About reliable energy alliance

Corbin Robertson Jr. founded the Reliable Energy Alliance to keep Texas at the forefront of the energy sector and ensure an affordable and dependable energy future. The organization will collaborate with key stakeholders in policy, power generation, manufacturing and the fossil fuels industry

With its abundance of natural resources, Texas must establish the legal, regulatory and economic framework to support profitable investment opportunities for all Texans to benefit from carbon storage, hydrogen generation and an offsets credits trading market. 

The Texas economy relies heavily on oil and gas production, refining, and petrochemicals. The Reliable Energy Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that Texans have access to affordable energy, products, and services, while maintaining a high standard of living..


Corbin Robertson Jr.


Corbin J. Robertson Jr. has over 40 years of global investment and operations experience in the natural resources sector. His professional career commenced in 1969 by joining Quintana Petroleum Corporation as a director and as an executive of its mining division, Quintana Minerals Corporation (QMC), which he became President of in 1978. As such, he led QMC’s precious and base metals and industrial minerals exploration and production projects throughout the Americas. In the mid 1980’s Mr. Robertson purchased QMC from the group and today it serves as the management company for his family’s group of companies.

Mr. Robertson is currently a Managing Partner of Quintana Capital Group, an energy focused private equity firm he co-founded with ~$1 billion AUM at its peak. He is also the Chairman and CEO of the general partner of Natural Resource Partners L.P. (NYSE: NRP) and Chairman of Quintana Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE:QES). He was the Chairman of Quintana Maritime Limited prior to the sale of its 37 vessels to Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. in 2008 and Chairman and CEO of Quintana Shipping, a 2nd dry bulk shipping venture with 14 vessels sold to Golden Ocean in 2017. Mr. Robertson has served as the CEO and Chairman of the general partner of Western Pocahontas Properties since 1986, of Great Northern Properties since 1992 and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of New Gauley Coal since 1986.

In addition to being a current member of their boards, he serves or has served as Chairman of the Board of the All-American Wildcatters Association, the Baylor College of Medicine, the Cullen Trust for Higher Education and the World Health and Golf Association.  He is also on the boards of the American Petroleum Institute, the National Petroleum Council and the Texas Medical Center, and a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame. He attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a B.B.A. from the Business Honors Program.

Susan Combs

Director of the Board of Advisors

Susan Combs (Chairperson) is a successful, experienced executive at both the state and federal level. She has 16 years of statewide leadership in Texas, providing strategic and innovative management, as well as nearly three years at the U.S. Department of the Interior in executive management. At Interior, Combs was the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, and Chief Financial Officer.

Most recently Combs served as the Chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, which was created by Congress, to celebrate the19th Amendment centennial nationally in August 2020. Combs is presently a Fellow at the University of Texas Center for Identity where she is working to assist on matters relating to personal data privacy.

In Texas Combs served in elected positions between 1993 and 2015. Combs served as the state’s Comptroller from 2007 to 2015. Combs was the first woman Agriculture commissioner and served from 1998 to 2007. Combs was a state legislator from 1993 to 1996 with a proven record of writing and passing landmark legislation. As head of two state agencies, she streamlined operations, ensuring more efficient and cost-effective programs, and received national recognition. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, the Austin American-Statesman, the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle among others. Combs also launched a woman’s empowerment organization in 2015 and has long had an interest in promoting women to leadership roles.

Combs is the manager and owner of a more than 130-year-old family ranching and hunting and grazing management operation in West Texas for more than 40 years

Ryan Gravatt

Executive Director

Ryan Gravatt is a digital strategist who specializes in using Websites, social media, advertising, email and search engines to bolster public affairs and public relations campaigns. Ryan is recognized as an expert in developing digital strategies for crisis communications and grassroots mobilization planning. 

Ryan draws upon his experience with mass communications in public affairs and as a newspaper reporter to integrate the client’s online presence into their broader communication plan. He develops and maintains digital strategies for corporations, political campaigns, issue-advocacy organizations and membership associations. 

Ryan graduated from the University of Florida in 1999 with a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Journalism. In 2020, the University of Florida recognized Ryan as one of the university’s top 100 entrepreneurs.

Advisory Board

Susan Combs


Susan Combs (Chairperson) is a successful, experienced executive at both the state and federal level. She has 16 years of statewide leadership in Texas, providing strategic and innovative management, as well as nearly three years at the U.S. Department of the Interior in executive management. At Interior, Combs was the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, and Chief Financial Officer. Most recently Combs served as the Chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, which was created by Congress, to celebrate the19th Amendment centennial nationally in August 2020. Combs is presently a Fellow at the University of Texas Center for Identity where she is working to assist on matters relating to personal data privacy. In Texas Combs served in elected positions between 1993 and 2015. Combs served as the state’s Comptroller from 2007 to 2015. Combs was the first woman Agriculture commissioner and served from 1998 to 2007. Combs was a state legislator from 1993 to 1996 with a proven record of writing and passing landmark legislation. As head of two state agencies, she streamlined operations, ensuring more efficient and cost-effective programs, and received national recognition. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, the Austin American-Statesman, the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle among others. Combs also launched a woman’s empowerment organization in 2015 and has long had an interest in promoting women to leadership roles. Combs is the manager and owner of a more than 130-year-old family ranching and hunting and grazing management operation in West Texas for more than 40 years.
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Thurmon Andress

Board Member

Thurmon Andress is currently President of Andress Oil & Gas LP which has been in existence since 1980. Andress became Managing Director of Breitburn Energy Houston in 1998 when Breitburn Energy purchased certain assets from Andress Oil and Gas. Andress went on their board and opened their Houston office which employed over 200 people. Andress retired from Breitburn (Now called Maverick) in Jan 2019. Andress served on the Board of Enterprise Products Partners. LP (EPD) from 2006 to 2016. He served as an Independent Director and has been a member of their Audit and Conflicts Committee, and the Governance Committee. Andress served on the Board of Edge Petroleum from 2002 to 2009 when Edge was sold to Mariner Energy. At Edge, Andress was head of the Compensation Committee and served on the Audit Committee. Prior to forming Andress Oil & Gas Company, Mr. Andress was founder, Chairman, and largest shareholder of Bayou Resources Inc. a publicly traded Oil and Gas Company from 1982-1987 when it was sold to Patrick Petroleum. In earlier years, Andress and Jakie Sandefer were partners for over 17 years and sold their two companies, Sandefer & Andress Inc. and Mellon Creek Exploration Co. to Howell Petroleum in 1979. Howell was later sold to Anadarko Petroleum. Andress has also had numerous Joint Ventures with companies such as Burlington Resources, King Ranch Oil & Gas, Holly Petroleum, Meritech Energy and General Atlantic Corporation. Mr. Andress is currently a member of the National Petroleum Council and also served on the Natural Gas Committee in Washington. He is also on the Executive Committee of the US Oil & Gas Association. Was Founder and on the Board of the Houston Producers Forum and a member of the IPAA. Mr. Andress was inducted into the All American Wildcatter’s in 1993. Andress currently serves on the Leadership Council for Texas Children’s Hospital and is a lifetime Board member of Small Steps Nurturing Center and the Good Samaritan Foundation for Nurses. He has also served on other charitable boards including the Ronald McDonald House. Andress also is Chairman of the World Oilman Tennis Tournament (WOTT) the largest industry Tennis Tournament in the world. Mr. Andress attended TCU
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Mike Belenkie

Board Member

Mike Belenkie joined Advantage in October 2018 as Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in October 2019; he has over 20 years of diverse experience in the oil and gas industry. Between 2012 and 2018, Mr. Belenkie founded and helped lead Modern Resources to become a highly efficient Deep Basin producer which included oversight on all aspects of the Corporation. From September 2008 to December 2011, Mr. Belenkie held roles of increasing responsibility at Painted Pony including Vice President of Reservoir Engineering and Corporate Development. Prior thereto, Mr. Belenkie held various roles at Talisman Energy (1995-2008) within their North American assets, including Team Lead of Montney and Northeast British Columbia. During 2006 and 2007, Mr. Belenkie was a management consultant with RLG International, working with leadership teams in two major producers in Alaska and Canada, while on secondment from Talisman. Mr. Belenkie received his BSc. In Mechanical Engineering from University of Calgary in 1997 and is a registered professional engineer with APEGA.
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Sarah Biller

Board member

Sarah Biller is an Entrepreneur, Investor, and Educator in the FinTech sector. She is the Executive Director of Vantage Ventures, a collaboration of West Virginia University (a Research 1 University), global Technology leaders, Fortune Class companies and Venture Capital firms, focused on providing entrepreneurs in the center of the country a systematic and efficient approach to build world-changing ideas into scalable, investable businesses and raise venture capital.  Ms. Biller is also the co-Founder of the FinTech Sandbox, a Boston-based not for profit that accelerates the product development cycle of FinTech start-ups by providing them free access to high quality, diverse datasets.  She is also the co-Founder of Capital Market Exchange (CMX), a predictive analytics platform for institutional bond investors. Prior to her time at Vantage Ventures, Ms. Biller was the Chief Operating Officer for Innovation at State Street Bank’s Global Exchange division and Head of Innovation Ventures. Before joining State Street, she was a principal in the launch of several successful venture-backed start-ups in the FinTech and Life Sciences sectors. 

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Jim Blackburn

Board Member

Jim Blackburn is an environmental lawyer and Professor in the Practice in Environmental Law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University. At Rice, Blackburn is a Faculty Scholar at the Baker Institute, co-director of the Severe Storm Prevention, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center and directs the undergraduate minor in Energy and Water Sustainability. Blackburn is currently working at the Baker Institute on the establishment of a new soil carbon storage standard called BCarbon and on implementing the Galveston Bay Park Plan through SSPEED Center. Among other awards, he was designated a Rice University distinguished alumni laureate in 2018, won the International Crane Foundation Good Egg Award in 2015, the Barbara C. Jordan Community Advocate Award from Texas Southern University in 2007, and the Robert C. Eckhardt Lifetime Coastal Achievement Award in 1998. Two projects he helped design – the Galveston Bay Park Plan and the Texas Coastal Exchange – won regional vision recognition from the Houston Chapter of American Institute of Architects.
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Tina Yturria Buford

Board Member

Tina Yturria Buford of Harlingen is the Director of Education for the East Foundation, where she is responsible for expanding natural resource education opportunities in South Texas. In addition, she works alongside her family at the H. Yturria Land and Cattle Company which has been recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Family Land Heritage Program for operating continuously for over 100 years. She has served as Board President of Texan by Nature and as President of the Texas Wildlife Association. She currently serves as a board member of the Sand County Foundation and was appointed by Governor Abbott to the Governor’s Commission for Women in 2016 and to the Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board in 2018. Buford received a Bachelor of Science in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Texas A&M University and a certificate in Ranch Management from Texas Christian University School of Ranch Management. Tina is married to her husband, Trey, and has two sons, Cisco and William.
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Tom Carter

Board Member

Tom Carter has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the General Partner of Blackstone Minerals since November 2014, and as President from November 2014 to June 2018. Mr. Carter founded BSMC, our predecessor, and served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Black Stone Natural Resources, L.L.C. (“BSNR”), the former general partner of BSMC, from 1998 to 2015. Mr. Carter served as Managing General Partner of W.T. Carter & Bro. from 1987 to 1992 and Black Stone Energy Company from 1980 to present, both of which preceded the General Partner. Mr. Carter founded Black Stone Energy Company, BSMC’s operating and exploration subsidiary, in 1980. From 1978 to 1980, Mr. Carter served as a lending officer in the Energy Department of Texas Commerce Bank in Houston, Texas, after serving in various other roles from 1975. Mr. Carter received M.B.A. and B.B.A. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Carter has been a trustee of The Lawrenceville School since 1998 and was elected to a four-year term as president of the board of trustees in 2013. Mr. Carter has been a director of other public and private oil and gas entities since 2005. Mr. Carter previously served on the University of Texas at Austin Internal Audit Committee and currently serves on the University Lands Advisory Board.
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James H. Clement, Jr.

Board Member

James (Jamey) H. Clement, Jr. is a retired Chairman of twenty years for King Ranch, Inc. and the Management Council of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch. Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He currently serves on the boards of Merit Energy Company, Houston Trust Company, and the advisory board of the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund. Previously, he served as a board member of the Episcopal School of Dallas, Madison Council of the Library of Congress, the Advisory Council of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business at the University of Texas at Austin and as chairman of the Tom Lea Institute (El Paso). Mr. Clement holds a BA in Economics from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. 

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Dan E. Cole

Board Member

Dan E. Cole is the Vice President of Commercial Development and Governmental Relations for Denbury Inc., joined Denbury in October 2006. Prior to joining Denbury, Mr. Cole was Director of the Mississippi/Alabama Business Unit for Plains Marketing , LP since April 2004, and Manager, Gulf Coast Region for EOTT Operating for the prior eight years before it was acquired by Plains Marketing. Mr. Cole has more than 45 years of experience in the energy business with primary focus on marketing and transportation of oil, natural gas and carbon dioxide. Over the past ten years, Mr. Cole has been extensively involved in CCUS activities in the U.S. and has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences on CCUS. Mr. Cole served as Chapter lead for Chapter 6 – CO2 Transportation on the recent National Petroleum Council CCUS Study – Meeting the Dual Challenge – A Roadmap to At-Scale Deployment of Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage. Mr. Cole received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University.
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Elizabeth Ames Coleman

Board Member

Elizabeth Ames Coleman served as a Texas State Representative from 2001-2012 from San Antonio. After election to her third term in House, Elizabeth was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Railroad Commission, the regulatory agency with jurisdictional oversight that includes oil and gas drilling and production. In 2006, she was elected statewide to the Railroad Commission where she served until 2012. Elizabeth served on the three-member Coastal Land Advisory Board; an entity created by the Governor to award the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) funds allocated to Gulf of Mexico states to mitigate effects of offshore drilling as established by the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005. She simultaneously served on the Texas Coastal Coordination Council. The Council’s mission was to coordinate Texas’ approach to environmental management of coastal resources and to manage the coastal management grant funds awarded by the federal government to local entities for coastal improvement projects. After leaving public service, Elizabeth joined international law firm, Squire Patton Boggs, as a Senior Policy Advisor. In 2015, she joined energy consulting firm, EnergyNorthAmerica, LLC as a partner with her husband, energy lawyer, Jack Coleman, to provide state and federal energy, maritime, and environmental policy advocacy, and corporate strategic planning to clients. They live in Mississippi and along with their energy consulting, they support ventures and projects dedicated to improving job and educational opportunities in the Mississippi Delta.

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Jack Coleman

Board Member

Jack Coleman is the founder and Managing Partner of EnergyNorthAmerica, LLC, an energy consulting firm. A native of Rosedale, Mississippi, Jack made his career in Washington, DC, as an attorney and government executive. Prior to founding EnergyNorthAmerica LLC, Jack was Counsel at Arent Fox LLP in Washington DC with a focus on energy law. Prior to that, Jack was the General Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, and prior to that Jack was the Energy and Minerals Counsel for the Committee. Jack was the primary drafter and negotiator for many provisions included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, including carbon sequestration, unconventional energy, and regulatory reform. Further, among many other pieces of legislation, Jack drafted the bill and developed the strategy for the House, on a bipartisan basis, to pass the Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act of 2006 – the first comprehensive bill to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to pass either House of Congress since 1978. Jack is a member of the Mississippi Bar. A native of Rosedale, Mississippi, Jack received B.B.A. in Accountancy and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Mississippi. Jack and Elizabeth are also partners in The Rosedale Company LLC, a development company.
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Cornelius Dupré II

Board Member

Mr. Dupré is the Chairman of Dupré Interests, a private equity
family office, serving in that capacity since founding the company in 2004.  Additionally,
Mr. Dupré is the Chairman of Dupré Energy Services, which encompasses several energy
industry service companies, including KSW Solids Controls, Pro-Tek Field Services and
Diversified Safety & Scaffolding.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of
Foundation Energy, Hoover Circular Solutions, Wellbore Fishing and Rental Tools, JVL
Global Energy, & Dynamic Chemical Solutions.  Prior to these activities, Mr. Dupré
served as co-owner and Chairman of Venture Transport & Logistics; as Senior Vice
President/CSO National Oilwell, Inc.; as founder, Chairman and CEO of Dupré
Companies, which merged with National Oilwell, Inc. in July 1999; and founder and
Board member of EXXI.  Mr. Dupré belongs to or is active in a number of energy industry
groups, as well as charitable and community organizations, including: SPE, API,
IPAA, IADC, LOGA, TIPRO, NACD, NOIA, HPF, Western Energy Alliance, The Caesar
Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Spindletop Charities, Sky High for Kids benefitting St.
Jude’s and the Dupré Family Foundation.  Mr. Dupré has a Bachelor of Science degree, a
Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor.

