Celebrating 10 years covering energy and politics in The Lone Star State. 


“Anything is more reliable than oil and gas. If you count on that revenue to be there and it’s not, you have a problem pretty quickly.”

— Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar in advice to the legislature on the future of state income, as quoted in the Houston Chronicle

The TER Buzz:

Texas Fuels the World: An Open Letter to All American Energy Consumers from TAEP

January 14, 2019


By John Tintera


Austin, Texas – from the Headquarters of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers:


Oil and gas exports from Texas’ hydrocarbon reservoirs are a rock-solid guarantee that America’s light switches work, computers hum, and our paychecks are more secure. Texas hydrocarbon energy fuels the world, making our lives safer and more prosperous. Our hydrocarbon energy and technology can – and will – help today and tomorrow the one billion people worldwide that live in energy poverty.


The benefits are obvious. There is no better example of free market success than the domestic energy renaissance our nation has enjoyed over the last 15 years, first with natural gas, and then with crude oil. Texas now supplies about 42% of US national crude oil production, and that number is expected to grow to 45% by year-end 2019. Ten years ago, that number was just 22%. Since 2008, US crude oil production has grown by 130%, and Texas crude oil production has more than quadrupled over that same period of time.


The development and production of these resources supports hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in Texas and generates extraordinary economic growth in the state. The “Texas Miracle” is a term now commonly used to reference the state’s extraordinary economic performance in relation to other states and to the US national economy. The Texas Miracle economy simply does not exist absent the state’s strong oil and gas economy. The highest rates of economic growth in Texas over the last 15 years have come in those years in which the state’s upstream (exploration and production) oil and gas economy was strong and growing. In the second quarter of 2018, the most recent period for which statistics are available, Texas Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was the highest of all 50 states at a whopping 6.0%.


Though it may seem counter-intuitive to some, today’s regulated development and deployment of hydrocarbon energy resources is not incompatible with a cleaner environment – in fact it is synonymous. Texas hydrocarbons, including our plentiful natural gas, have allowed the U.S. to show an overall decrease in key emissions. Natural gas is cleaner burning, readily available, fully regulated, and exists within America’s borders.


The national debate over energy does create an important opportunity. It allows for a much needed conversation about comprehensive energy regulatory reform. Let’s identify and eliminate duplicate and unnecessarily burdensome regulatory requirements that cost more than they save. It is important to stop damaging federal regulatory overreach when it occurs, and look for potential delegation of federal authority to our States. All Americans should read Texas Senate Concurrent Resolution 26 from the 85th Legislative Session, which was voted into law and signed by our Texas leaders. Its important message was a call to “transcend partisan politics and correct misuses of federal regulatory power that have threatened the Texas oil and gas industry, the jobs it creates, and the economy of the state.”


Hydrocarbons will continue to remain a vital part of all domestic and worldwide energy solutions. America must reject any political trend, deal, or social philosophy that threatens national security which is built on our energy independence. The federal government must never lose touch with the reality of jobs and the role of abundant and inexpensive energy for our communities and the world. That energy comes from hydrocarbons.


We call on our elected officials to use Texas bountiful energy wisely to solve problems and save lives today, and not focus on unrealistic and politicized promises that mislead the American people and create nothing but new problems for tomorrow. In Texas, we know that hydrocarbon energy creates prosperity that lifts the quality of life for all our citizens. If deemed necessary, this prosperity can modernize vital infrastructure like roads or ports, build pipelines that can transport not just oil and gas but water to areas in need, build recycling facilities, and ensure that we use our God-given resources for the betterment of all mankind.


The best is yet to come for our beloved America and the entire world as it looks to the future, fueled by Texas hydrocarbons.



Oil, natural gas prices reverse downward trend

By Alex Mills


Crude oil and natural gas prices have been on a roller-coaster ride as the market reacts to a variety of economic news from around the world.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) increased closing at $52.17 on Wednesday. Even natural gas broke its downward price trend closing at $3.03.

After rising through much of 2018, crude oil prices declined significantly beginning in October amid heightened crude oil price volatility, according to the Energy Information Administration. “On Oct. 3, Brent and WTI prices each hit annual highs of $86 per barrel and $76, respectively. Subsequently, however, the prices for each crude oil fell quickly. On Dec. 24, Brent reached an annual low of $50/b, down nearly $36/b from its October high, and WTI reached an annual low of $43/b, more than $33/b lower than its October high.”…

Commissioner Christian Rebuts Climate Catastrophists Call for Government Overregulation: RRC

January 10, 2019


AUSTIN – A coalition of climate catastrophists, led by Environment Texas, sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott demanding immediate action to reduce emissions and combat what they claim is man-made climate change.

In response, Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian penned a letter to the Governor applauding him for his work on energy and environmental issues and the key role it has played in ensuring American energy dominance. You can read the letter here.

“Last year, it was announced that the United States lowered its carbon emissions more than any country in the world for the ninth time in 18 years,” said Commissioner Christian. “These reductions coincide directly with the Texas shale boom and are because of our increased production and use of natural gas – not punitive government policies such as carbon-taxes or emission reduction mandates.”

“For the first time in decades, the U.S. has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia as the top producer of oil and gas in the world,” continued Christian. “This is no accident. It is the direct result of deliberate policy decisions made by leaders like Governor Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump. Energy security is national security, and our country is safer today because of our consistent, predictable regulatory environment.”

Texas Power Pool Gathering Public Entities for Renewable Electricity Aggregation: Press Release

January 10, 2019


Texas Energy Aggregation announced the formation of the Texas Power Pool, a new power purchasing option for Texas public entities to utilize aggregated renewable energy. Texas Power Pool services include competitive procurement of utility-scale renewables and on-site solar for state agencies, higher education, cities, independent school districts, water districts, and other public entities across Texas, including cooperative and municipal utility regions. The services are enabled by a Texas Comptroller’s Statewide Procurement Division contract awarded to Texas Energy Aggregation. Interested public entities can learn more from the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO)…

Preston New Public Affairs Director for RRC’s Sitton

January 9, 2019


Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton today announced the addition of Bryan Preston to his Austin staff. Preston serves as director of public affairs.

“I’m pleased to welcome Bryan to our great team at the Railroad Commission,” Sitton said. “He brings deep experience and knowledge of media, blogs, social media and state government with him. He has spent his career fighting for freedom, conservative principles and for Texas. Bryan is going to make an immediate impact in our ability to serve the state and will be a key member of our team.”…