The Case for Fully Funding the Texas Railroad Commission

The agency is asking the state for about $85 million dollars per year.

By Laura RiceJanuary 12, 2017 9:08 am,

One of the dominant narratives of this Texas legislative session is going to be how lawmakers deal with a slimmer budget. They’ve got less money to spend largely because of the downturn in the oil and gas industry. But the industry is still one of the most powerful in the state – and it’s part of Todd Staples’ job to make sure it stays that way.

Staples is the former Texas Agriculture Commissioner and current president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association. He recently released a statement asking for lawmakers to fully fund the state’s Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry.

“Texas is an oil and gas state. And when the oil and gas industry is suffering the Texas economy suffers, the Texas budget process suffers,” he tells Texas Standard. “We want the Railroad Commission properly funded – having the staffing levels that they need, having the information technology resources that they need – because Texas is the energy capital of the world. And so we think having a properly funded agency will lead to more rapid investment, quicker recovery and more revenues.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Concerns about the Railroad Commission and the oil and gas industry

– Whether or not current oil pricing levels sustainable

– Staples’ main message to legislators