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Wayne Christian's Press Room

News Items - 2022

  • Texas’ Chief Oil and Gas Regulator Pens Letter to State Pension Fund Agency Over Anti-Fossil Fuel Investment Vote

    May 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian penned a letter to the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) regarding reports of a vote on a shareholder resolution to divest investment from fossil fuels.

    “The reports that a Texas state agency has – accidentally or intentionally – allowed woke activists to harm the investment and retirement portfolios of our constituents as collateral damage in their war against fossil fuels are extremely troubling,” said Christian. “The Texas Legislature was clear with the passage of SB 13 last session that this is not the way Texas does business. ESG investing is harmful to our state economy, the reliability of our grid, and energy independence efforts that bolster national security. It has no place in Texas.”

    You can read the letter here.

  • Christian: Texas Oil & Gas Can Save Europe, Again

    By Wayne Christian
    March 18, 2022

    Like everyone, I’m heartbroken about everything happening in our world right now. As a parent and grandparent, I’m worried about the nation we are leaving for the next generation. 

    In recent years, it has become painfully clear that climate catastrophism has an oversized influence on public policy. An intense focus on reaching the unattainable goal of carbon-zero has repeatedly caused poor policy decisions that increase costs to consumers and make us more reliant on unreliable forms of energy. Ironically, these policies do not reduce emissions, they just ship them overseas and make us more reliant on hostile foreign nations, like Russia and China. 

    But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Energy security is national security, plain and simple. I know it sounds played-out but it’s a fact.

    Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than in Europe, which had relied on Russia for almost half of its natural gas supply[1] and Chinese renewables for roughly another fifth of their energy[2]. The European Union (EU) has painted themselves into an energy-dependent corner and jeopardized their national security as a result. 

    Since taking office, President Biden made every poor decision he could make to cripple our geopolitical standing in the world. From handing Afghanistan to the Taliban to destroying our American energy dominance, it’s clear this administration cares more about appeasing radical leftwing activists than doing what is right for the American people.

    There are better alternatives, and buying American is the solution. In 2019, the U.S. became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 67 years[3], surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world[4]. This gave us affordable energy, thousands of new jobs, economic growth, and national security. Our country achieved this by simply empowering, instead of attacking, domestic oil and gas producers.

    The EU should be buying Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from friendly countries like America, Australia, and other western democracies to meet their firm generation needs. It’s dependable, affordable, and cleaner than coal. European gas presently trades around $26 per metric million British thermal units, while the price of U.S. LNG is a little over $9 but has been as low as $4[5]. Given the right production incentives, it can be that low again. Texas represents a quarter of the U.S.’s natural gas production and can certainly produce more to meet that potential demand.

    Texas is the nation’s largest producer of oil and gas, and if it were a country, it would be the third largest producer in the world[6]. Prior to COVID-19 and OPEC disputes, Texas was producing a historic 1.85 billion barrels a year, with a 60% increase from 2016-2020[7]. Today, Texas has been producing much less at roughly 4.7 million daily barrels, or a lesser difference of about 320,000 barrels a day[8].

    Currently, American oil and gas producers are seeing all red lights. From growing ESG investments to federal leasing bans to canceled pipelines and increased regulations, there has been little incentive the past two years for investors, producers, refiners and more.  

    We need to be realistic and practical. The price of crude oil has skyrocketed, inflation is rampant, and Europe is mired in its first ground war since World War II. It’s time to switch the lights from red to green. We should be divesting from hostile countries and harnessing American oil and gas right here in the Permian Basin.

    This wouldn’t be the first time Texas energy played an impactful role on the world stage. In World War I, Eastland County, Texas and the “Roaring Ranger” production were essential to the Allied victory[9]. In World War II, six of the seven billion barrels of oil used to win the war came from the U.S.,[10] with two East Texas pipelines largely responsible for transporting most of it from the largest oil field in history at the time. Winston Churchill at the end of the conflict said that the war was won on a sea of East Texas oil[11].

    As Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, I led an effort, joined by my colleagues, calling for all oil and gas producers to divest from Russia. I’m glad to see some large producers heeded that call as well as mildly encouraged that President Biden came to his sense on Russian oil. However, there is much more that needs to be done to end Putin’s unlawful war, decrease energy costs and strengthen our national security. As Biden shuts the spigot off on Russian oil and gas, he needs to turn the American one on full blast.  