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Robert Eckels

Board Member

Robert Eckels is recognized as a national leader in issues of transportation, public finance/public private partnerships (P3), crisis management, disaster preparation, response and recovery, homeland security, and the environment. He served six terms in the Texas state legislature before being elected County Judge of Harris County and served on advisory committees to President George W. Bush and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He brings deep problem-solving experience to large-scale projects. As County Judge of Harris County, he was nationally lauded for his leadership in response to Hurricane Katrina, during which he oversaw the conversion of the Astrodome and Reliant Park into the largest shelter operation in U.S. history. Judge Eckels was also indispensable to the creation of the Houston TranStar Transportation and Emergency Operations Center, which assists local governments and emergency responders to serve and protect residents during disasters and emergencies. Most recently, Eckels is a founder and director of Texas Central Railway, the company undertaking the development, design, construction, finance, and operation of a new high-speed passenger train line between the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and Greater Houston. He is a practicing attorney at the national law firm of Husch Blackwell, LLP. Having served on the boards of publicly traded and private companies as well as governmental agencies, Judge Eckels is well-versed in corporate governance, stakeholder and shareholder issues and routinely assists clients with litigation and negotiation, as well as planning, risk management and compliance.
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Don Evans

Board Member

Don Evans was appointed as the 34th Secretary of the Commerce by President George W. Bush in 2001, where he served until 2005. A trusted friend and advisor for more than three decades, Evans worked on President Bush’s successful Texas gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998 and served as chairman of the 2000 Bush-Cheney Presidential Campaign. Born in Houston, Texas, in 1946, Evans attended the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 1969 and an M.B.A. in 1973. In 1975, Evans moved to Midland, Texas from Houston and began his career as a “roughneck” working on oil rigs for Tom Brown, Inc., a large independent energy company. Ten years later, he took the helm of the company as CEO, continuing in that position until being tapped by the President to lead the Commerce Department. He also served as the Chairman of Energy Future Holdings Company, formerly TXU Energy, from 2007-2018, and currently he serves as Chairman of The Permian Strategic Partnership. In 1995, Evans was appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents; he served as Chairman from January 1997 to January 2001. Currently, Evans serves as Chairman of the Board of Visitors at MD Anderson and Chairman of the George W. Bush Foundation. He is also a senior partner at Quintana Capital Group and senior advisor at Energy Capital Partners. Evans has remained active in his hometown community of Midland, Texas and serves on the Midland Memorial Hospital Board of Governors. His passions in life are his faith, family, and friends. His wife, Susie, for over 50 years passed away April 19. They have two daughters, a son and five grandchildren
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Robin Fielder

Board Member

Robin Fielder is the Executive Vice President, Low Carbon Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer, serving as the lead executive for Talos Energy’s Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) business and overseeing the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives.  Prior to Talos, Ms. Fielder served as President, CEO and a member of the Noble Midstream Partners (NBLX) board of directors where she guided the Partnership within Chevron and led integration efforts for the take-private transaction of NBLX in 2021 following the 2020 acquisition of its parent company, Noble Energy (NBL) by Chevron.
Before joining Noble Energy and Chevron, Ms. Fielder served as CEO, President, and Director for Western Midstream Partners (formerly Western Gas, WES), where she led the WES and the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC) marketing organizations through the Occidental (OXY) acquisition of Anadarko in 2019.
With nearly 20 years of steadily increasing responsibility at Anadarko, Ms. Fielder built executive skills serving as Vice President of Investor Relations, among other roles within the company’s E&P business units.
Ms. Fielder serves as a director and member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Houston March of Dimes board and as a current and past Chair for local March for Babies events. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University, is registered with the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (PE), and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Women Corporate Directors.

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Scott Frazier

Board Member

Scott Frazier farms and ranches near Nueces County near Chapman Ranch where he grows cotton, grain sorghum, corn and wheat and raises cattle. He was elected to the Texas Farm Bureau Board in December 2015, representing District 13. Frazier also served as the Board’s Secretary-Treasurer. In addition, he has served as chair of American Farm Bureau’s Pest and Invasive Species Advisory Committee, chair of Texas Farm Bureau’s Agricultural Risk Mitigation and Feed Grain Advisory Committees, and president of Nueces County Farm Bureau. Frazier has also served his community as president of the London ISD Board of Trustees and 15 years as a member of the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show Board of Directors, including a three-year term as president.
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Maynard Holt

Board Member

Maynard Holt has served as Chief Executive Officer of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. since late 2016 and has over 25 years of energy investment banking experience. Upon joining Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. in 2007, Maynard was the Copresident of TPH and served in that capacity from 2007 to 2016. Prior to joining TPH, Maynard previously served as a Managing Director with Goldman, Sachs & Co. from 1994 to 2007 where he worked in Leveraged and Structured Finance (1994 to 1998) and Energy & Power / Natural Resources (1999 to 2007). Maynard holds a BA in Economics and Russian from Rice University and a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
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Devin Hotzel

Board Member

Management of Enbridge’s Government Affairs strategy and policy issues across company assets and capital expansion projects in Texas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico and Mexico.
Experience: Since 2009, he has served various public relations, government relations and regulatory compliance roles in the energy industry with a focus on government affairs and public policy. He has lead public and government affairs campaigns on over $6B worth of capital expansion projects in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Wyoming, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
He is a member of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Roundtable for Young Professionals; Serves on TXN 20 Selection Committee for Texan by Nature; and serves on legislative committees for the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) Texas Pipeline Association (TPA), the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA), the Mississippi Petroleum Council, Alabama Manufacturers
Association, Florida Natural Gas Association, and the Oklahoma Petroleum Alliance.
Devin is a graduate of Texas State University with a BA in Mass Communications and earned a Masters of Public Administration and Policy from American University.

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Jodie Jiles

Board Member

Jodie Jiles of Houston is the Director of Business Development for Transwestern Commercial Services. Before joining Transwestern Commercial Services, he spent 26 years in investment banking. In 2019, he was appointed to a six-year term on The University of Texas System Board of Regents by Governor Greg Abbott. As a Regent, he serves as a member of the Board’s Audit, Compliance, and Risk Management Committee; the Finance and Planning Committee; and the Health Affairs Committee. He also serves on the UTIMCO Board of Directors, the Texas Medical Center Advisory Board of Directors, and the M. D. Anderson Services Corporation Board of Directors and as an Athletics Liaison. Mr. Jiles has served as a member on both Development Boards for The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He was also a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, serving from 1995 – 2001. He is an Emeritus Board Member of Baylor College of Medicine and of Texas Children’s Hospital. Mr. Jiles serves on the board of Wallis Bank and served on The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch board. Mr. Jiles holds a Master of Professional Accountancy from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Southern University.
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Tom Luce

Board Member

Tom Luce received his undergraduate and law degree from Southern Methodist University. Tom was the founding and managing partner of the Hughes and Luce law firm. His career was centered on corporate law and commercial litigation. He was lead attorney on multi-billion-dollar mergers and litigation and was selected at various points in his career as one of Dallas, Texas, and U.S. best attorneys. His public service in Texas was distinguished by gubernatorial and legislative appointments to major state positions including Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pro tempore, member of the Sunset Commission, Superconducting Super Collider Commission, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, Texas Commission on Judiciary, Chief of Staff of the Select Committee on Public Education, and Education Commission of the States. On the national level, he was appointed as Assistant Secretary for Education by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate and appointed to The Library of Congress Board by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has founded and lead numerous nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the needs of others including Texas Business and Education Coalition, Just for the Kids, Data Quality Campaign, National Center for Educational Accountability, National Math and Science Initiative, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and was a founding member of the Board of the Episcopal School of Dallas. He has authored two books on improving public education and has taught at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Texas at Dallas
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Dave Marchese

Board Member

Dave Marchese has nearly 25 years of experience in the successful development, construction and operation of energy assets, including underground hydrocarbon storage, utility-scale power plants, and petrochemical facilities.  Over the past five years, Dave and his team have grown Caliche—what started as just a vision shared with equity sponsor Energy Spectrum—into a top-tier service provider to Fortune 50 companies, with three active cavern projects supported by 27 employees.

Prior to founding Caliche, Dave was a Director at Haddington Ventures where he assisted with deal sourcing, transactional work, and portfolio company management.  He participated in the debt and equity financing, management and sale of Bobcat Gas Storage and Norton Energy Storage, while also serving on the Board of Managers for Fairway Development (oil storage), Apex Compressed Air Energy Storage, and Endicott Biofuels.

Dave spent his early energy years at Eschelon Energy Partners, a Houston-based private equity fund, and Reliant Energy.  He worked with the team at Reliant’s $125 million private equity arm as well as the Market Based Structuring Group.  Before business school, he gained operational experience in the engineering and construction of petrochemical facilities as a Chief Field Engineer with Jacobs Engineering.

Dave graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Environmental) degree from Vanderbilt University, where he later received his M.B.A. with a dual concentration in finance and operations.  He has participated as a judge at Rice University’s Business Plan Competition since 2002 and is a co-founder of the off-road cycling group, Houston Gravel Grinders.  He also serves on the Carbon Neutral Coalition’s Advisory Board, which is tasked with putting Texas on a path to carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Tim Matthews

Board Member

Tim Matthews has over 20 years of experience in a variety of technical, project, business development and leadership roles within the Energy sector. Previous responsibilities include business strategy development, conceptual project design, M&A, technology deployment, digital transformation, strategic partnerships, and regulatory advocacy in Upstream Oil & Gas. In addition, Tim brings extensive exposure to the carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration value chain via roles with responsibility for design & performance evaluation of enhanced oil recovery CO2 utilization projects, offshore CO2 storage, and engineering design, evaluation, and execution roles for one of the world’s largest active CCS. Tim currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Cozairo Corporation.
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Charles McConnell

Board Member

Charles McConnell is the Executive Director for Carbon Management and Energy Sustainability at the University of Houston. Prior to joining UH Energy, McConnell was the executive director of the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University for the past 5 years. McConnell served as the Assistant Secretary of Energy in the US Department of Energy from 2011-13 and was responsible for the Office of Fossil Energy’s strategic policy leadership. Prior to the DOE from 2009-11, McConnell served as Vice President of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio. The initial 32 years of McConnell’s career were with Praxair, Inc. serving in a variety of operations, sales and global business and technology roles including hydrogen, gasification and energy as the Global VP of Energy and Hydrogen. Assignments also included an ex-pat posting in Singapore for Asia business.
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Kenneth Medlock

Board Member

Kenneth Medlock is the James A. Baker, III, and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the Baker Institute and the senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University. He is also the director of the Masters of Energy Economics program and holds adjunct professor appointments in the Department of Economics and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. Medlock is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Payne Institute at Colorado School of Mines. In 2012-2013, Medlock held the prestigious Haydn Williams Fellowship at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He teaches advanced courses in energy economics and supervises Ph.D. students in the energy economics field. Medlock is the past vice president for conferences for the United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE), and previously served as vice president for academic affairs. He is also an active member of the American Economic Association and is an academic member of the National Petroleum Council. Medlock has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission in their respective energy modeling efforts. Medlock received his Ph.D. in economics from Rice University in May 2000.
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Reed Morian

Board Member

Reed Morian serves as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of DX Holding Company Inc. and DX Service Company Inc. He served as Director of Prosperity Bancshares Inc. from 2006 to 2009 and served on the board of Liberty Savings Association for more than 10 years before it was acquired by Prosperity Bancshares. He also served on the Board of Directors of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-Houston Branch. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Gulf Capital Bank in October 2019. Mr. Morian has been a Director of GP Natural Resource Partners LLC, the General Partner of Natural Resource Partners LP since October 2002. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Pocahontas Royalties, LLC in February 2020. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the general partner of Western Pocahontas Properties Limited Partnership since 1986, New Gauley Coal Corporation since 1992, and of the general partner of Great Northern Properties Limited Partnership since 1992. Mr. Morian serves on various civic boards including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Texas Heart Institute, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Free Enterprise Institute, and the Peregrine Fund, Inc. He previously served on the boards of the Bayou Preservation Association, Inc., Houston Symphony, St. John’s School, Memorial Hermann Hospital System and was Chairman of the Houston Parks Board. Mr. Morian served as Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission until June 2021 and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
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Harriet O’Neill

Board Member

Harriet O’Neill retired in 2010 as a Justice from the Supreme Court of Texas, after having served on the state’s highest appellate court for civil matters since her election in 1998. She served on the trial court and intermediate court of appeals in Houston from 1992 to 1998, after over 10 years of legal experience in complex business and commercial litigation. During her nearly 18 years on the bench, Justice O’Neill distinguished herself as a legal scholar, a frequent author and lecturer, and a jurist highly rated by members of the legal profession. She also applied her strategic-planning and management skills to tackle complex public issues and spur fundamental judicial systems improvement. Twice named Appellate Justice of the Year, and having received numerous awards for her exemplary service, Justice O’Neill was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Upon her retirement from the Judiciary, Justice O’Neill founded the Law Office of Harriet O’Neill, PC, where she advocates before courts in Texas and the United States and serves as an arbitrator.
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Julie Parsley

Board Member

Julie Parsley is the Chief Executive Officer at Pedernales Electric Cooperative headquartered in Johnson City, Texas. During her time at PEC, the company was named a Top Workplace in both Austin and San Antonio in 2020, was recognized by J.D. Power in 2018 and 2019, and received the System Achievement Award from Texas Public Power Association in 2019. In addition, Parsley was recognized in 2019 as the “Best CEO of a Nonprofit in Central Texas,” from the Austin Business Journal, in 2020 was recognized by Texas CEO Magazine for exceptional leadership during PEC’s ongoing response to COVID 19, and most recently Parsley was named 2021 Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech School of Law. Prior to joining PEC, Parsley’s distinguished career includes acting as a founding partner of Parsley Coffin Renner LLP and serving as a commissioner of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Before her appointment to the Public Utility Commission, Parsley served as Texas Solicitor General with the Office of the Attorney General, and to date is the only female to fill that role. Parsley holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M University and received her Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law.
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Carl Ray Polk Jr

Board Member

Carl Ray Polk Jr.received his education from Kilgore College and The University of Texas-Austin. Additionally, he successfully completed the Mergers and Acquisition Program through the Anderson School of Business at UCLA in Los Angeles, California in 1995. Carl Ray began his employment career in 1989 in Tyler, Texas, selling commercial fuels and lubricants for his father and grandfather in the family business, Polk Oil Co., Inc., headquartered in Lufkin, Texas. In 2001, Carl Ray Polk, Jr. became President and CEO of Polk Oil Co., Inc. In July of 2007, Polk Oil Co., Inc. was acquired by Brookshire Brothers, LTD, a 75-store regional Grocery Company with operations in Texas and Western Louisiana. Carl Ray remained President of the Polk Division and one year later was named as an Executive Vice President along with being elected to their Board of Directors. He also served as a member of their Executive Committee and Operations Committee within Brookshire Brothers. Carl Ray stepped away from their Board in 2017. In January of 2011, Carl Ray joined Corner Capital Advisors as a Partner, CCA is a specialized investment banking/merchant banking group dedicated to the Downstream Energy sector exclusively, with offices in Texas and New York. Carl Ray currently serves on the Board of Directors of The George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center, The Texas Wildlife Association, Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, serving on the Executive Committee and is currently Second Vice President of TSCRA. In addition, he currently serves on the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Private Landowners Advisory Committee. Carl Ray was recently re-appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board for the State of Texas.
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Philip Riley

Board Member

Philip Riley serves as the Chief Financial Officer and EVP of Strategy for Riley Exploration Permian. Riley Permian is a public E&P company focused on producing low-cost and low-carbon intensive energy. Prior to joining Riley Permian, he served as Managing Director of private capital funds at Bluescape Energy Partners, where he formulated investment strategies, sourced investment opportunities, and managed existing investment operations, including as an officer or director of 16 companies. Prior to Bluescape, he served as an investment banker at Imperial Capital, Lazard Ltd. and Petrie Parkman. Mr. Riley earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, with majors in the Business Honors Program and Finance.

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Beth Robertson

Board Member

Beth Robertson is Managing Partner of Bald Cypress LLC (investments) and Chair of the Board of LSF LCC, a furniture company. Ms. Robertson served as a founding Director of the Board of Amegy Bank of Texas, at its inception in 1982 to 2005 and continues to serve on its Advisory Board. A Houston native and graduate of the University of Texas, Ms. Robertson has served on many not-for-profit organizations and foundations. Currently, she chairs The Cullen Foundation. Ms. Robertson is a former Chair of the University of Houston System, of The Cullen Trust for Health Care, of the Welch Foundation, of the Greater Houston Community Foundation and of Bat Conservation International as well as the former President of Westview Development Inc, developer of the Davenport Ranch, a mixed used real estate development in Austin, Texas.

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Ron Simmons

Board Member

Ron Simmons is a businessman, former member of the Texas House of Representatives, and leader in conservative politics. Born in Arkansas, Ron moved to Texas in the mid-1980’s. He co-founded Retirement Advisors of America, which currently manages nearly $3 billion in assets for families across the country, in 1991. He recently retired as its chairman. The trade publication Investment News has named Retirement Advisors of America among the top thirty financial advisors in the United States. Ron was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, where he served House District 65 until 2019. He was Chair of the Policy Committee for the Texas House of Representatives Republican Caucus and the sub-committee Chair of the Long-Term Financing and Planning Transportation Committee. In the 85th Legislative Session, Ron was appointed to the House Committees on Transportation, Appropriations, and the Local and Consent Calendars. He also served on Board of Directors for the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI), a conservative Austin-based think tank as well as national think tank American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In 2019, Governor Abbott appointed Ron to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Texas Mutual Insurance company the public private partnership that provides workers compensation insurance to millions of Texans.
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Suzanne Scott

Board Member

Suzanne Scott joined the Nature Conservancy in Texas in November 2020 after a 20-year career with the San Antonio River Authority serving as its General Manager for 13 years. As State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Texas (TNC), Suzanne Scott establishes conservation strategy and public policy leadership to protect the state’s cherished landscapes and support ecology, economy, public health, and equity. Working closely with a talented staff of dedicated conservationists and experts, she oversees the execution of landscape-scale conservation efforts, freshwater protection initiatives and critical marine protection measures in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the development of sound science and policy solutions to address climate change. 


