Author Archive

RRC Chairman Craddick and PUC Chairman Walker Working to Ensure Availability of Natural Gas for Reliable Electric Service this Summer

AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick and Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker are urging natural gas pipeline operators and electric generation plant operators to work together to ensure availability of pipeline transmission capacity to meet electric generation needs at times of peak demand during the hot Texas summer. Craddick and Walker are asking stakeholders to work with the Railroad Commission’s Oversight and Safety Division to schedule required pipeline testing outside of peak demand months. During the required tests, pipelines are unable to deliver natural gas, which fuels electric generation plants across Texas.

“Pipeline safety is one of the most important areas we regulate at the Railroad Commission,” Chairman Craddick said. “Integrity testing of gas transmission pipelines is a critical part of our safety requirements and should be scheduled to maximize operational availability. We must all work together to make sure the citizens of Texas are able to keep their air conditioning running, fans blowing, and lights on during the hot Texas summer.”

“Gas fired electric generation plants make up nearly 40% of our ERCOT’s electric generation, so we need to be sure they are online during times of peak demand,” said Chairman Walker. “With our state’s robust economy and growing population, demand is higher than ever. Therefore, teamwork is the key to a successful summer for all Texans.”

The Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission have issued the attached notice to natural gas pipeline operators and electric generation plant operators.

Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission staff are monitoring electric generation needs during peak demand months and assisting with necessary coordination of pipeline transmission capacity to best ensure natural gas availability for electric generation facilities.

Christi’s June Newsletter

Chairman Craddick on U.S. oil production jumping to 10 million barrels per day, 2018 Hurricane Season prep, Connecting Conservative Women, meeting with the U.S. State Department and Mexican energy officials, and more. Click here to read.

Do you get Christi’s monthly newsletter delivered to your inbox? If not, you can sign up today by clicking here.

Christi’s May Newsletter

Chairman Craddick on keeping Texas red to continue our economic success, the shale revolution’s beginning in Texas, happy 127th birthday to the RRC, and more. Click here to read.

Do you get Christi’s monthly newsletter delivered to your inbox? If not, you can sign up today by clicking here.

Railroad Commission Joins PUCT & TCEQ in Supporting Repeal of EPA’s Clean Power Plan

AUSTIN –The Railroad Commission of Texas joins the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Public Utility Commission of Texas in submitting comments on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

A letter signed by the executive directors of the RRC, TCEQ and PUCT was submitted to EPA today, Thursday, April 26 by TCEQ. The letter includes comments on EPA’s proposed repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Electric Utility Generating Units, otherwise known as the Clean Power Plan.

“The PUCT, RRC and TCEQ support the repeal of the Clean Power Plan,” the letter states.

All three agencies previously submitted comments opposing the Clean Power Plan. Those comments were submitted Dec. 1, 2014 and are included in the most recent submission.

Christi’s April Newsletter

Chairman Craddick on receiving the 2018 Hats Off Award, furthering the efficiency and modernization of the RRC, Texas is pushing the U.S. to become world’s largest oil producer, and more. Click here to read.

Do you get Christi’s monthly newsletter delivered to your inbox? If not, you can sign up today by clicking here.

Chairman Christi Craddick Honored for Regulatory Leadership

AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick is being recognized by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association as the organization’s 2018 Hats Off Award recipient. The award is TIPRO’s highest honor.

Chairman Craddick was honored for her leadership in ensuring safe, responsible energy production in Texas, while reducing or removing unnecessary regulatory barriers that can restrict job growth and the energy industry’s significant impact on the Texas economy.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this year’s Hats Off award,” Craddick said. “The energy industry is a cornerstone of the Texas economy, and the Railroad Commission works to maintain a regulatory environment that ensures environmental protection and economic growth. Whether it’s through modernization of the agency’s IT systems, working with the Legislature to fund more inspectors or eliminating antiquated regulations, we are constantly looking for ways to better serve Texas.”

Chairman Craddick Furthers Efficiency, Modernization of RRC – Releases Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative Phase Two

AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today announced the second phase of the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative as part of an ongoing effort to streamline regulation at the agency. The initiative reduces administrative requirements on the oil and gas industry while ensuring the public and environment are protected.

