Commissioner Barry Smitherman’s Statement on Today’s Passage of NARUC Resolution Supporting State Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing and Natural Resources


AUSTIN–The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners today passed a resolution reiterating both its 2009 resolution “supporting state regulation of hydraulic fracturing” and “recognizing and reiterating that states are well suited to effectively regulate their (own) natural resources.”

Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman—who completed two years as chairman of NARUC’s Gas Committee and over 10 years as an active NARUC member—statement on today’s passage of this resolution is below:

“As we have demonstrated for nearly 100 years at the Railroad Commission with our regulation over the exploration and production of oil and gas, it is state regulation that provides the most effective method to develop our domestic energy resources—not one-size, fits-all directives from Washington D.C. or patchwork reactionary regulations passed by local governments. States like Texas have clearly proven we can help achieve energy independence and move away from relying on unfriendly regimes for crude oil. And as a result, all U.S. citizens are now enjoying the benefits of dramatic drops in our personal energy expenses.”


Commissioner Barry Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011, and became Chairman in February 2012. In November 2012, Commissioner Smitherman won a statewide election to the Commission with 74 percent of the vote, receiving more than 4.5 million votes. His chairmanship ended in August, 2014, and his term on the Railroad Commission ends December 2014.  Commissioner Smitherman currently serves as Texas’ representative on the Southern States Energy Board, and as Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Gas Committee. He served two terms in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee, and was on the Public Utility Commission of Texas from April 2004 through July 2011, serving as Chairman for the last 42 months of his tenure.