Commissioner Christian Hosts 86th Legislature Energy Summit

October 16, 2018

AUSTIN – Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian, on Monday, hosted the 86th Legislature Energy Summit -- a day long educational forum featuring in-depth discussion and analysis on critical issues facing the energy sector in Texas. 

The Summit was held at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and kicked off with a panel discussion on  ‘Energy and its Impact on Texas’ featuring Railroad Commission (RRC) Executive Director Wei Wang, Senator Bryan Hughes (R – Mineola), and moderator, Texas Oil and Gas Association President and former Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. 

This panel focused on the enormous impact the oil and gas industry has on our state’s budget, economy, and job growth. Across ten oil and gas-related sectors of our economy, the oil and gas industry is responsible for approximately 30 percent of the state economy and pays $11 billion a year in state taxes, local taxes, and royalty payments. 

Director Wang noted the enormous gains the RRC had made with the resources appropriated to the agency last session. “We were able to exceed our performance measure of 979 and plug 1,440 abandoned wells, while our Oil and Gas Division reduced the processing time for drilling permit applications from seven days at the beginning of the year to set a record of under two business days in the last quarter.” 

The second panel, ‘Energy Education & Workforce Development’ featured Representative Jason Isaac (R – Dripping Springs), Glynis Straus (Conoco Phillips), Dave Bowman (Knowledge Vine), and Jimmy Glotfelty (Quanta). Speakers discussed the unique opportunities a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) can provide for individuals of all education levels from certifications to advanced degrees in engineering. 

Commissioner Christian gave the lunch keynote address, where his remarks focused on future challenges, recent innovations and finds, and the path to energy dominance and national security. 

“The impact of our recent boom goes far beyond the economic flourishment we have seen in Texas, our energy dominance is literally changing the structure of power worldwide and giving us national security,” said Christian. 

After lunch, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers President John Tintera led the discussion ‘Modern Environmentalism & Politicized Science’ featuring Commissioner Wayne Christian, Jacki Pick (Host, The Jacki Daily Show), and Allen Gilmer (Former Chairman, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association). On this panel, speakers emphasized how modern environmentalism has shifted from a positive force of protecting the environment, preserving natural resources, and protecting the property of our friends and neighbors to a movement instead more focused on dismantling energy produced by fossil fuels domestically in the United States. 

“Climate change activism only has an impact on countries that are free, you don’t see the Sierra Club showing up in the Sudan or Tehran, so these countries are never going to make good on their promises to the United Nations because they don’t have to and there is no enforcement mechanism,” said Jacki Pick. “It is only the free countries that will suffer under these policies, whether it is erosion of our sovereignty, redistribution of wealth, or erosion of our energy security.” 

The final panel, ‘Subsidies: Good or Bad for Texas’ featured moderator Allen Gilmer and panelists, Rep. Mike Lang (R – Granbury), Cutter Gonzalez (Texas Public Policy Foundation), and Saurabh Sharma (Young Conservatives of Texas). On this panel, they discussed whether society should subsidize energy and what constitutes a subsidy. 

“I’m not opposed to wind and solar, I am just opposed to picking winners and losers and our taxes being used to take care of their industry,” said Rep. Mike Lang.
Wayne Christian discusses impact of domestic energy production

Comm Christian discusses the massive impact domestic energy production in Texas has had on our economy and national security.

Wei Wang discussing gains RRC has made

RRC Executive Director Wei Wang (far right) discusses the enormous gains the RRC had made with the resources appropriated to the agency last session.

Rep. Mike Lang

Rep. Mike Lang (Center) discusses the subsidization of energy and its impact on his constituents.

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. 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. 

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