Chairman Porter Visits Rio Grande Valley to Discuss Border, Energy Infrastructure Security - Chairman Meets with U.S. Border Patrol and Texas Homeland Security Officials

01/06/2016

EDINBURG – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter today visited the Rio Grande Valley to discuss border and energy infrastructure security concerns with representatives from the chief state and federal agencies responsible for protecting Texas from criminal and terrorist threats. 

“We know that nefarious groups and individuals engaging in illegal and dangerous activities use Texas’ border with Mexico as a gateway into the United States, and that some of these entities intend to harm Texans and Americans. I want to make certain we are doing everything we can at the Commission to help law enforcement protect our people and our critical energy infrastructure,” Chairman Porter said. “With the unprecedented growth of oil and gas production in South Texas over the past several years, and in light of the tragic terrorist attacks we’ve recently seen worldwide, it is especially important that we build relationships and work together to protect our state and nation from any potential threats to public safety and prevent any disruption of energy production, which is the backbone of our economy.” 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr. said “Border security is a team sport, and that team is comprised of federal, state and local agencies as well as the areas we all serve. Our partnerships with these agencies will ensure that our priority is to keep our communities safe and secure.” 

Chairman Porter has repeatedly urged the federal government to strengthen its commitment to protect energy infrastructure in Texas, which produces nearly 40 percent of crude oil and 30 percent of natural gas in the United States. He first raised border security concerns to the federal government in 2014 and subsequently visited several south Texas oil and gas facilities to examine the vulnerability of the state’s critical energy infrastructure. 

As a result of his visit, Porter worked in 2015 to enhance safety measures for Commission employees near the border by ensuring that staff and inspectors who want to carry firearms for self-protection on duty have the opportunity to obtain their concealed handgun license in a timely manner; requiring inspectors in areas of concern to use the “buddy system” to ensure they are not alone in potentially dangerous areas; and purchasing cell phone boosters for inspector vehicles in remote areas of South Texas that are close to the border and have limited access to mobile communications. 

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Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.