Crude oil plays an important role in both energy and politics, and sometimes policy can have a significant impact on the development of the oil and gas industry. In order to help companies navigate the obstacles of federal regulation, Former Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission Elizabeth Ames Coleman now works as an advocate for the industry in her current role as a partner at Energy North America.

With an extensive family history and professional background in America’s oil and gas patch, Coleman has a unique perspective on the legislation and regulations that affect operators around the country. Twice elected as the Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, Coleman said she has traded in “being a referee” for being a voice to represent oil and gas companies in Washington.

“This downturn is a result of the energy and economic policy of our country, which has crippled our industry,” Coleman told Angie Austin at EnerCom’s The Oil & Gas Conference. “The federal government is so dysfunctional. Even their own administrative processes, they don’t abide by. It’s so fluid, and they will just change direction with the wind.”

Coleman hopes to help strengthen American oil and gas operators, and suggested that an environmental impact statement be required for all the oil the U.S. imports. The federal government makes U.S. oil and gas companies go through an extensive environmental impact process before they begin operating, “I don’t understand why [barrels of oil] imported from abroad shouldn’t be subject to the same hoops that we have to go through,” she said.

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