Christi Craddick's Press Room

News Items - 2019

  • Chairman Craddick Applauds Legislature for Prioritizing Railroad Commission Funding

    FY 2020-21 Budget Includes Additional Inspectors, IT Upgrades
    May 28, 2019

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today thanked the 86th Texas Legislature for prioritizing the important role the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) plays in keeping the state’s citizens and natural resources safe. The Legislature’s FY 2020-2021 budget includes increased funding for the RRC to strengthen the agency’s inspection and enforcement capabilities, as well as increases transparency for the public.

    “The Texas oil and gas industry continues to lead the world in energy production. We appreciate that the Legislature recognizes that it is critical for the Railroad Commission to have the resources necessary to protect the citizens, environment and economy of Texas,” Craddick said.

    “By prioritizing funding for the Railroad Commission, the Legislature has given us the tools we need to maintain a predictable regulatory environment that will continue to attract jobs and capital investment across Texas,” Craddick said. “Texas oil and gas producers generate billions of dollars for state and local tax coffers, lowering Texan’s overall tax burden while providing critical funding for schools, roads and water infrastructure. We, at the Commission, are proud to serve Texas to work to ensure the safe production of our natural resources.”

    House Bill 1 appropriates approximately $283.6 million for the biennium, including an increase of 22 FTEs.

    The funding includes the following items, with a focus on additional staff inspectors and IT program upgrades:

    • 22 new oil and gas and pipeline safety inspectors;
    • $26.9 million to replace antiquated mainframe permitting system;
    • $39.1 million to fund a robust well plugging and site remediation program;

    House Bill 1 is currently pending the Governor’s signature into law.


    Christi Craddick was reelected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2018 to serve as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • RRC Chairman Craddick and PUC Chairman Walker Working to Ensure Availability of Natural Gas for Electric Service this Summer

    February 27, 2019

    RRC and PUC logos

    Austin, TX – In anticipation of high electricity demand across Texas this summer, key state agencies are taking steps now to ensure reliable electric service for all Texans. The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) are working together to make sure gas-fueled power plants have the natural gas they need for electricity generation.

    “We applaud our industries for collaborating on solutions that will keep Texans cool and our economy humming during the blistering summer months,” said Christi Craddick, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission.

    “Texas has more than enough natural gas to fuel power generation, we must make sure it can get where it’s needed, when it is needed and that requires coordination between gas pipelines companies, electric generation facilities and our grid operator.”

    “Thanks to our state’s robust economy and growing population, the demand for electricity is growing steadily,” said PUC Chairman DeAnn Walker. “With gas-fueled electric generation plants making up more than 50 percent of the generation capacity in ERCOT, we must ensure they are able to produce electricity during times of peak demand.”

    Representatives of the electric and gas industries have been working for months in conjunction with the PUC, RRC, and ERCOT (which oversees roughly 90% of the electric load in Texas) to improve coordination. As the winter heating season winds down and summertime high temperatures loom just a few months away, companies should focus on finalizing their preparations for the summer, including scheduling maintenance around periods of expected high demand.

    To engage companies across the state in this vital effort, the Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission issued this notice to natural gas pipeline operators, electric generation operators, and electric utilities, urging them to finalize their coordinated preparations for the summer and maintain clear lines of communication as the summer progresses.  Staff from the Railroad Commission, Public Utility Commission, and ERCOT will continue to work closely with the companies and industries to assist their coordination efforts.

  • Railroad Commission of Texas Presents 2019 Reclamation Award

    Sabine Mining Co. Creates Wildlife Habitat from Mined Acreage
    February 26, 2019

    AUSTIN – Texas Railroad Commissioners today awarded the Sabine Mining Co. the Commission’s 2019 Reclamation Award. The operator was recognized for restoring more than 3,400 contiguous acres of Harrison County, mined land into native grass habitat for bobwhite quail, grassland songbirds, Monarch butterflies, pollinating insects and grazing livestock. 

    The restored acreage south of Hallsville is part of the South Hallsville No. 1 Mine, a lignite surface mine which has been in continuous operation since 1984. Since its beginning, reclamation has been ongoing at the RRC-permitted mine that encompasses 44,401 acres. The operator replanted native grasses to provide habitat for a diversity of species, increased wildlife populations and higher nutrition for grazing livestock. 

    “The Sabine Mining Co. believed that reclamation can and should be synonymous with restoration—restoration of habitat, restoration of ecosystems and is doing just that by ‘Going Native’ through the use of native grasses,” the company states in its application for the award. 

    The, RRC’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Division accepts nominees from the Texas coal industry for the Commission’s Reclamation Award Program. The program recognizes outstanding and innovative reclamation achievements at Texas coal mines and complements the Interstate Mining Compact Commission's Annual Reclamation Awards Program. A technical and enforcement team from the SMRD staff then selects a nominee based on IMCC criteria. 

