Ethanol Mandates Help Wall Street and Hurt Texas: Christi Craddick

By Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Christi Craddick

The Lone Star State is blessed with strong energy and agriculture industries, both of which sustain thousands of jobs all over our state and play an important role to our national and economic security.


The mining and utilities industry is the largest contributor to Texas’ GDP, and the food and fiber system is ranked second.


Unfortunately, both industries are falling victim to a broken regulatory framework out of Washington, D.C. Right now, there is debate surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a federal program requiring transportation fuels to contain a certain amount of renewable resources such as ethanol, specifically as it regards the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).


The EPA made up RINs with the goal of designing a minimally burdensome enforcement mechanism for the RFS. In fact, when they were first introduced, RINs sold for a penny or two each. Now, however, RIN prices have skyrocketed and cost as high as $1.40 each. These increased costs are putting considerable pressure on Texas refiners as they have had to direct more and more of their bottom line to paying these fees, rather than reinvesting in the state’s economy. As a result, thousands of Texas refinery jobs are at risk.


The most unfortunate part about the RINs system is that those who benefit from it are neither corn farmers nor refinery workers, but rather Wall Street speculators who reap profits from RINs.


Our own governor recognized the threat of high RIN prices on Texans’ jobs and wrote to the EPA asking for relief, explaining that “current implementation of this dated federal mandate severely impacts Texas’ otherwise strong economy and jeopardizes the employment of hundreds of thousands of Texans.”


And U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is currently leading the effort in Washington to defend the interests of Texans from this broken system. Senator Cruz has called for a “win-win” solution that will simultaneously bring RINs prices down and protect Texas refinery jobs, while enabling Texas farmers to grow and sell more corn.


The White House is meeting with senators from Texas and the Midwest and interests representing ethanol producers, refiners and unions. Negotiations are ongoing.


Senator Cruz and those working to achieve a fair and reasonable solution are focused on allowing all industries across the state to grow – from agriculture, to oil and gas, to renewable and alternative sources of energy – and take full advantage of the agricultural and energy resources we have right here at home. Texans should support efforts to reform the RFS and cap RIN prices, for the good of the Texas economy and all Texans.


CERA Week Shines Unflattering Light on Trump’s Backward Energy Policy: Public Citizen

From Public Citizen:


The world’s largest corporate and national oil producers are gathering in Houston to echo Trump’s misguided energy dominance mantra promoting the extraction of fossil fuels. These visitors to Houston might try to ignore their host city’s scars from Hurricane Harvey, just as their industry has ignored its responsibility for catastrophic climate change.

Texas leads North America in wind production – setting records and saving consumers millions – but CERA ignores the clean energy revolution and the disruptive impact renewables are having on the fossil fuel industry. Worse still, not a single public interest representative is speaking, and not one voice will bear witness to the ravages of environmental racism and other ills of oil extraction, refining and consumption.

Renewables already…


Oil and gas economy up 25 percent: TAEP

March 8, 2018


WICHITA FALLS—Oil and gas producers in Texas kicked off the New Year with a bang, propelling the Texas Petro Index upward for the 14th straight month by continuing to increase production in response to higher wellhead prices. At 192.7 in January, the TPI was 25 percent higher than in January 2017 when the TPI stood at 153.7 and up more than 30 percent than in November 2016 when the TPI stood at 148.2.


“The statewide…


Open Season For Dakota Access Expansion


March 7, 2018


Energy Transfer Partners is asking for commitments from the industry as it decides whether to ship additional crude through its Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Crude Oil pipelines that move oil from the Bakken play in North Dakota to the Gulf Coast…


CERAWeek: Pemex Looking For Partners In Several Exploration Projects

March 7, 2018


Mexico’s Pemex is looking for new partners in some deepwater joint ventures, and its director, Carlos Trevino, said the state-run oil company has reduced its paperwork and approval process for joint projects because it needs to move relatively fast.

Trevino said it’s talking with partners that are already on board for other projects, including Inpex Corp. of Japan and Chevron, about joining in on two offshore blocks the company successfully bid for in January.

Trevino said at…


Koch Brothers, Russian Oil Billionaires Dominate Forbes Latest List

March 7, 2018


Charles and David Koch are the only petrochemical billionaires in the Forbes top ten among the “three comma” club.

The World’s Billionaires list released Tuesday shows the Koch brothers tied for #8 on the list with an estimated $60 billion each, far behind #1 Jeff Bezos with $110 billion and Bill Gates at #2 with $90 billion and Warren Buffet #3 with $84 billion.

The next energy-related name…

Uresti Defeated In Primary. No, Not That Uresti.

March 7, 2018


There were a few surprises in Tuesday’s primary elections, but none bigger than the loss in Texas House District 118, where the older brother of state Senator Carlos Uresti was defeated by a little-known challenger, Leo Pacheco.

Carlos Uresti was convicted by a federal jury February 22nd in fraud charges stemming from a failed oil services company; there are calls for…


Fracked Gas Put This Nuclear Plant Out Of Business, But Nuclear Waste Could End Up In Fracking Country

March 6, 2018


It’s the nuclear plant that fracking shut down, and now the Texas company that specializes in disposing of nuclear waste is part of a new agreement to decommission the plant sooner rather than later.

Entergy Nuclear shut the Vermont Yankee plant in 2014, saying at the time that fracked natural gas flowing into the New England markets placed the plant a disadvantage in negotiating power contracts, but a new agreement filed in Vermont on Friday appears to move up…


CERAWeek: OPEC Cooperation ‘Solid As the Rock of Gibralter”: Report

March 6, 2018


OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo asserted that the oil cartel’s ongoing efforts to limit global crude production, along with 11 non-OPEC countries, could serve as a long-term strategy to reduce boom-and-bust oil prices, here at the “Oil Man’s Davos,” CERAWeek in Houston on March 5, World Oil reports.

“Barkindo expressed interests in not only extending production cuts wrought by the Declaration of Cooperation—now referred to by some…