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Michael Williams Keynote Speech - EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


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Michael Williams, Chairman, Railroad Commission of Texas

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Mr. Williams is the Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the stateís oldest regulatory commission. He chairs the Governorís Clean Coal Technology Council and FutureGen Texas, an initiative to build the first near-zero, carbon-free coal power plant in the world. Mr. Williams also serves as the Railroad Commissionís "point person" for the agency's regulatory reform and technology modernization efforts. Mr. Williams holds a Bachelor's, a Masterís and a law degree from the University of Southern California.


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About the Railroad Commission of Texas
The Railroad Commission of Texas is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining. Established by the Texas Legislature in 1891, the commission is the state's oldest regulatory agency.

As is suggested by its name, the Railroad Commission was initially created to regulate railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies within the state. Pipelines were added to the commission's jurisdiction in 1917, followed by the oil and gas industry in 1919 and gas utilities in 1920. It does not have jurisdiction over public utility companies; that falls under the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

The East Texas oil field’s discovery sparked a boom in production that sent prices plummeting. After a lengthy battle, the Railroad Commission won the right to limit the production of oil to keep the price of oil from falling too low. Because of this regulation, the commission was important to the national and international energy supply until the 1970s. It also served as a model in the creation of OPEC.


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