Blue Ribbon Taskforce Unveils Plan to Curtail Flaring

June 16, 2020

AUSTIN – Today, the Railroad Commission of Texas heard from the state’s oil and gas trade associations, environmental advocacy groups, and several oil and gas producers about the issue of flaring and how Texas can implement meaningful reforms to reduce flaring before oil and gas activity returns to previous highs.

“I am very concerned by the rate of flaring in Texas,” said Chairman Christian. “We cannot continue to waste this much natural gas and allow the practice of flaring to tarnish the reputation of our state’s thriving energy sector to the general public and investors on Wall Street.”

Commissioners heard testimony from Trammell Crow (EarthX), Cyrus Reed (Sierra Club), Colin Leyden (Environmental Defense Fund), Kirk Edwards (Latigo Petroleum), Stephanie Reed (Parsley Energy), Mike Starrett (Occidental Petroleum), Ben Sheppard (Permian Basin Petroleum Association), Jason Modglin (Texas Alliance of Energy Producers), Ed Longanecker (Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Assoc.), and Todd Staples (Texas Oil and Gas Assoc.). You can view today’s testimony here (Timecode: 1:05:40).

During the meeting, trade associations involved in the Blue Ribbon Taskforce for Oil Economic Recovery unveiled their report titled ‘Flaring Recommendations & Best Practices’. You can read the full report here. Recommendations include reducing the time an administrative approval can be provided for flaring by 50% and providing much greater clarity on data submissions to improve the information we have on flaring in the state.

After hearing the invited testimony, Chairman Christian instructed commission staff to consider the information provided by all parties to come up with a plan of action for addressing flaring this fall.

“The Texas oil and gas industry is resilient and has led our nation to American energy dominance,” said Christian. “I have faith we can meet this challenge and ensure the lone star state sets an example for the rest of the world.”

A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. In June of 2019, Christian was elected to lead the agency as Chairman by his fellow commissioners. 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. In addition to his duties as Commissioner, Christian was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve as the Official Representative of Texas on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Commissioner Christian here:/about-us/commissioners/christian/.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit