to kill their jobs too. All of this in spite of the fact that in the president’s own words he admitted his climate agenda wouldn’t even solve the supposed climate crisis.

    Despite the White House’s inability to admit it, the country is in recession and facing a serious energy crisis – the President needs to change course immediately. Instead of imploring Saudi Arabia for oil, he should empower the Permian Basin. Instead of attacking the domestic oil and gas industry, he should unleash it. Instead of raising taxes, regulations, and deficit spending, he should cut them.

    Americans need more hope, opportunity, and cheap energy – not more Washington politics.

  • Oil & Gas Regulatory Chairman Lauds Industry’s Tax Contributions to State Budget, Criticizes ESG Investments and Encourages More Fossil Fuel Energy Generation

    August 03, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian applauds the Texas oil and gas industry following the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ announcement of continuous record-breaking tax revenues from the industry.

    “I hope all Texans are paying attention to the fact that it’s oil and gas — not wind and solar — that are bringing home the ‘bacon,’ providing reliability for our state’s budget, economy and electricity,” said Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian. “As Texans battle the endless summer heat and sweat rising energy costs, it’s important to note that our houses could be cooler and our electric bills could be lower, if Texas were building out more reliable energy generation, like natural gas, and relying less on unreliables, like wind and solar.”

    “Texas’ oil and natural gas industry continues to pay record taxes, reminding Texans why the industry is so vital to our economy,” continued Chairman Christian. “While wind and solar investments have skyrocketed thanks to taxpayer subsidies and the rise of ESG investing, oil and gas investments have seen a 90% drop-off in capital over the last 5 years leading to less build-out of fossil fuel-based electric generation. As our state welcomes 1,000 new Texans every day, we equally need to be building out—not dismantling—the reliable energy infrastructure as well.”

    The Comptroller recently announced the oil and gas industry paid record-breaking taxes to the state.  In July, the oil production tax generated $694 million – up 84% from July 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record. For the same month, the natural gas production tax generated $532 million – up 185% from July 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record.

  • Texas Energy Leader Concerned with Energy Security, Tax and Spend Climate Plan as U.S. Enters Recession

    July 28, 2022

    AUSTIN – Yesterday, news broke that President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats have revived tax and climate-related provisions of their Build Back Better agenda. Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at a yearly rate of 0.9% during the second quarter of 2022, following a decrease of 1.6% in the first quarter. Two straight quarters of negative GDP growth meets the common definition of recession.

    Concerned that large increases in taxes and regulations during a recession could harm American energy security, Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian issued the following statement:

    “High taxes, unnecessary regulations, and irresponsible deficit spending is what caused the mess we are in – with $4 a gallon gas, inflation at 40-year highs, and two straight quarters of economic contraction,” said RRC Chairman Christian. “Now, President Biden wants to hike taxes, regulations, and deficit spending even higher to implement detrimental Green New Deal-style policies across the country. Only to D.C. Democrats would doubling down on doing more of the same make sense. Biden’s Build Back Worse agenda has already crushed hardworking Americans’ budgets and now they want to kill their jobs too. It’s insanity.

    The country is in recession and facing an energy crisis – the President needs to change course immediately. Instead of begging Saudi Arabia for oil, he should empower the Permian Basin.  Instead of attacking the domestic oil and gas industry, he should unleash it. Instead of raising taxes, regulations, and deficit spending, he should cut them. Americans need more hope, opportunity, and energy – not more Washington politics.”

  • Texas Energy Leader Pens Letter to Biden’s SEC Opposing Climate Disclosure Rules

    July 06, 2022

    AUSTIN – Today, Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding proposed new rules requiring companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions, detailed climate-related data and additional “climate risks.”

    “As I have stated before, radical environmentalists are coming for your retirement account through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing,” said Chairman Christian. “This new ‘woke’ investment strategy places a priority on subjective environmental and social metrics instead of financial metrics that ensure quality returns for investors.”