Scott’s focus at TNC is promoting resilience through nature-based solutions in cities and along coasts while supporting the protection and restoration of connected and diverse landscapes throughout Texas. Texas has wide-open spaces, thriving cities, a strong farming and ranching culture, and a rapidly growing population. Scott believes the conservation work we do in Texas can inform strategies around the country and globe. Scott has dedicated a significant portion of her life to protecting and restoring the environment, connecting communities with the natural resources around them and spearheading on-the-ground projects that support social, environmental, and economic values. At the River Authority, she steadfastly elevated the agency’s crucial role and impact and implemented more than $600 million in highly visible projects, including work on the Museum Reach and Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Improvements Project and San Pedro Creek Culture Park. She also guided the development of successful programs to improve flood protection, water quality, habitat restoration, and increase access and use of the river and its tributaries for recreation and public enjoyment. In addition, she served as a regional leader on water.


Scott chaired the South-Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group and the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers Bay and Basin Area Stakeholder Group. She also led the first Interregional Planning Council, created by the Texas Water Development Board. Currently, she serves on the State Flood Planning Group for the San Antonio River Basin. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science in Urban Administration from Trinity University. A true San Antonian at heart, Scott was raised near the San Antonio River and, today is enjoying travelling throughout the state exploring TNC’s many preserves and natural areas.

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Sean Strawbridge

Board Member

Sean has over 30 years of experience in the global transportation and energy sectors in both public administration and the private sector, holding senior leadership roles in business & corporate development, large infrastructure development, capital structuring, operations, and public/private partnerships.
In his role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Corpus Christi, Sean leads the third largest port in the United States total waterway tonnage, and the largest gateway for U.S. produced energy exports. With over $1 billion in assets under management, Sean has assembled a high-performance executive team to manage the meteoric growth Port Corpus Christi has experienced with a doubling in tonnage and revenues over his tenure as CEO, positioning
the Port of Corpus Christi on the world stage as a leading infrastructure development organization.
A veteran of world-class organizations such as the Port of Long Beach, Ports America Group,
Oxbow Energy, and Sea-Land Service, Inc., Sean has written extensively on the evolving marine
terminal and trade flow paradigms and has been globally recognized for his industry knowledge
and large network of professional relationships.
Sean is an active member of the South Texas Coastal Bend community and sits on a number of
Boards including the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, South Texas Military Task Force Board, the Art Museum of South Texas, the American Heart Association of the Coastal Bend, as well as the Buccaneer Commission and the USS Lexington Board of Directors. Sean was recently appointed to chair the Education Task Force for the Texas Railroad Commission.
Sean holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Arizona State University. He has
lived abroad and has conducted business in over 40 countries.

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Cliff Thomas

Board Member

Cliff Thomas of Victoria received a bachelor’s degree in 1972 from Texas A&M University and was a lineman for the Texas Aggie football team under Coach Gene Stallings. Mr. Thomas is a co-owner and Chairman of the Board of Managers of Pilot Thomas Logistics and owner and founder of Speedy Stop Food Stores and C.L. Thomas Inc. Mr. Thomas is a past board member of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, DeTar Hospital System and Wells Fargo Bank. In 2021, he was reappointed to serve his second three-year term on the board of The University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). Mr. Thomas was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Rick Perry in 2011 and reappointed in 2017 by Governor Greg Abbott. He served as Vice Chairman of the Board from 2013-2015 and as Chairman of the Board from 2015-2017. Mr. Thomas serves as a member of the Committee on Audit and the Committee on Buildings and Physical Plant. He has served as Chairman of the Committee on Audit, Chairman of the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs, Chairman of the Policy Review Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Finance. Mr. Thomas chaired the search committee in 2014-2015 for the new President of Texas A&M University. He has also served as liaison to the 12th Man Foundation. His term expires February 1, 2023.
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Bobby Tudor

Board Member

Bobby Tudor is a Retired Founder and CEO of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., and is currently the CEO of Artemis Energy Partners. TPH is a leading Energy Investment Bank formed in 2007 with over 180 employees in five offices in the US, Canada and UK. It is widely recognized for its industry leading position in Energy securities research and Energy investment banking advisory transactions.

Prior to forming TPH, Mr. Tudor was a Partner at Goldman Sachs and a leader of its worldwide Energy practice. Over his 30-plus year career in Investment Banking, he has worked on many of the defining transactions of the period, across most energy subsectors and geographies.

Mr. Tudor is currently the Chairman of the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, which is a consortium of Houston’s leading energy companies working to shape the region’s Energy Transition Strategy.

Mr. Tudor is the Past Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership and of the Rice University Board of Trustees. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the Jones School of Business at Rice, the Carbon Neutral Coalition, and the National Advisory Board for the Tulane Center for Energy Law. Mr. Tudor also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Petroleum Council, the Houston Symphony, Good Reason Houston, and the MD Anderson Board of Visitors.

Mr. Tudor holds a BA in English and Legal Studies from Rice University, and a JD from Tulane.

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Ted Wurfel

Board Member

Ted Wurfel is currently serving at Rockcliff Energy as the VP of ESG where he is focused on a variety of internal projects to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, developing the first Sustainability report, and serving on the ESG and IT Steering Committees. Before Rockcliff, he served as the VP of HSE and Sustainability at Indigo Minerals. While at Indigo Minerals he helped take the company to Carbon Neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2021 by reducing internal Green House Gas emissions and offsetting the remainder. He also worked on an emissions Quantification, Monitoring, Recordkeeping, and Verification of Methane Emissions project with Cheniere Energy to held show that clean natural gas produced in America competes favorably on the world stage. Before Indigo, Mr. Wurfel had senior HSE roles at Talisman and Chief, both in the Eagleford and the Marcellus shales. Mr. Wurfel has also worked for KN Energy, El Paso Energy, and Tenneco Energy. Mr. Wurfel is a Professional Engineer, has his MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology, is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, and has started, grown and sold his own Air Consulting firm (Corporate Compliance, Inc.) In unrelated fields Mr. Wurfel has also been a fireman, led a Squad of Infantrymen during Operation Desert Storm, and has been a member of The Old Guard, the Army’s Official Ceremonial Unit and Escort to the President.

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The Hydrogen Economy

“Texas’s natural resources make it a natural fit for  hydrogen energy and vehicles.” – Texas Monthly

Key Questions: 

  •  Why should there be an increased reliance on hydrogen?   
  •  How has hydrogen as a fuel source been advanced?   
  •  What will help further promote hydrogen use?   

The energy industry continues to face growing energy demands from an increasing  population, while also being called to reduce carbon emissions on a significant scale.  Innovations in technology and process, including Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage,  provide one pathway for an array of industries both to meet demand and to attempt to  achieve carbon neutrality. Toward that end, industry and government are increasingly  focused on the use of hydrogen, an energy source touted as an affordable, reliable, clean, and  secure energy by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and industry groups alike. The DOE  has billed hydrogen as the fuel product that can “enable U.S. energy security, resiliency, and  economic prosperity.”i As a key player in the oil and gas industry, Texas has the opportunity  to lead the way in providing that energy stability and reliability, while also seeing the  economic benefits of advancing the potential future of fuel.   

Why Hydrogen?   

Hydrogen is a one-hundred percent renewable, zero emission fuel that can be produced from  various resources, including natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewables, such as  solar and wind power. In 2020, one percent of hydrogen production in the U.S. was from  electrolysis, while 99 percent was from fossil fuels. “Fossil fuels are expected to continue as  the main source of hydrogen through 2050 based on International Energy Agency  projections driven by abundant supply, low cost, and expected development of large-scale  carbon capture and storage.” ii   

However, because it can be produced through diverse resources, it can be produced on a  large scale. Hydrogen is an invisible gas, but it is classified in name by colors, from green to  grey to blue, yellow, turquoise, and pink. While broadly all hydrogen is seen as a “clean” fuel, the three main variations of produced hydrogen, grey, blue, and green, each produced  through different processes and with different carbon intensities:

  • Grey hydrogen, which is currently the most common, is derived from  natural gas, and is most commonly used in the chemical industry to make fertilizer and for refining oil.iii  