“At the Railroad Commission, we are removing unnecessary burdens on business and implementing technology upgrades that allow our staff, the public and industry to access and submit data and information in an easier, more efficient manner,” Craddick said. “Key changes like these are part of our overall goal to modernize the agency, ultimately saving staff time and reducing the cost of doing business at the Commission.

“The recommendation to reduce W-10 testing requirements, eliminating data our staff no longer needs, is estimated to save the oil industry approximately $52 million a year,” Craddick said. “These cost-savings can then be passed on to create more jobs for Texans and generate more revenue for state coffers through increased energy production.”

The initiative results from a review of the Railroad Commission’s regulatory processes and takes careful consideration to maintain the strength of public and environmental protections, correlative rights and measures designed to prevent the waste of resources.

Phase two of Chairman Craddick’s Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative includes the following items:

The initiative’s recommendations are currently in the process of being implemented with the exception of rule amendments related to W-10 testing requirements. Staff anticipates amendments to W-10 testing requirements will be presented at an upcoming Railroad Commission conference.

Phase one of the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative was launched in 2016 and successfully completed last year. More information on phase one of the initiative can be found here.

Craddick: Ethanol mandates help Wall Street, and hurt Texas

HOUSTON – In case you missed it, please see Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick’s editorial on reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and capping Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) prices, as published in the Houston Chronicle today. The editorial can be read online here and below.

Ethanol mandates help Wall Street, and hurt Texas
By Chairman Christi Craddick

The Lone Star State is blessed with strong energy and agriculture industries, both of which sustain thousands of jobs all over our state and play an important role to our national and economic security.

The mining and utilities industry is the largest contributor to Texas’ GDP, and the food and fiber system is ranked second.

Unfortunately, both industries are falling victim to a broken regulatory framework out of Washington, D.C. Right now, there is debate surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal program requiring transportation fuels to contain a certain amount of renewable resources such as ethanol, specifically as it regards the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

The EPA made up RINs with the goal of designing a minimally burdensome enforcement mechanism for the RFS. In fact, when they were first introduced, RINs sold for a penny or two each. Now, however, RIN prices have skyrocketed and cost as high as $1.40 each. These increased costs are putting considerable pressure on Texas refiners as they have had to direct more and more of their bottom line to paying these fees, rather than reinvesting in the state’s economy. As a result, thousands of Texas refinery jobs are at risk.

The most unfortunate part about the RINs system is that those who benefit from it are neither corn farmers nor refinery workers, but rather Wall Street speculators who reap profits from RINs.

Our own governor recognized the threat of high RIN prices on Texans’ jobs and wrote to the EPA asking for relief, explaining that “current implementation of this dated federal mandate severely impacts Texas’ otherwise strong economy and jeopardizes the employment of hundreds of thousands of Texans. ”

And U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is currently leading the effort in Washington to defend the interests of Texans from this broken system. Senator Cruz has called for a “win-win” solution that will simultaneously bring RINs prices down and protect Texas refinery jobs, while enabling Texas farmers to grow and sell more corn.

The White House is meeting with senators from Texas and the Midwest and interests representing ethanol producers, refiners and unions. Negotiations are ongoing.

Senator Cruz and those working to achieve a fair and reasonable solution are focused on allowing all industries across the state to grow — from agriculture, to oil and gas, to renewable and alternative sources of energy — and take full advantage of the agricultural and energy resources we have right here at home. Texans should support efforts to reform the RFS and cap RIN prices, for the good of the Texas economy and all Texans.

Christi’s March Newsletter

Chairman Craddick on a BIG Primary Election victory, what’s to come for the November election, Texas is leading record U.S. oil production, and more. Click here to read.

Do you get Christi’s monthly newsletter delivered to your inbox? If not, you can sign up today by clicking here.

Christi’s February Newsletter

Chairman Craddick on more endorsements for her re-election campaign, ensuring tax cut benefits for Texans, infrastructure and Texas energy industry growth, and more. Click here to read.

Do you get Christi’s monthly newsletter delivered to your inbox? If not, you can sign up today by clicking here.