    “This climate disclosure proposal is a federal overreach that will further cloud energy investments, shutter small businesses, and cement the values of fringe environmental extremists into our society and government,” continued Christian. “As a licensed Investment Advisor Representative, I have grave concerns about the impact this will have on families, retirees and oil and gas businesses, as well as the cost of energy paid by consumers.”

    You can read the letter here.

  • Oil and Gas Regulatory Chairman Highlights Industry’s Tax Contributions to the State of Texas

    July 05, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian applauds the Texas oil and gas industry following the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ announcement of record-breaking tax revenues from the industry.

    “Despite President Biden’s delusional desire to transition away from fossil fuels, Comptroller Hegar’s announcement reinforces the fact that oil and gas literally fuels every facet of our lives from energy to food and beyond,” said Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian. “In addition to paying record-breaking tax revenue which funds our schools, roads, first responders and more, Texas’ oil and gas industry is our economy’s lifeblood supporting roughly one-third of our state’s economy and paying an average salary of $130,000. Oil and gas production is also so much more than simply fueling our energy use and funding our government, it produces about 96% of everyday consumer items including electricity, gasoline, plastics, medicine and countless others.”

    The Comptroller recently announced the oil and gas industry paid record-breaking taxes to the state.  In June, the oil production tax generated $679 million – up 87% from June 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record. For the same month, the natural gas production tax generated $439 million – up 176% from June 2021 and the highest monthly collection on record.

  • Texas Oil and Gas Regulatory Chairman Applauds Supreme Court’s Rollback of EPA Clean Air Act Overreach

    June 30, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Wayne Christian issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision (West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) federal overreach with the Clean Air Act.

    “SCOTUS is on a roll and continues to get it right – defending the Constitution, protecting states’ rights and ensuring Americans don’t answer to unelected bureaucrats,” said Chairman Christian. “Today’s decision is a win for good government, American energy producers and for hardworking taxpayers who simply need cheap, plentiful and reliable energy.”

    “Environmentalists would have you choose a world between reliable energy and environmental progress – but that is a false choice,” continued Christian. “Oil, natural gas, and coal have lifted people out of poverty, fed the hungry, warmed the cold, healed the sick, and created a more stable world. In fact, mankind is more prepared and safer from climate change than ever before thanks to fossil fuels. SCOTUS’ action today will ensure that – for now – we still live in a country that thrives on the use and production of reliable fossil fuels.”

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Texas’ Chief Oil and Gas Regulator Pens Letter to State Pension Fund Agency Over Anti-Fossil Fuel Investment Vote

    May 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian penned a letter to the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) regarding reports of a vote on a shareholder resolution to divest investment from fossil fuels.

    “The reports that a Texas state agency has – accidentally or intentionally – allowed woke activists to harm the investment and retirement portfolios of our constituents as collateral damage in their war against fossil fuels are extremely troubling,” said Christian. “The Texas Legislature was clear with the passage of SB 13 last session that this is not the way Texas does business. ESG investing is harmful to our state economy, the reliability of our grid, and energy independence efforts that bolster national security. It has no place in Texas.”

    You can read the letter here.

  • Christian: Texas Oil & Gas Can Save Europe, Again

    By Wayne Christian
    March 18, 2022

    Like everyone, I’m heartbroken about everything happening in our world right now. As a parent and grandparent, I’m worried about the nation we are leaving for the next generation. 

    In recent years, it has become painfully clear that climate catastrophism has an oversized influence on public policy. An intense focus on reaching the unattainable goal of carbon-zero has repeatedly caused poor policy decisions that increase costs to consumers and make us more reliant on unreliable forms of energy. Ironically, these policies do not reduce emissions, they just ship them overseas and make us more reliant on hostile foreign nations, like Russia and China. 

    But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Energy security is national security, plain and simple. I know it sounds played-out but it’s a fact.

    Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than in Europe, which had relied on Russia for almost half of its natural gas supply[1] and Chinese renewables for roughly another fifth of their energy[2]. The European Union (EU) has painted themselves into an energy-dependent corner and jeopardized their national security as a result. 

    Since taking office, President Biden made every poor decision he could make to cripple our geopolitical standing in the world. From handing Afghanistan to the Taliban to destroying our American energy dominance, it’s clear this administration cares more about appeasing radical leftwing activists than doing what is right for the American people.

    There are better alternatives, and buying American is the solution. In 2019, the U.S. became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 67 years[3], surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world[4]. This gave us affordable energy, thousands of new jobs, economic growth, and national security. Our country achieved this by simply empowering, instead of attacking, domestic oil and gas producers.

    The EU should be buying Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from friendly countries like America, Australia, and other western democracies to meet their firm generation needs. It’s dependable, affordable, and cleaner than coal. European gas presently trades around $26 per metric million British thermal units, while the price of U.S. LNG is a little over $9 but has been as low as $4[5]. Given the right production incentives, it can be that low again. Texas represents a quarter of the U.S.’s natural gas production and can certainly produce more to meet that potential demand.

    Texas is the nation’s largest producer of oil and gas, and if it were a country, it would be the third largest producer in the world[6]. Prior to COVID-19 and OPEC disputes, Texas was producing a historic 1.85 billion barrels a year, with a 60% increase from 2016-2020[7]. Today, Texas has been producing much less at roughly 4.7 million daily barrels, or a lesser difference of about 320,000 barrels a day[8].

    Currently, American oil and gas producers are seeing all red lights. From growing ESG investments to federal leasing bans to canceled pipelines and increased regulations, there has been little incentive the past two years for investors, producers, refiners and more.  

    We need to be realistic and practical. The price of crude oil has skyrocketed, inflation is rampant, and Europe is mired in its first ground war since World War II. It’s time to switch the lights from red to green. We should be divesting from hostile countries and harnessing American oil and gas right here in the Permian Basin.

    This wouldn’t be the first time Texas energy played an impactful role on the world stage. In World War I, Eastland County, Texas and the “Roaring Ranger” production were essential to the Allied victory[9]. In World War II, six of the seven billion barrels of oil used to win the war came from the U.S.,[10] with two East Texas pipelines largely responsible for transporting most of it from the largest oil field in history at the time. Winston Churchill at the end of the conflict said that the war was won on a sea of East Texas oil[11].

    As Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, I led an effort, joined by my colleagues, calling for all oil and gas producers to divest from Russia. I’m glad to see some large producers heeded that call as well as mildly encouraged that President Biden came to his sense on Russian oil. However, there is much more that needs to be done to end Putin’s unlawful war, decrease energy costs and strengthen our national security. As Biden shuts the spigot off on Russian oil and gas, he needs to turn the American one on full blast.  

    The Lone Star State is ready to meet U.S. energy needs and help our European allies meet theirs. Mr. President, please just give Texas the green light.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters and five grandchildren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

     

    [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/business/economy/russia-europe-sanctions-gas-oil.html

    [2] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Renewable_energy_statistics

    [3] https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/us-energy-facts/imports-and-exports.php

    [4] https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=40973

    [5] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9133us3m.htm

    [6] https://www.txoga.org/txoga-statement-ukraine-invasion-underscores-importance-of-strong-domestic-energy-production/

    [7] https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=TX

    [8] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mcrfptx2&f=a

    [9] https://aoghs.org/petroleum-pioneers/roaring-ranger-wins-wwi/

    [10] https://theconversation.com/energy-pipelines-are-controversial-now-but-one-of-the-first-big-ones-helped-win-world-war-ii-161729

    [11] https://www.kltv.com/story/37257286/75th-anniversary-of-the-big-inch-pipeline/

  • Texas Energy Regulator Pens Open Letter to President Biden on Solutions to Energy Crisis and Curbing Russian Aggression

    March 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – Today, Chairman Wayne Christian penned an open letter to President Joe Biden critiquing his failed energy agenda and providing solutions to the ongoing global energy crisis.