  • Blue hydrogen utilizes the Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage  process, repurposing generated carbon for reuse in the hydrogen  manufacturing process or storing it for future use. Blue hydrogen can be  used as a low-carbon fuel for generating electricity and storing energy,  powering cars , trucks and trains. iv 
  • Green hydrogen is produced using electrolysis powered by renewable  energy, such as offshore wind, and carries the benefit of producing zero  carbon emissions. It can be used for manufacturing ammonia and  fertilizers, and also in the petrochemical industry to produce petroleum products.v
    Although green hydrogen is seen as the ultimate goal for zero emissions, it requires twice as  much water as steam methane reformation to produce grey or blue hydrogen and can be two  or three times as expensive to produce as grey or blue hydrogen, depending on the price of  natural gas.vii The European Union has called for the increased use and focus solely on green  hydrogen in order to meet the EU’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. In the U.S., however,  the landscape holds a mix of gray, blue, and green hydrogen, as the industry weighs  investment, demand, and regulation. Case in point: the Port of Corpus Christi (PCC), the US’s leading energy export gateway, is actively cultivating production of low-carbon hydrogen  from diverse feedstocks to supply world-scale international demand. In public  presentations, PCC leadership has stated that while the port has numerous commercial scale  electrolytic (green) hydrogen projects in development, they are also recognizing that  bringing hydrogen production to world scale will require using natural gas feedstock, at least  for the next 8-10 years. To this end, PCC is partnering to develop scalable, centralized  geologic storage for captured carbon, which will enable low-carbon hydrogen production  from the regions abundant, affordable natural gas. The Center for Houston’s Future recently  released a report outlining the ways in which Houston could become the epicenter of a global  clean hydrogen hub, including the utilization of existing hydrogen production facilities and  pipelines on the Gulf Coast, reliance on Houston’s industrial energy consumer base, and the  renewable energy assets already in place. The report projects that a Houston-led clean  hydrogen hub could reduce carbon emissions by 220 million tons by 2050. viii   

    In that report, the Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI), through their collaborative  of the Greater Houston Partnership and Center for Houston’s Future, also forecasted that  Texas could build a $100 billion hydrogen economy, with 180,000 jobs by 2050, through  initiatives focused on policy, infrastructure, innovation, and talent. The report projects that  clean hydrogen demand could grow from current 3.6 million tons (MT) to 21 MT by 2050,  with 11 MT of local demand and 10 MT available for export. ix

    On a global level, PricewaterhouseCoopers analyzed the green hydrogen market on a  worldwide scale and released findings on potential demand growth. The report projected  that through 2030, demand growth will maintain a moderate, steady growth through smaller  application across industrial, transport, energy and building sectors. The growth is then  expected to accelerate from 2035 forward, due to a decrease in production costs over time,  technological advances, and economies of scale.x In 2020, GoldmanSachs projected that  green hydrogen could supply up to 25% of the world’s energy needs by 2050 and become a  $10 trillion market by 2050.xi

    Other companies such as Sempra are seeking ways to support green hydrogen initiatives,  with goals to support the expansion of electric grids, with increased flexibility, with low or  zero carbon energy such as hydrogen. The Southern California Gas Company recently  announced a green hydrogen energy infrastructure system, called The Angeles Link, to serve  the Loas Angeles County with a hydrogen-ready, interstate pipeline system in an effort to  decarbonize dispatchable electric generation.xii More innovative initiatives to use hydrogen  in order to deliver reliable, affordable energy that is low or zero-carbon are sure to follow.  

    Hydrogen Economy Advancement   


    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the current largest consumer of  hydrogen is in oil refining, followed by use in chemical production, ammonia production, and  methanol production. Steelmaking consumed a minor amount of hydrogen in 2020, but  demand in the iron and steel industry is expected to rise. In the transportation sector,  hydrogen has been used in limited amounts, but as fuel cell electric vehicle development  expands in the U.S. and Japan, increased use is expected as a motor fuel for both light and  heavy duty vehicles.xiii The Texas-based company Hydron has begun the effort to bring  hydrogen-powered, autonomous ready long-haul Class 8 trucks to the Texas roadway.xiv Hydrogen fuel cells offer several distinct advantages over battery electric vehicles in the  heavy freight sector, with substantially longer range and lower refueling times.   

    A federal effort to further increase reliance on all hydrogen is already underway. DOE has  put in place a major initiative to advance the production, transport, storage, and utilization  of hydrogen in an affordable way, across multiple sectors.xv “H2@Scale,” the DOE initiative,  is built on the idea that hydrogen as a fuel source carries many benefits. First, hydrogen  contains the highest energy content by weight of all fuels and is seen as a critical feedstock  for all chemical industry. Second, it can be a zero-emissions fuel, making it a critical part of  many industry and government goals for reducing or eliminating emissions. Hydrogen can  also be used as a ‘responsive load’ on the grid, enabling stability and energy storage and  increasing utilization of power generators.   


    The DOE identifies the next steps in expanding the value proposition of hydrogen  technologies as increasing infrastructure and seeking further opportunities for the use of  hydrogen. Those other uses include “steel manufacturing, ammonia production, synthetic or  electrofuel production (using CO2 plus hydrogen), and the use of hydrogen for marine, rail,  datacenter, and heavy-duty vehicle applications.”xvi The H2@Scale program offers some  incentive, focusing on early-stage research and development projects and facilitated through  cooperative agreements with matching DOE funds. There remains a push, however, for a  prominent role for the private sector in advancing hydrogen use: “[w]hile DOE’s role focuses  on early-stage R&D, such as new concepts for dispatchable hydrogen production, delivery,  and storage, reliance on the private sector for demonstration is critical.”

    In October of 2021, Senator John Cornyn and others introduced a bi-partisan bill package to  incentivize hydrogen infrastructure and adoption of hydrogen in certain sectors. The three bill initiative creates research and grant programs for advancements in hydrogen  infrastructure, with the following three focus areas:  

  1. Maritime: Creates a grant program for hydrogen-fueled equipment at ports and in  shipping;  
  2. Heavy Industry: Creates a grant program for commercial-scale demonstration  projects for end-use industrial application of hydrogen, which includes the  production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals;
  3. Infrastructure: Creates a pilot financing program to provide grants and low interest loans for new or retrofitted transport infrastructure, storage, or refueling  stations. 

In this initiative, priority will be given to projects that will maximize emissions reductions.  In February of 2022, the Port of Corpus Christi and Apex Clean Energy, Ares, and EPIC  Midstream entered an agreement to explore development of gigawatt-scale green hydrogen  production, storage, transportation, and export as part of PCC’s burgeoning hydrogen hub.  This agreement builds upon an agreement from May of 2021 to work towards developing  infrastructure to support green hydrogen production.   


Major oil companies such as BP and Shell are pursuing hydrogen projects that may begin as  blue hydrogen but will likely yield increasingly more green hydrogen as the electrolier  marketplace matures. With this increased focus, BP projects that hydrogen could make up  16% of global energy consumption by 2050 if net zero carbon-emissions goals are to be met,  where it is currently at less than 1%.xvii Currently, the United States produces more than 10  1million metric tons of hydrogen each year, which amounts to one-seventh of the world’s  supply.xviii A move toward increased hydrogen production has been percolating in the Texas  industry for years. In a 2017 Texas Monthly article, Michael Lewis, program manager for fuel   cell vehicle research in the Center for Electromechanics, University of Texas at Austin,  identified Texas’ unique ability to be a leader in hydrogen production. “Texas’s natural  resources make it a natural fit for hydrogen energy and vehicles. Our natural gas resources  are an economical feedstock for hydrogen production. Curtailed wind power in West Texas  could power the production of hydrogen for use in vehicles and other applications. And miles  of hydrogen pipeline already exist along the Texas coast, which would ease distribution.”xix With Texas holding the majority of 1600 miles of hydrogen pipeline infrastructurexx, Texas  has an advantage in pursuing the advancement of hydrogen production.   

Geological storage of hydrogen is another topic that must be considered in the advancement  of hydrogen use. Salt caverns have met current storage needs, which allow for fast  withdrawal and injection rates but can be costly and have limited capacity. The Bureau of  Economic Geology at the University of Texas (BEG) has identified two categories of storage reservoirs that could provide more available and advantageous storage: (1) depleted oil and  gas reservoirs; and (2) saline aquifers, which have proven storage capabilities and are  already supported by infrastructure. xxi The BEG has identified the need for an inventory of  sites for use in order to make progress on hydrogen storage; the identification of such sites  could also help further other low carbon initiatives such as CCUS, by locating storage that  could be utilized for both long term sequestration and immediate term hydrogen storage.  


Hydrogen Incentives  

Industrial adoption of hydrogen as a primary fuel could be accelerated by additional  incentives. One proposal is to create “Hydrogen Development Zones” taking advantage of the  Opportunity Zone Program, a federally approved program meant to spur economic  development and job creation in distressed communities. The program offers incentives  such as capital gains abatement when private businesses invest eligible capital into pre  

qualified opportunity zone assets. A sustainable energy enterprise, earlier discussed as a  company engaged in CCUS, and further here in hydrogen production, could potentially apply  for the tax incentives when pursuing increased hydrogen production in a “Hydrogen  Development Zone.” Tax relief could further be encouraged through the Governor’s Office of  Economic Development and Tourism, with a directive for tax incentives to foster job creation  and development of sustainable energy in Hydrogen Development Zones.

