(The Center Square) – With the Texas oil and gas industry facing unprecedented disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a foreign production war, industry experts have called for bold leadership as the sector charts its economic recovery.
“The Texas oil and natural gas industry recognizes its profound responsibility to power modern life in a dependable and safe manner, and that requires strong leadership that unites industry together to carry out this mission,” Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, told The Center Square. “Industry-led initiatives like the Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition and the Coalition for Critical Infrastructure, for example, offer meaningful recommendations to both advance climate progress and ensure the essential operations of the oil and natural gas industry can continue meeting the needs of Texans and people around the globe.”
The industry employs thousands of Texans and contributes billions of dollars in local and state tax revenue.
“We know that our Texas elected officials are not intent on running oil and gas producers out of business with new regulations or outright prohibitions on the domestic production of oil and gas,” Jason Modglin, president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, said in an email to The Center Square. “But we have seen other states propose and implement policies with the misguided intent to harm oil and natural gas producers. Policies that ban fracking, ban the sale of natural gas to homes and businesses, and deny critical infrastructure to get product to market raises energy costs on low-income Americans, hurts our economy and shows no benefit to our environment.”
Recent oil and natural gas advancements have helped deploy cleaner energy technologies.
“This has led to the development of pioneering technologies to capture, store and reuse carbon dioxide, automation, and robotics, and further investment in this space will continue to advance economic growth while taking every step to protect the environment,” Staples said. “These steps ensure communities can be powered by clean, affordable energy when we heat our homes or drive our cars.”
The oil and gas sector has evolved to produce energy in more efficient ways than 10 to 15 years ago, all while keeping energy more affordable and reliable, Staples said.
“This industry is key to a cleaner energy future that promotes jobs," he said. "While alternative energy sources are welcomed, government picking winners and losers will lead to less reliable energy, higher costs and a delay in environmental progress.”
Oil and natural gas are and will remain the cornerstone to providing Texans with good-paying jobs, Staples said.
“Texas competes with neighboring states and other nations, so it is essential that our state leaders make decisions based on science, fair regulation and competitive taxation that keep Texas attractive to investment and jobs,” Staples added. “Texas needs policies that encourage growth, responsible energy production and pipeline infrastructure investment to accelerate economic recovery and generate state and local taxes and royalties that fund our Rainy Day Fund, schools, roads and first responders.”