    In the letter, he calls on Biden to immediately end all Russian oil imports to the U.S., instruct international oil and gas companies cut ties with Russian operators, and to put an immediate end to his anti-oil-and-gas rhetoric and policies so domestic producers have the regulatory certainty necessary to increase production here at home.

    “From handing Afghanistan to the Taliban to destroying our American Energy Dominance, it is clear this administration cares more about appeasing radical left-wing activists than doing the right thing for the American people,” said Chairman Christian. “Putin’s Russia is an enemy actor who should be cut off completely—we don’t need their oil, gas or anything else. It’s simple: NOW is the time to unleash American oil and gas production for the future of our allies and the safety of our nation.”

    You can read the letter here.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters and five grandchildren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Railroad Commissioners Applaud Major Oil Companies Cutting Ties with Russian Oil Companies, Encourage Others to do the Same

    March 01, 2022

    AUSTIN – In recent days, major oil and gas companies, such as British Petroleum and Shell, have announced their divestment of ownership in Russian oil and gas companies such as Rosneft.  RRC commissioners firmly support these actions and strongly encourage all Western oil and gas companies to similarly cut ties with any Russian oil and gas business. 

    “I’m heartbroken and disgusted by the ruthless and lawless actions of Vladimir Putin. Energy security is national security, and that’s clearer than ever,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “The United States, our European allies, and major oil and gas producers should immediately sever all ties with Russia – period. Western democracies shouldn’t fuel Putin’s unjust war against a peaceful and democratic nation. Instead, oil and gas should be purchased from reliable and trusted allies or produced here at home. I call on President Biden to end his illogical stance on oil and gas and unleash American producers in defense of Ukraine and democracy.” 

    “Putin’s war against Ukraine is despicable and should serve as a wake up call to the world,” said Commissioner Christi Craddick. “I support the actions of BP and Shell and encourage other international energy providers to divest from Russian companies and markets. Texas producers are ready, willing, and able to supply oil and gas on a global scale, and I encourage President Biden to support Ukraine by releasing the chokehold on American energy production.”

    “The Russian war against Ukraine is a forceful reminder of the importance of American-made energy and that domestic energy policy is crucially intertwined with U.S. foreign policy,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “The exploration and production of oil and gas does not occur overnight, which is why it is essential to have consistent, predictable, energy policies that encourage and promote development. Maintaining our domestic production is not only vital to America’s national security interest, but those of our allies around the globe. Having long recognized the importance of oil and gas to our state, our nation, and our allies, Texas stands ready to do its part.”

  • Christian: Texas’ Flaring Rate Continues Record Drop

    January 26, 2022

    AUSTIN – The statewide flaring rate fell to an even lower record level at the end of 2021, according to the Railroad Commission’s latest production report. The percentage of natural gas flared in Texas dropped from a previous record low of 0.20% in September 2021 to a new record low of 0.19% in November.

    Texas has one of the lowest flaring rates of large oil and gas producing states in the country, with an average rate of flaring that has remained significantly less than 2% for more than two years.

    “Report after report shows that Texas is on the right track to reducing and maintaining low levels of flaring,” RRC Chairman Wayne Christian said of the report. “Although the mainstream media often ignores this record achieving accomplishment by government and industry, it’s proof that a cooperative collaboration can bring positive results, and I continue to be proud of the effort and its outcome.”

    “Texas proudly boasts conservative, pro-business policies which are bringing 1,000 people a day to our state,” Christian continued. “As we need to produce more oil and gas to keep up with our growth, I’m committed to a consistent and predictable regulatory process based on sound science that allows oil and gas companies to responsibly produce plentiful, affordable and reliable energy to meet the increasing demand for all Texans.”

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.





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