    Along with fish and wildlife habitat, the company’s reclaimed mined acreage provides forestry, pastureland, streams and developed ponds. The mined land is owned by thousands of private landowners who have leased the property for surface mining. The reclaimed acreage also establishes woody corridors to provide wildlife access to water and protective cover. These areas and planted stands of trees, also known as mottes, were developed with guidance from professional biologists and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff. 

    The Sabine Mining Co., whose parent company is North American Coal Corp., operates the South Hallsville No. 1 Mine and the adjacent Rusk Mine. These two mines have 284 full-time employees and more than 40 contractors, who assist with maintenance, reclamation and other projects.The mines produce approximately 4 million tons of lignite annually, which generates electricity in Texas at the H.W. Pirkey Power Plant. This plant is owned and operated by the Southwestern Electric Power Co. – a division of American Electric Power.

    RRC Commissioners with Sabine Mining Co.
    (From L-R) RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian, RRC Chairman Christi Craddick,  Sabine Mining Co. Reps:
    Josh McAfee; Steve Billingslea, Angela Martin, RRC Surface Mining & Reclamation Interim Director Alex Schoch
    & Sabine Mining Co. President Andy Hawbaker, RRC Commissioner Ryan Sitton.

    image of reclaimed mine land

  • Chairman Craddick Welcomes Australian Delegation to Railroad Commission

    February 12, 2019

    AUSTIN - Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today welcomed a delegation from Australia to the Railroad Commission headquarters in Austin. 

    Chairman Craddick explained to the group how the Texas Railroad Commission provides a sound regulatory foundation for the Texas energy industry while also protecting public safety and the environment.

    Christi Craddick and Australian Delegates

    Left to Right: James Pratt, Executive Director-Onshore Gas Development, Northern Territory Government-Department of Primary Industry and Resources; RRC Chairman Christi Craddick; and Rod Applegate, Deputy Chief Executive-Mines and Energy, Northern Territory Government-Department of Primary Industry and Resources.

    Christi Craddick was reelected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2018 to serve as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.

  • Railroad Commission Launches Texas’ First Online Searchable Database of Oil & Gas Inspection and Enforcement Data

    RRC Online Inspection Lookup Available 24/7
    January 23, 2019

    AUSTIN – Today, the Railroad Commission of Texas launched its RRC Online Inspection Lookup (OIL) tool for searching statewide oil and gas inspection and enforcement information, including notices of violation and intentions to sever leases. For the first time in RRC history, RRC OIL allows anyone, anywhere at any time to search online records of oil and gas well inspections and violations.

    Chairman Christi Craddick said, ““RRC Online Inspection Lookup continues our efforts to use improved technology to deliver more accessible information to the public and industry on the work of the commission.”

    Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “Government transparency keeps citizens informed and engaged. The Railroad Commission has made great strides on transparency under our watch, and I am pleased that through initiatives like RRC Oil we continue to lead the way. I will continue to push for even more transparency and accessibility at the RRC.”

    Commissioner Wayne Christian said, “This tool will be helpful to our agency, the industry and most importantly, the general public in ensuring individuals have easy, transparent access to data regarding the regulation of our natural resources. I applaud our hardworking staff and the commitment of funding from the Texas Legislature in making this long-desired tool a reality.”

    Users may access RRC OIL 24/7 and can customize inspection and violation searches by a variety of criteria, including;  

    • Operator name;
    • Lease name or number;
    • API number;
    • County;
    • RRC District Oil and Gas District number;
    • Inspection date range, and;
    • Rule.

    RRC OIL accesses inspection and enforcement data entered into the RRC’s Inspection, Compliance, Enforcement Electronic Tracking System, which was implemented in August 2015. Users may also download data set files either statewide or by RRC district office.

    The RRC OIL tool is part of the agency’s on-going information technology modernization program using technology for greater efficiency in RRC operations and making data collected and maintained by the agency more accessible to the public.

    RRC OIL can be found on our website here


  • Chairman Craddick Announces Staff Changes

    January 02, 2019

    AUSTIN - Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today announced Jason Modglin as the new Director of Public Affairs for the Chairman’s office.  

    “Jason is a great addition to the Railroad Commission and will play an important role in my office, ensuring the Commission delivers efficient, effective regulation for the people of Texas,” said Chairman Craddick. “In his time at the Legislature, he has been heavily involved with crafting conservative state budgets and legislation protecting Texan’s natural resources.” 

    Modglin previously served as Chief of Staff to State Rep. Drew Darby, who chairs the House Energy Resources Committee and the House State & Federal Power & Responsibility Committee. A native of Houston, Texas, Modglin is a graduate Southwestern University with a degree in Political Science and the University of Texas at Austin with a master’s degree in Public Affairs.