Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter Testifies before U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

Testimony focuses on federal overreach of EPA’s Clean Air Act

July 06, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter testified today before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, condemning recent rulemaking by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). His testimony focused specifically on recent EPA Methane rules, the Clean Power Plan and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Porter said EPA has failed to base its regulations on sound science and their economic impact to both energy producers and to consumers, which, he asserted, the Commission has done for over a century.

“History shows that decreases in emissions and improved environmental conditions come about as a result of innovative technological advances and market-driven efficiencies, not through the massive overreach of federal bureaucrats,” Porter said.

“The Commission’s rulemaking decisions are based on sound science and potential economic impacts to all Texans.  When businesses are forced to stifle innovation and instead operate as bureaucracies, which EPA seems intent on achieving through its unwarranted and overreaching rules, both consumers and the environment pay the price.”

Porter criticized the recent CAA rulemakings for:

  • minimal interaction and consultation with Texas and other State regulatory authorities;
  • underestimated or ignored compliance costs;
  • overestimated, unjustified and exaggerated regulatory and environmental benefits;
  • increased regulatory and economic burdens on operating companies, particularly smaller oil and gas operators who make up an overwhelming majority of the industry in Texas; and
  • creation of “one-size-fits-all” regulations that ignore the significant differences in regional operating conditions and State regulatory systems.

“The underlying themes have been the consolidation of increased regulatory power in the federal government to the detriment of state authority, and the circumvention of the regulatory authority granted to EPA by Congress,” Porter said.  “I respectfully urge this committee to take the Railroad Commission’s comments on the CAA rulemaking by EPA seriously; impede this administration from further assuming unconstitutional powers and obtrusive regulations on states; and ensure that our nation continues to serve as the global energy leader we are today.”

 To  review Chairman Porter’s full testimony, click here.  

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter was elected statewide by the people of Texas to serve as a member of the Commission in November 2010. A Certified Public Accountant and successful small business owner, Chairman Porter has worked with oil and gas producers for nearly three decades providing strategic financial advice and tax counsel. He is the senior member of the Commission with a proven record of principle-driven, free market conservative leadership.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.