Barry Smitherman, a national energy regulatory expert and former Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas (which actually regulates the oil & gas industry – not railroads – in the nation’s largest oil & gas-producing state), makes an encore appearance on the show. He explains the lessons he learned during his time chairing the Commission. He discusses how other states have benefitted from the Commission’s leadership on the regulation of hydraulic fracturing and various forms of drilling for fossil fuel energy. They also examine the status of OPEC, the fluctuation of the cost of natural gas and oil, and the other economic factors impacting the United States and energy component of the global economy. In addition, Smitherman shares his ideas about President Donald Trump’s administration in regard to coal, carbon, international treaties, and the future of environmental concerns and the regulation of energy production in the U.S.
In this special “Energy Roundtable” episode from IHS CERAWeek, Aaron talks with Barry Smitherman, the Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas (which has nothing to do with railroads!). They discuss the Commission and it’s control over Texas’ 1.6 million barrel per day oil production (equating to more oil than the U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia) and 19 billion cubic feet per day Natural Gas production (which accounts for over 30% of all U.S. production). They also talk about the hot-button issue of Fracking and the steps the RCT has taken toward safer regulation, the Pickens Plan, made famous by T. Boone Pickens, and Natural Gas. Plus: the culture in Washington, the lack of a National Energy Strategy, alternative fuel sources, and how we fix the Federal Deficit and Debt.