Texas energy regulator defends ‘perfect record’ after federal probe

By Shelby Webb | 06/26/2024 06:42 AM EDT

EPA is investigating Railroad Commission oversight of oil industry disposal wells.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian. @ChristianForTX/Twitter

The Texas Railroad Commission is fighting back against allegations that its oversight of the oil industry’s underground disposal of salty and chemical-laced wastewater has put water supplies at risk of contamination.

At an open meeting on Tuesday, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian launched into a defense of the regulator’s record of monitoring so-called Class II injection wells.

“You’re saying we don’t do a good job of doing it after the EPA has commended us for a perfect record?” Christian said in response to an advocacy group pushing for closer oversight of Texas oil and gas. “That’s what I don’t understand.”


EPA has not commended the Texas Railroad Commission for being a stellar regulator of the oil and gas industry. Instead, EPA is launching a review into Texas’ oversight of injection wells, including for carbon sequestration — an investigation that could affect the state’s hopes of getting primary jurisdiction over carbon storage.