Chairman Craddick Thanks Legislature for Railroad Commission Funding
AUSTIN, TX Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick thanked the 85th Texas Legislature for recognizing the important role the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) plays in keeping the state's citizens and natural resources safe. The Legislature's FY 2018-2019 budget includes increased funding for the RRC to strengthen the agency's inspection and enforcement capabilities, as well as increase transparency for the public.
"During this time of incredible growth within the Texas oil and gas industry, it is critical that the Railroad Commission has the funds necessary to continue to regulate such a dynamic and foundational segment of our state's economy," Craddick said.
"Oil and gas production generates billions of dollars in revenue for the state, providing funding for critical services in our communities and opportunities supporting our state's bright future," Craddick said. "Our state's energy success is driven not only by Texas' vast mineral wealth, but by the regulatory leadership of the Railroad Commission. We at the Commission are proud of the work we do to ensure the protection of all Texans and our environment while allowing the energy industry to safely innovate and thrive."
Senate Bill 1 appropriates approximately $256.1 million for the biennium, including an increase of 7 FTEs.
The funding includes the following items, with a focus on additional staff inspectors and IT program upgrades:
"¢ $5.9 million increase for pipeline safety inspection;
"¢ $3 million and 7 FTEs for IT modernization projects related to inspection and enforcement tracking and reporting;
"¢ $40.7 million increase for oil and gas well plugging and remediation activities;
"¢ $39.6 million for operational stability.
Senate Bill 1 is currently pending the Governor's signature into law.