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Watch Live: Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick On Coronavirus, Texas Oil Prices And The Economy

Christi Craddick

Join The Texas Tribune at noon Tuesday for an interview with Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, conducted by the Tribune’s energy and economy reporter Mitchell Ferman.

Craddick will be answering questions about the effects the coronavirus outbreak is having on Texas’ energy economy. We’ll also be discussing the recent historic drop in oil prices globally, what Texas energy producers are saying and the anticipated impact on the state’s budget for the upcoming legislative session.

This conversation will be livestreamed starting at noon CT on Tuesday, May 12, here and on The Texas Tribune's social media channels. What do you want us to ask Craddick? Submit your questions by tweeting using the hashtag #AskTrib.

In early March, the state’s oil and gas industry was dealt a major blow as global oil prices plummeted as a result of Saudi Arabia’s declaration of a price war on Russia. Then in late April, the price for a barrel of oil plunged negative, the lowest price since at least the 1980s. With shelter-in-place orders in effect, people are not commuting or traveling, leading to a devastating decline in global oil demand.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, initially decided against taking action to impose limits on oil producers, instead creating a task force to gather more information.

Texas oil producers have already felt the effects of the oil price crisis as they have closed oil wells, lost money and laid off employees.

The long-term effect on the state’s economy is still unclear, but initial indicators are not good. Comptroller Glenn Hegar, watching rapid declines in sales taxes from a flagging economy and oil prices that signal drops in severance taxes, has warned state officials that they’ll have billions of dollars less to spend in the current budget than he forecasted a year ago. He also said the economic implications will have an effect on the comptroller’s budget projection for the upcoming 87th legislative session, which begins in January.

Craddick was first elected Texas Railroad commissioner in 2012. She is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, electric deregulation and environmental policy. Before serving on the Railroad Commission, Craddick was the chief political and legal adviser to the speaker of the Texas House.

Disclosure: The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

This event is presented by AT&T, TEXAS 2036, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Media support is provided by KPRC2 and KXAN. Foundation support is provided by the Catena Foundation, Energy Foundation and Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation.

Tribune events are also supported through contributions from our founding investors and members. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.

This originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.