    The Lone Star State is ready to meet U.S. energy needs and help our European allies meet theirs. Mr. President, please just give Texas the green light.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters and five grandchildren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

     

    [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/business/economy/russia-europe-sanctions-gas-oil.html#:~:text=Europe%20gets%20nearly%2040%20percent,walloped%20with%20higher%20heating%20bills

    [2] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Renewable_energy_statistics

    [3] https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/us-energy-facts/imports-and-exports.php

    [4] https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=40973

    [5] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9133us3m.htm

    [6] https://www.txoga.org/txoga-statement-ukraine-invasion-underscores-importance-of-strong-domestic-energy-production/

    [7] https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=TX

    [8] https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mcrfptx2&f=a

    [9] https://aoghs.org/petroleum-pioneers/roaring-ranger-wins-wwi/

    [10] https://theconversation.com/energy-pipelines-are-controversial-now-but-one-of-the-first-big-ones-helped-win-world-war-ii-161729

    [11] https://www.kltv.com/story/37257286/75th-anniversary-of-the-big-inch-pipeline/

  • Texas Energy Regulator Pens Open Letter to President Biden on Solutions to Energy Crisis and Curbing Russian Aggression

    March 04, 2022

    AUSTIN – Today, Chairman Wayne Christian penned an open letter to President Joe Biden critiquing his failed energy agenda and providing solutions to the ongoing global energy crisis.

    In the letter, he calls on Biden to immediately end all Russian oil imports to the U.S., instruct international oil and gas companies cut ties with Russian operators, and to put an immediate end to his anti-oil-and-gas rhetoric and policies so domestic producers have the regulatory certainty necessary to increase production here at home.

    “From handing Afghanistan to the Taliban to destroying our American Energy Dominance, it is clear this administration cares more about appeasing radical left-wing activists than doing the right thing for the American people,” said Chairman Christian. “Putin’s Russia is an enemy actor who should be cut off completely—we don’t need their oil, gas or anything else. It’s simple: NOW is the time to unleash American oil and gas production for the future of our allies and the safety of our nation.”

    You can read the letter here.

     

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters and five grandchildren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.

  • Railroad Commissioners Applaud Major Oil Companies Cutting Ties with Russian Oil Companies, Encourage Others to do the Same

    March 01, 2022

    AUSTIN – In recent days, major oil and gas companies, such as British Petroleum and Shell, have announced their divestment of ownership in Russian oil and gas companies such as Rosneft.  RRC commissioners firmly support these actions and strongly encourage all Western oil and gas companies to similarly cut ties with any Russian oil and gas business. 

    “I’m heartbroken and disgusted by the ruthless and lawless actions of Vladimir Putin. Energy security is national security, and that’s clearer than ever,” said RRC Chairman Wayne Christian. “The United States, our European allies, and major oil and gas producers should immediately sever all ties with Russia – period. Western democracies shouldn’t fuel Putin’s unjust war against a peaceful and democratic nation. Instead, oil and gas should be purchased from reliable and trusted allies or produced here at home. I call on President Biden to end his illogical stance on oil and gas and unleash American producers in defense of Ukraine and democracy.” 

    “Putin’s war against Ukraine is despicable and should serve as a wake up call to the world,” said Commissioner Christi Craddick. “I support the actions of BP and Shell and encourage other international energy providers to divest from Russian companies and markets. Texas producers are ready, willing, and able to supply oil and gas on a global scale, and I encourage President Biden to support Ukraine by releasing the chokehold on American energy production.”

    “The Russian war against Ukraine is a forceful reminder of the importance of American-made energy and that domestic energy policy is crucially intertwined with U.S. foreign policy,” said Commissioner Jim Wright. “The exploration and production of oil and gas does not occur overnight, which is why it is essential to have consistent, predictable, energy policies that encourage and promote development. Maintaining our domestic production is not only vital to America’s national security interest, but those of our allies around the globe. Having long recognized the importance of oil and gas to our state, our nation, and our allies, Texas stands ready to do its part.”

  • Christian: Texas’ Flaring Rate Continues Record Drop

    January 26, 2022

    AUSTIN – The statewide flaring rate fell to an even lower record level at the end of 2021, according to the Railroad Commission’s latest production report. The percentage of natural gas flared in Texas dropped from a previous record low of 0.20% in September 2021 to a new record low of 0.19% in November.

    Texas has one of the lowest flaring rates of large oil and gas producing states in the country, with an average rate of flaring that has remained significantly less than 2% for more than two years.

    “Report after report shows that Texas is on the right track to reducing and maintaining low levels of flaring,” RRC Chairman Wayne Christian said of the report. “Although the mainstream media often ignores this record achieving accomplishment by government and industry, it’s proof that a cooperative collaboration can bring positive results, and I continue to be proud of the effort and its outcome.”

    “Texas proudly boasts conservative, pro-business policies which are bringing 1,000 people a day to our state,” Christian continued. “As we need to produce more oil and gas to keep up with our growth, I’m committed to a consistent and predictable regulatory process based on sound science that allows oil and gas companies to responsibly produce plentiful, affordable and reliable energy to meet the increasing demand for all Texans.”

    A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. You can learn more about Chairman Christian here: https://rrc.texas.gov/About-Us/Commissioners/Wayne-Christian/.





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