I’ve spent my entire career in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries—20 years of experience that I now put toward my position as your Railroad Commissioner. Anyone who knows me also knows that I tend to “geek” out over the science and technology behind energy policy in Texas, but it’s not often that I have the opportunity to discuss why. Why am I passionate about setting good energy policy in Texas?
It’s no secret that the oil and gas industry is vital to the state. The sector directly accounted for 11 percent of the Texas gross domestic product in 2014 (rose to 40 percent if you include indirect). That same year, oil and gas employed 400,000 Texans. The impact of these industries on our state’s economy is undeniable, which is why we must work to preserve and maintain the livelihood of oil and gas for the 27 million people in Texas, and generations to come.
Since 2008, Texas’ production of oil has experienced more growth than Saudi Arabia and Russia combined, and the nation as a whole has begun to rival the longstanding OPEC cartel countries of the world. And in the past five years, the global energy industry has restructured, creating an opportunity for Texas to take advantage of the next oil boom despite the challenging economic climate.
With the current momentum of oil and gas, it’s more important than ever that Texans are adequately educated about energy production, that they feel safe, and that they are confident in the agency that oversees this industry.
We developed this blog to focus on The Energy Race, exploring the shifting role of the United States, and Texas, from an energy importer to an energy exporter. I’ll also examine the latest trends, market potential and the Railroad Commission’s role in promoting the future of America’s energy security. I hope this site is a resource to you as we enter this exciting time in Texas’ energy history.