Energy is the Backbone of Texas' Economy and It's Getting Bigger
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The largest gathering of Texas lawmakers outside of Austin took place Wednesday on the Angelo State University campus for the 15th annual West Texas Legislative Summit.
The focus this year was Energy; Landscape of Opportunity and representatives of the oil and gas and renewable energy industry gathered to hear from panelists including state representatives, state senators and other elected and appointed officials involved in energy production and regulation.
Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian was on the Economics of Energy Independence panel Wednesday morning. Christian said, “The day I was elected to the Railroad Commission in November 2016 I was listening to the radio and heard the announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy that the largest find of oil and gas in the history of the United States was found in Midland, Texas.”
Christian said that find was so significant that by the year 2020, the U.S. will be energy dominant and energy secure. “This is phenomenal because not only is it economic security but it is national security.” The commissioner said the oil and gas find in West Texas has changed the global oil and gas industry. Christian said he was having dinner with the Ambassador to Israel and asked him if the West Texas oil and gas find made any difference in Israel’s negotiations in the middle east. The Ambassador said, “Commissioner, all the difference in the world!”
The rest of the Economics of Energy Independence panel included State Senator Kelly Hancock and State Representatives Charles ‘Doc’ Anderson, Travis Clardy, James Frank, Kyle Kacel, Ken King and Eddie Lucio III. The panel was moderated by Texas Oil & Gas Association President Todd Staples.
Other panels included discussions including a preview of the 86th Legislative Session that starts in January; Transportation: Pipe, Rail, Roads, and Ports; Perspectives and Producers from the Delaware and Permian; and Alternative Energy and Local Impacts.
The 15th annual West Texas Legislative Summit was hosted by State Representative Drew Darby and State Senator Charles Perry. U.S. Congressman Mike Conaway was also in attendance and spoke during the luncheon along with Shawn Bennett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and J. Christopher Giancarlo, Chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Representative Darby said the summit focuses on issues the state legislature will address when it convenes in January during even numbered years and on federal issues in odd numbered years.