A statutory definition of hydrogen could be included, to include products derived from  hydrogen or any other conversion technology that produces hydrogen from a fossil fuel  feedstock. Another necessary action would be requiring Texas and its partners, including  local governments, industry, and institutions of higher learning, to consider a number of  factors in their duties to support the state’s Hydrogen Initiative. Relating to procurement, a  state agency that seeks to purchase any item requiring the use of a power source, including  but not limited to motor vehicles, material and cargo-handling equipment such as forklifts,  harbor craft, generators, power systems, portable floodlights, microgrids, and  telecommunications equipment, should include in the request for proposals provisions that  allow for the consideration of items that are powered by Texas hydrogen.   

The Legislature could also authorize state government, specifically the Office of the Governor  and TCEQ, to consider investments in hydrogen fueling infrastructure and the production of  sustainable hydrogen as a transportation fuel, and also define transportation electrification  to include sustainable hydrogen used as a transportation fuel. Relatively small changes to  Texas Emissions Reduction Program alternative fuel requirements could open underutilized  funds currently allocated exclusively to compressed natural gas vehicles.xxii Finally,  industrial revenue bonds for the purpose of achieving a Texas Hydrogen Development Zone  goal could be authorized through the governor and the Legislature, along with permitting  counties, municipalities and other political districts to bond for sustainable projects. 

Although hydrogen prices have increased in line with other energy sources, due to increases  in the natural gas markets, long-term growth projections still anticipate a reduction in  hydrogen price as technology continues to advance and scale increases. xxiii Thanks to robust  existing hydrogen infrastructure and frenetic commercial activity in the hydrogen value  chain at Port Corpus Christi and other cornerstones of the global energy marketplace, Texas  could easily become the leading producer of low-cost hydrogen in the nation. With an  increased focus from the industry, along with support from state and local government  leaders, Texas is in the best possible position to benefit from an increased reliance on this  low to zero-emissions fuel.   

i https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/five-things-you-might-not-know-about-h2scale  ii https://www.beg.utexas.edu/research/areas/hydrogen   

iii https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/whats-the-difference-between-gray-blue-and-green-hydrogen  iv https://theconversation.com/blue-hydrogen-what-is-it-and-should-it-replace-natural-gas-166053I  v https://www.activesustainability.com/sustainable-development/what-is-green-hydrogen-used for/?_adin=02021864894   

vi https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Types_of_hydrogen_fuel   

vii Blue Vs. Green Hydrogen: Which Will The Market Choose? (forbes.com)  

viii https://www.houston.org/news/report-houston-region-poised-become-global-clean-hydrogen-hub  ix  

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/business%20functions/sustainability/our%20insights/houston%20 as%20the%20epicenter%20of%20a%20global%20clean%20hydrogen%20hub/houston-as-the-epicenter-of-a global-clean-hydrogen-hub-vf.pdf?shouldIndex=false   

x https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/energy-utilities-resources/future-energy/green-hydrogen cost.html#:~:text=Through%202030%2C%20hydrogen%20demand%20will,form%20to%20develop%20hydrogen% 20projects.   

xi https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/gs-research/green-hydrogen/report.pdf  xii https://www.sempra.com/newsroom/spotlight-articles/green-hydrogen-leadership-opportunity  xiii https://www.iea.org/reports/hydrogen   

xiv http://www.hydron.com/; https://hydrogen-central.com/tusimple-co-founder-mo-chen-launches-hydron producing-hydrogen-powered-autonomous-ready-freight-trucks/   

xv https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/downloads/h2scale-handout   

xvi https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/downloads/h2scale-handout   

xvii Big Oil Companies Push Hydrogen as Green Alternative, but Obstacles Remain – WSJ  

xviii https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/five-things-you-might-not-know-about-h2scale  xix https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/electric-vehicles-energy-problem-hydrogen-may-answer/  xx https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-pipelines  

xxi https://www.beg.utexas.edu/research/areas/hydrogen   

xxii https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/tngvgp.html   

xxiii https://www.utilitydive.com/news/green-hydrogen-prices-global-report/627776/  






Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage: Incentives

The Texas energy industry faces a significant challenge today. The oil and gas industry is being asked to continue to provide reliable energy for an increasing population as well as for developing and emerging economies who strive to lift themselves out of ‘energy poverty’, while simultaneously meeting growing calls to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. The pressure from financial institutions, in concert with federal regulatory agencies, means that the state must incentivize large-scale deployment of carbon capture technology.

It is a recognized fact that energy demand has and will continue to grow. Specifically, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects a close to 50% increase in world energy use by 2050.i The EIA projects that total volumes of fossil fuels consumed in the United States will increase by 10% between now and 2050 and that 74% of America’s energy will still come from fossil fuels in 2050. Further, the EIA projects that by 2050 fossil fuels will still supply 69% of the world’s energy. As demand for fossil fuel energy continues to rise around the world, well-funded groups, financial institutions and regulatory agencies are making significant efforts to drastically reduce or even eliminate fossil fuels in an attempt to solve the carbon emissions issue. The result of such a course of action would undermine efforts to expand energy supply, increase energy poverty and make the current energy shortages around the world look miniscule in comparison.


The fossil fuels industry is faced with the dual problems of meeting increasing fossil fuels energy demand while also dealing with increased market – and – regulatory pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To address these problems, new technology and innovation is being advanced in the industry. One of these processes, Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) has been billed as part of a viable solution to achieve carbon neutrality without undermining the advancements of mankind’s quality of life to which the abundance and use of fossil fuels have dramatically contributed over the last 150 years.
However, CCUS is a costly and complex process. For Texas to take advantage of the opportunity CCUS provides, Texas has a unique opportunity to achieve – continued robust production of energy, but with lowered carbon emissions – with the addition of critical incentives.


What is “CCUS”?


Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (“CCUS”) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions produced from industrial sources to be used to increase hydrocarbon recovery, utilized for various industrial applications, or to be stored underground. Dedicated carbon storage is possible through the process of deep injection into secure geological formations, some of which may be depleted crude oil and/or natural gas reservoirs, brine-filled aquifers or mineralized basalt formations.ii Many projects in the United States and around the world have been developed, as industry has seen CCUS as a way to reduce
emissions while increasing production to meet demand.


The Opportunity for Texas


For CCUS, the existence of reservoirs and available pore space in Texas play a key role in their feasibility. Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy released a case study1 on possible industry efforts to achieve significant CO2 reduction and removal. The study focuses on the idea of “net-zero industrial hubs” as a pathway to reducing emissions, focusing on Texas’ potential, particularly regarding storing carbon when it comes to CCUS:


Texas is also home to an important natural resource required for a net-zero industrial hub: subsurface pore volume for CO2 storage. The combined onshore and offshore saline formation capacity along the Gulf Coast alone is estimated above 1 trillion tons capacity—more than 10,000 times the annual emissions of Houston—and the Gulf of Mexico pore-volume storage resources
is the largest in the United States.iii


Due to its storage resources available, and current infrastructure already in place, Texas stands to play a significant role in the development and advancement of CCUS.


Possible Incentives


Because CCUS is complex and still emerging as an industry, it requires significant integration across technical and legal disciplines as well as large capital investment for companies during the development, construction and operation phases. Costs for CCUS projects are estimated to cost approximately $400 million per 1 million tons per annum., captured and stored, divided among the cost of capture, transportation, and storage. This significant cost requires some type of financial incentive for companies looking to enter the CCUS industry, particularly as the regulatory, legal, and economic frameworks are still being
developed or need clarification both on a federal and state level. A GAO report on CCUS from December 2021 cites several barriers to CCUS development on the economic level, including viability risks of the host industrial emission point source, volatility in the fossil fuel commodities market, high expected project costs, and uncertainty within carbon markets
and tax incentives, making it difficult to estimate economic viability.iv


In the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s report2 on CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions, the agency notes that several policy developments will be necessary to support this new industry:


A range of policy instruments are at policy makers’ disposal to support the establishment of a market for CCUS and address the investment challenges. In practice, a mix of measures is likely to be needed. These measures include direct capital grants, tax credits, carbon pricing mechanisms, operational subsidies, regulatory requirements and public procurement of low-carbon
products from CCUS-equipped plants. Continuous support for innovation is also needed to drive down costs, and develop and commercialize new technologies.v


Establishing sufficient incentives, on a federal and state level, could provide not only financial support but also certainty in pursuing new CCUS projects. CCUS is equivalent to making existing industrial activities carbon-free, whether for electric power, transportation fuels, petrochemicals, fertilizers, ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen. These existing sectors are large employers, particularly with well-educated, technical workforces in both the
corporate and field levels.


