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Home » 2016-03-01 Republican primary » Texas » Railroad Commissioner » Lance N. Christian

Lance N. Christian
Party Republican
Education Masters Program (incomplete) BSc Geological Sciences, 1994 BA Geography, 1995
Occupation Geologist at Railroad Commission of Texas
Religion Protestant
Marital Single

Lance N. Christian


MCTP Rating of 78 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-01-05 13:42:54


  • Geologist - RRC is current employer
  • Concerned about federal overreach(via EPA)
  • Free Market/limited government principles
  • Understands law regarding clash between landowner/explorationists
  • Insider - understands the bureaucracy in RRC
  • Understands full scope of upcoming sunset review
  • Thoroughly familiar w.fracking process
  • Understands technology issues at RRC


  • Insider-may be reluctant in trimming size/scope of dept.  
  • Concern on his national interest for Trump, though acknowledges Cruz best for Texas



What are the three main attributes that make you the most qualified for this position?

I am a state licensed geologist with a technical background in groundwater hydrogeology. I am employed in the Groundwater Advisory Unit at the RRC; I regularly use geophysical logs to estimate earth properties in the subsurface and bring technical and earth science experience over political experience to an agency that regulates the natural resource-related industries in Texas.


What are the three main reasons you are running for this office? Do you see any potential conflicts of interest?

a. The belief in the need for technical experience in policy-making leadership positions for agencies that regulate/manage the natural resources of the state.

b. Continue RRC practice of responsible regulation of the Texas energy industry, while not overregulating, which would place unnecessary pressure on already stressed commodities’ markets. 

c. Experience at the Railroad of Commission of Texas provides me an advantage of knowing many of the agency functions, thereby increasing the efficiency of the start-up period during a new commissioner’s term.

What differentiates you from your opponents?

I bring technical experience and a geological background to a state agency that is charged with responsibly regulating the energy resources of the state in order to protect the citizens and natural resources of the state, while simultaneously maintaining a viable energy industry in the State of Texas.

What is the most important problem you see that needs to be addressed by the position your running for and what do you propose to solve it?

I believe the largest issue that face the Railroad Commission will face in the next two years is statutorily mandated sunset review. The months-long review will occur soon and the recommendations that arise from the review could affect agency funding as well as current agency functions. This coupled with depressed commodity markets, which generate less revenue for the state government, could create interesting challenges in the near future.

Civic, Political or union organization or individuals to whom you have contributed (five years):


List all individuals/groups you have represented or lobbied for before any governmental entity during the past five years.

None. I am not a lawyer or lobbyist. I am a geoscientist.


How much efficiency (savings) to the taxpayer can you introduce into the RRC?

I would continue to strongly support the current agency initiative to automate all application submittal processes and the data collection that occurs during these processes. This increases efficiency by 1) minimizing human data entry, 2) reduces potential errors during the application data collection processes, 3) reduces application processing times.


What are the best ways to fund government services and why?

I believe direct fees (e.g. application fees) to those that benefit from those government services are often the best way to fund specific government services), where feasible, so that the majority of the population is not responsible for funding those services.

Do you support or oppose a Business Tax to reduce property taxes?

Oppose at this time. It would place a greater burden on already struggling businesses in depressed commodities markets. Paying property taxes would be even more difficult for employees to pay on their personal property if they lost their jobs due to a bankrupt employer. A business tax simply would not be feasible for the energy industry at this time.

10th Amendment

What's the biggest federal over reach issue for the position you're running for?

Increased overregulation from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Other civil liberty

Do you support spousal benefits for same-sex partners of State employees?



Please describe what you believe is the proper role for the state government in job creation and intervention in the economy.

Job creation should be primarily controlled by the free market system. The minimal role of government in job creation is to stimulate the market by 1) not overtaxing businesses - providing those businesses opportunities to explore and expand into new markets and 2) reasonable regulation (i.e. instead of stifling overregulation) of industry that does not place undue pressure on stressed markets such as commodity markets today. Outside of that the role of government should be minimal in creating job growth.

What side are you on in a clash between land owner and explorationists?

Every situation can be unique, and I don’t believe a blanket statement can correctly address this broad question. However, with that said, generally, the decision to exercise exploration of mineral rights upon a parcel of land lies with the owner of those rights.


How would you balance the use of existing energy sources with the development of alternate energy sources in Texas?

Much like a financial portfolio, I believe it is important to have diversified energy policy within the State of Texas. This would help mitigate the impacts from a potential negative future event that might occur. With that said, I would continue to support the current agency programs of education and research into alternative energy sources and how they may benefit the citizens of Texas, while maintaining or even increasing the competitiveness of the energy industry outside the State of Texas.

How can companies assure nearby residents that hydraulic fracturing is safe for their drinking water.

Collecting hard geochemical data of those water resources prior to exploration (where possible), during exploration activities, and continual data collection after those activities would provide a baseline geochemical water quality signature with which one could compare data collected during and after exploration activities. This comparison should provide the most definitive findings possible, regardless of what those findings are. Also, continually sampling for a significant period of time would demonstrate that the operator or explorationist is committed to ensuring public safety.


Are you active with any Tea Party or conservative grassroots organization? If so, list which, how long and what capacity? If not, what's your opinion of Tea Party groups here as to their effectiveness?


What RRC energy source are you most familiar with?

Oil industry.

What presidential candidate do you feel will best represent the USA and Texas?

I believe Donald Trump may serve the nation best for broad business experience; however, I believe Ted Cruz would be the best candidate to represent Texas’ interests.