Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian to moderate Feb. 6 Shelby County candidate forum
One of the top elected officials in the state, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian, has agreed to serve as moderator for a Feb. 6 forum for Shelby County candidates.
The forum is being hosted by The Light and Champion and the Rio Theatre and will be held at the Rio on the square in downtown Center beginning at 6 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 6.
The event is free and open to the public with all local Shelby County candidates invited to participate. Each candidate will be allowed time to address the audience.
Christian is a former Texas State Representative who has served on the three-member Texas Railroad Commission since 2016 and was elected chairman of the commission in June 2019.
That action came when former Texas RRC Chairwoman Christi Craddick stepped down and nominated Christian for the position. Christian is a Tenaha native and Center businessman who served in the Texas Legislature beginning in 1996.
The Texas Railroad Commission is the state's top energy industry regulatory agency.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve on the Railroad Commission during this historic period of growth for our state’s oil and gas industry,” Christian at the time he was elected chairman of the RRC. “Largely because of Texas, America has become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world, giving us not only energy security, but national security as well.”
In his current role, Christian said he looks forward to continuing to ensure the agency provides a consistent, predictable regulatory environment that allows businesses to thrive and protects the public from bad actors.
A lifelong conservative businessman, Christian was elected as the state's 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016 and became the highest ranking elected official from Shelby County, according to his biographical information.
Since taking office, Christian has been appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission as the official representative of Texas. The IOGCC is one of the oldest and largest interstate compacts in the nation, formed more than 80 years ago when several states joined together to resolve common issues in the industry without federal intervention.
Christian graduated from high school as valedictorian, and went on to graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University with a B.B.A. in General Business in 1973. After college, Christian found success in the music industry with his country/gospel band, the Mercy River Boys and went on to be finalist for a Grammy Award in 1979.
In 1987, after gaining valuable experience in business, banking and real estate, he opened a financial services business.
In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the House, Christian was a leader for the conservative renaissance in the State of Texas and successfully assisted in the fight to elect a Republican majority in the Texas Legislature, according to his biography on the RRC site.
Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.
Christian said he will continue to fight to ensure the public is protected from bad actors and that all decisions are consistent and predictable to give a sense of certainty to the thousands of business owners and operators who regularly deal with the Railroad Commission. All regulations should be based on sound science and not speculation.