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Energy Policy Watch

Energy Policy Watch is a partnership between Hart Energy and Cornerstone. Hart Energy and Cornerstone will bring regular video updates on legislative and regulatory actions affecting the energy industry. Guests will range from key representatives and senators or congressional staff to relevant cabinet-level officials and executive branch personnel.

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The past year has been one unlike any other for the oil and gas industry with a global oil price war, a pandemic and collapse in oil demand, below-zero prices, calls for prorations, along with a new U.S. presidential administration and transforming energy policies. The Railroad Commission of Texas (the Railroad Commission) dealt with all of this, plus a deep freeze and widespread power failure throughout the state.

Chairman Christi Craddick speaks with Cornerstone Government Affairs’ Principal Jack Belcher in this first establishment of Energy Policy Watch to provide unique insights into how the Commission managed these crises and maneuvered the oil and gas industry through this series of unprecedented events.

Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission is the oldest regulatory body in Texas and one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. The Railroad Commission has primary regulatory jurisdiction over oil and gas in the state and has historically been a global leader in setting innovative regulatory standards and best practices on important issues like royalties, pooling, unitization and well spacing.  

Craddick explains how the Railroad Commission worked with industry, state and federal government entities and other important stakeholders to get industry through the price collapse and oil glut, including facilitating a healthy debate and hearing over prorationing. She discusses the Railroad Commission’s role in managing February’s deep freeze and blackouts. Commissioner Craddick also provides a number of initiatives related to the blackouts, encouraging and facilitating a reduction in gas flaring and venting and the challenge of funding the Railroad Commission priorities and functions under a greatly impacted state budget. 

Looking into the future, Craddick speaks about the Railroad Commission’s role, and that of the state of Texas, in managing and mitigating the impacts of executive orders, federal regulatory actions and potential legislative initiatives from the Biden administration and Congress.

Jump to a topic:

  • Texas Railroad Commission’s role in the last year (1:13)
  • Oil and gas services companies beginning to hire back (8:40)
  • New era of U.S. presidential administration plus challenges faced for the oil and gas industry and the Texas Railroad Commission (9:50)
  • February deep freeze and Texas blackouts (16:28)
  • Opportunities and lessons learned from the freeze in Texas (26:30)
  • Natural gas, methane emissions (28:37)
  • Oil and gas revenues, budgets (33:53)
  • Long term recovery (38:32)

Cornerstone Government Affairs Inc. is a full-service, bipartisan public affairs firm with more than 100 professionals in 13 offices across the country. Through its federal and state government relations; strategic communications; and business consulting/strategic advisory brands, Cornerstone represents a diverse group of clients from myriad industries and sectors, and maintains expertise in a wide range of issue areas, including agriculture, cyber security, defense, education, energy, health, homeland security, international affairs, tax policy, telecommunications, and transportation and infrastructure.

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