Barry Smitherman Elected Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission


AUSTIN –– Commissioner Barry Smitherman was unanimously elected Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission at this morning’s Commission meeting.

“I am honored that my fellow commissioners placed their confidence in me to lead the Commission in this exciting time.  As Texas energy production is increasing at an unprecedented rate, the Railroad Commission must continue to maintain a fair and predictable regulatory climate in this state,” said Smitherman.

“As Chairman, I will continue to ensure that we meet the unscientific, politically-motivated decisions coming out of Washington, D.C. with science-backed, factually correct responses.  Oil and gas production, and mining operations power our state’s economy.  We must not let the political appointees in Washington kill our economic engine and kill our jobs,” he continued.

“I am looking forward to the Sunset review we will be undergoing over the next several months.  I am eager to work with the Legislature and the Sunset Advisory Commission to ensure that we take this opportunity to make statutory changes that will improve the Commission’s ability to serve Texans.”

“I am sad to say goodbye to my colleague and friend, Elizabeth Ames Jones, but I know she will continue to work for the citizens of Texas in the future.  Commissioner Porter and I will continue to work together using a collaborative approach to ensure the work of the Commission continues to be carried out efficiently and effectively,” Smitherman concluded.



The Chairman of the Railroad Commission is elected by a vote of the three members on the Commission.  Chairman Barry Smitherman was appointed Commissioner in July 2011 and elected Chairman of the Railroad Commission February 28, 2012.