Porter Voices Concerns Over Texas Pipelines
Commissioner David Porter of the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) Tuesday visited several south Texas border oil and gas facilities and pipeline rights-of-way to meet with field staff, operators, law enforcement and security officials to examine the vulnerability of Texas’ critical industry infrastructure.
"While oil and gas operators take every precaution to limit any threat to their equipment and product, the unfettered flow of illegal aliens complicates their efforts,” said Porter. “South Texas pipelines are vulnerable because the federal government has abdicated its most basic function to protect our borders.”
Commissioner Porter recently sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, questioning the agency’s commitment to border security and the protection of vital U.S. interests and infrastructure. His concern stems from several published reports detailing unsettling communication between ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Mexican cartels - which have long been active along Texas pipeline rights-of-way. Those terrorist networks have in recent years been targeting their own country’s pipelines and energy infrastructure.
The commissioner added, “While neither I — nor the Railroad Commission — have any desire to get into the border security debate, border security has unfortunately made its way into our issues.” The commissioner also noted he will be working with officials in the Texas Legislature and the federal government to develop solutions to protect RRC inspectors and industry workers from threats, so they can continue to produce the natural resources that will pave the way toward American energy independence.”
The RRC is the chief energy regulator for the State of Texas, having primary regulatory jurisdiction over the oil and natural gas industry, as well as pipelines, natural gas utilities, the propane industry, and coal and uranium surface mining operations. The agency works to ensure fair and consistent energy regulation in Texas so businesses can safely, efficiently, and economically produce the energy that is needed to power Texans and the Texas economy.