The Texas Senate has approved increased funding for the Texas Railroad Commission.
Related: RRC Facing Budget Challenges
The Texas Legislature recently approved its 2018-2019 budget, which gives approximately $256.1 million to the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC).
The much-needed dollars will allow the RRC to strengthen its inspection and enforcement capabilities as well as hiring additional employees.
Funding from Senate Bill 1 includes:
- $5.9 million increase for pipeline safety inspection
- $3 million and 7 full-time employees for IT modernization projects related to inspection and enforcement tracking and reporting
- $40.7 million increase for oil and gas well plugging and remediation activities
- $39.6 million for operational stability
The Texas Railroad Commission has been facing a budget crunch as oil and gas prices continue to be unstable. Commissioner Christi Craddick said the agency’s number of employees dropped from 1500 in the 1990’s to 690 in 2017. The jobs shortage presents a huge challenge for the agency, because the work still has to be done.
Senate Bill 1 is currently pending the Governor's signature into law.