Last week President Trump sent his nominations over to the Senate to replace the two open seats on the FERC board, FERC or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Is the federal body that regulates pipelines and energy infrastructure across the country.
Some in the Senate vowed to block these nominations. As the two recent people rolled off of the FERC board. There was a lot of discussion about the federal position over regulating energy infrastructure and in particular building pipelines. What’s indicative of this new move, is the fact that people are playing politics with infrastructure like never before. It brings me an opportunity to talk about how we are different here in Texas.
I, as your railroad commissioner, sit on the board of three people, who also regulate pipelines. However, in Texas we regulate all of the intrastate pipelines or those pipelines that don’t cross federal or state borders. What’s interesting about Texas is that we are one of only two states in which your energy regulators are elected. Suddenly claim that having politicians in these roles can lead to over politicization of the job. However, when you see what’s happening with the front positions. You see that in Texas were immune to the political hot potato that happens in a lot of these appointed positions.
Instead in Texas, we as railroad commissioners are accountable directly to the people for whom we work for, the 27 million voters, who can elect us. As we unfold the future of Texas and national energy. There’s going to be continued debate over the appropriate role of regulators and governments in construction of energy infrastructure and energy development. I for one believe that in Texas we are setting an example for how we step out of the politics and make sure we are representing the interest of our citizens and making sure that our energy infrastructure is strong.
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Ryan Sitton is a native Texan who grew up in the Irving area. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Ryan founded PinnacleAIS, an engineering and technology company focused on reliability and integrity programs for the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries. He was elected to the Railroad Commission in 2014 to a six-year term. You can read more about Ryan HERE.