Craddick: Environmentally responsible regulation benefits all Texans
What’s in a name? When it comes to the Railroad Commission of Texas, the name says little about what this important state agency does on a day-to-day basis. With 125 years of history, the commission was established to oversee the regulation of railroads. Today, it is recognized as a worldwide leader in the regulation of oil and gas.
The transition was sparked when oil and gas production grew to include the transporting of oil to market by rail. The commission was delegated oversight of not only the transportation of oil and gas products, but eventually its safe production. In this age of renewed Texas oil and gas development, it is important that all Texans are familiar with the job the commission is doing in their community.
As your railroad commissioner, I have the privilege of overseeing some of Texas’ most exciting and dynamic industries. Since 1891, the commission has been charged with ensuring a fair and responsible regulatory structure for oil and gas production and promoting policies that guarantee the robust development of our state’s huge energy potential. With extended jurisdiction over related industries including intrastate pipelines, natural gas utilities and surface mining operations, the commission ensures that Texans continue to enjoy the economic benefits of our state’s many, plentiful mineral resources and that our communities and environment remain safe. Now a global leader in energy regulation, foreign governments from across the world regularly visit the agency to learn more about how to successfully manage energy exploration and production in their own countries.