Statement by Chairman Barry Smitherman on the Release of the Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report


AUSTIN, TX –– Today’s release of the Sunset Advisory Commission Staff Report is a strong endorsement of the continuing need for the Railroad Commission of Texas. The report stands in stark contrast to the sentiment expressed in last session’s report where Sunset felt the Commission had outlived its usefulness.

I appreciate the efforts of Sunset and Railroad Commission staff as they have worked together over the past several months. In the coming week, the Railroad Commission will formulate a formal response to specific recommendations contained in the Sunset Staff Report.

I look forward to working with Sunset staff, Chairman Bonnen and the entire Sunset Commission, as well as all members of the Legislature during the upcoming session. Together, we can ensure Texas continues to lead the nation in oil and gas regulation.


Chairman Barry Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011, and was elected Chairman in February 2012.  Chairman Smitherman currently serves as Texas’ representative on both the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Southern States Energy Board, and as Vice 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.