WASHINGTON, D.C. ––National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) President Philip B. Jones of Washington, D.C. appointed Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Barry Smitherman as Chair of the Association’s Committee on Gas.
Chairman Smitherman, who served as a Co-Vice Chair of the committee, replaces outgoing Chair Timothy Alan Simon of California.
Through panel discussions and educational sessions, the Gas Committee fosters awareness and understanding of issues affecting the transportation, distribution and sale of natural gas safely, efficiently and economically. Committee members work closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation.
“With the expansion of hydraulic fracturing technologies, natural gas is becoming the key fuel source driving the country’s economic engine,” Jones said. “As natural gas use expands, we must make sure it is delivered safely, reliably and affordably to consumers across the country. Chairman Smitherman and his leadership team have the skills to do this.”
Chairman Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011 by Texas Governor Rick Perry, and was elected Chairman by his colleagues in February 2012. In November 2012, Chairman Smitherman won a statewide election to the Commission with 74 percent of the vote, receiving more than 4.5 million votes. He is a fourth-generation Texan, with a unique blend of private and public sector experience. Prior to serving at the Railroad Commission, he chaired the Public Utility Commission of Texas from 2007-2012. He was originally appointed to the PUCT in 2004.
“I am honored to chair the Committee on Gas, and I thank President Jones for this opportunity,” Smitherman said. “Natural gas already plays a central role in our energy resource mix, and this role will only grow as gas usage expands. Thanks to new technologies, natural gas prices are affordable and natural gas is an abundant domestic source of energy. However, we must use it prudently, safely and reliably. The Committee on Gas will explore numerous issues, including pipeline safety, electricity interdependencies with natural gas, use of natural gas for transportation, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporting and much more.”
Founded in 1889, NARUC is an invaluable resource for its members and the regulatory community, providing a venue to set and influence public policy, share best practices and foster innovative solutions to improve regulation.
NARUC members are responsible for assuring reliable utility service at fair, just and reasonable rates.
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Chairman Barry Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011, and was elected Chairman in February 2012. In November 2012, Chairman Smitherman won a statewide election to the Commission with 74 percent of the vote, receiving more than 4.5 million votes. Chairman Smitherman currently serves as Texas’ representative on both the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Southern States Energy Board, and as Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Gas Committee. He is on the Visiting Committee of the Bureau of Economic Geology with the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas School of Law Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law, and the Eanes Education Foundation Advisory Board.