Federal Incentives

At the federal level, the tax credit for carbon dioxide sequestration (referred to by its Internal Revenue Code section, “45Q”) is a credit based on metric tons of carbon captured and sequestered when that carbon would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere. The captured carbon must be disposed of in “secure geological storage” to be credited.vi The credit has been expanded several times since its passage and remains a major incentive on the federal level for carbon capture projects.


Recent federal legislation increasing incentives will make an impact on CCUS funding but will not completely close the gap for companies seeking to enter the new industry. New federal regulation increases the 45Q credit to $85 per ton from $50 per ton for captured and stored carbon, $60 per ton for beneficial use of captured carbon emissions, and $60 per ton for carbon stored in oil and gas fields.vii The bill also increases credits for direct air capture projects, from $50 per ton of carbon captured to $180 per ton for carbon stored in geological formations, $130 per ton for utilization projects, and $130 per ton for storage in oil and gas fields. However, the cost of the technology, compounded with current inflation rates that will significantly impact the installed costs of CCUS infrastructure, make the current 45Q levels inadequate to encourage many companies to engage in new CCUS projects.viii Accordingly, industry seeking to adapt and deploy CCUS technologies should be able to turn to state-level programs to supplement and induce CCUS projects.

State Incentives

1. Tax Credit for Clean Energy

The Legislature created a tax credit for clean energy projects in 2013, aimed at coal projects. Though now expired, the statute provides a good framework to build upon for the clean energy project that is CCUS. The statute provided a tax credit equal to the lesser of 10% of capital costs of the projects or $100 million, and was limited to three projects, to be carried forward for no more than 20 consecutive years. The statute had a requirement that the project must sequester at least 70% of the carbon dioxide resulting from the project. In recent CCUS projects, the capture rate can vary depending on the type of CO2 facility, from 60% up to 85%. With input from industry, designating a required capture rate could work to limit the amount of eligible projects or applying categories of required capture rates with different levels of incentives, would help in capping the financial expense to the state while still supporting major CCUS projects.

2. “Prop 2” Pollution Control

Another potential for tax relief falls under the Tax Relief for Pollution Control Property Program, called “Prop 2”, which provides tax relief for facilities using certain property or equipment for pollution control. The TCEQ program offers tax relief for pollution control property or facilities that are used to “meet or exceed laws, rules, or regulations adopted by any environmental protection agency of the United States, Texas, or a political subdivision of Texas, for the prevention, monitoring, control, or reduction of air, water, or land pollution.”xiii

To receive the tax exemption, applicants must request a use determination by TCEQ. Upon receiving a positive use determination, applicants then apply to their local property tax appraisal district for the property tax exemption.ix Currently, statute provides that property used to capture carbon dioxide is eligible for the tax credit but includes a limiting factor that the property is eligible if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), permitting authority, or other entity adopts rule or regulation regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.x

Rather than rely on various regulations subject to change, the state should remove the limiting factor to ensure that CCUS projects are eligible for the credit. Statute should also provide for a minimum amount of property tax relief rather than relying entirely on a determination by local appraisers with the floor increasing depending on the scale of the project. In addition, because the tax exemption is a constitutional provision, a constitutional amendment will also be required in order to amend the tax relief provision. If CCUS is considered a pollution control project or equipment, Prop 2 could provide another opportunity for tax relief when it comes to the cost of CCUS.


The Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP) offers financial incentives to eligible businesses and others for the reduction of emissions from vehicles and equipment. Texas Council on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) administers the program, funded by revenues from fees and surcharges relating to certain off-road equipment and on-road vehicles. TERP is intended to help Texas meet the goals of reduced pollution and improved air quality.

With amendment, CCUS could be considered eligible for several current grant programs in TERP, such as the New Technology Implementation Grant Program (NTIG) or the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG). Under the NTIG Program, there are several categories where CCUS could be applied, and should be included. “Advanced Clean Energy Projects” include projects that involve electricity generation through fuels such as coal or biomass, natural gas and use new technologies to reduce certain emissions from stationary sources. With the inclusion of natural gas in the category and a required reduction of carbon dioxide, a CCUS project should be considered eligible. Eligible projects under the “New Technology – Stationary Sources” category are projects that reduce emissions of regulated pollutants from stationary sources, including pollutants subject to TCEQ permitting. Carbon dioxide, as one of the major greenhouse gases, is currently permitted through TCEQ. Through either a new facility or the retrofit of an already existing facility, CCUS is a new technology that could be applied here and should be specifically included. “New Technology – Oil and Gas Projects” is another area CCUS may be applicable, as it is aimed at reduction of emissions from upstream and midstream oil and gas activities. The Emissions Reduction Incentive Grant Program (ERIG), providing grants for the upgrading or replacing of certain equipment to reduce emissions, may be another avenue for CCUS incentives. Establishing the avenue for TERP funding to apply to CCUS can help TCEQ and the state achieve the goal of reduced emissions while also allowing the state to continue its robust energy production.

4. Purchasing Preferences

There are several provisions dealing with procurement that might aid in incentivizing the purchase of products developed from captured carbon, or other low carbon processes, like hydrogen. For example, for contracts performed in nonattainment areas, the comptroller and state agencies may give preference to goods or services of a vendor that meets or exceeds environmental standards relating to air quality, when the cost would not exceed 105 percent of the cost of another vendor.xi Another provision gives a preference for some recycled, remanufactured, or environmentally sensitive products when certain factors allow,
such as price, quantity and quality.xii Amending either of these provisions, or creating a new provision, pertaining to products produced through low carbon efforts, could help incentive the market for low carbon products.

Limits on Incentives

To make CCUS incentives feasible on a state level, limiting factors are necessary, especially as the industry is developing in the state. Various metrics could apply to limit the total funds expended by the state, such as limits based on percentage of carbon captured or the size of the project. Pictured below are estimated target percentages of carbon captured per type of processing plant. As an example, the state could target plants capturing 90%- 95% of carbon emitted.

In addition to applying limits based on the size of the project or the amount of carbon captured, projects in non-attainment areas could be a priority. Non-attainment areas are those that do not currently meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Incentives Around the Country

Several other states have created incentives meant to encourage a reduction in carbon emissions, some related directly to CCUS projects, and others related to and encompassing CCUS through enhanced oil recovery projects (EOR). Below is a summary of the tax incentives, bond authority, and eminent domain powers that have been enacted in other states to help support and develop CCUS. While bond amounts in each state are unknown, similar ideas could serve as a framework to be tailored to Texas. Importantly, this white paper does not cover other states’ initiatives concerning other elements of CCUS, namely pore space ownership and long-term liability ownership. These topics are summarized by CNC white papers elsewhere, whose conclusions with those offered herein are intended to advocate for comprehensive policy.

1. Illinois

In 2007, Illinois authorized the Illinois Finance Authority to issue bonds to finance the development and construction of coal-fired plants with carbon capture projects. Utilities in the state were also authorized to charge a fee to customers for deposit to the Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund and Coal Technology Development Assistance Fund. Per the statute, the funds are to support the capture of emissions from coal-fired plants and the development of further capture and sequestration of carbon emissions.

2. California

California has a broad system regulating emissions, which incentivize CCUS projects as means in which to meet benchmark emissions standards in the state. California also provides an enhanced oil recovery tax credit that is similar to the federal enhanced oil recovery credit. In California, the credit is equal to 5 percent of the qualified enhanced oil recovery costs for qualified oil recovery projects within the state. However, this credit does not apply to taxpayers that are retailers of oil or natural gas or refiners of crude oil if daily refinery output exceeds 50,000 barrels.

3. Kansas

Kansas allows a five-year exemption from property taxes for property used for carbon dioxide capture, sequestration or utilization, and any electric generation unit used to capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions. Kansas also allows for accelerated depreciation on CCUS machinery and equipment. There are also deductions from adjusted gross income available, starting with 55 percent of the amortizable cost down to 5 percent in following years for a 10-year period.

4. Louisiana

Louisiana provides a Sales and Use tax exemption for anthropogenic carbon dioxide used in a tertiary recovery project, once approved by their Office of Conservation in the Department of Natural Resources. The exemption does not specifically require geologic sequestration to qualify. The state also allows a 50 percent reduction on severance tax for the production of crude oil from a tertiary recovery project using anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

5. North Dakota

North Dakota classifies CO2 pipelines as common carrier, thereby granting them the right of eminent domain. The state also provides an exemption from their Sales and Use tax, a rate of 5 percent, for all gross receipts from the sale of carbon dioxide used for enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas. Another exemption from the Sales and Use tax is allowed for gross receipts from sales of tangible personal property used to build or expand a system used for carbon dioxide storage, transportation, or for use in enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas. The property must be incorporated into a new system rather than be used to replace an existing system, although there are exceptions for expansion purposes.

North Dakota also provides a property tax exemption for pipelines and related equipment for the transportation or storage of carbon dioxide for use in enhanced recovery or geologic storage, during construction and the following ten years.

An ad valorem tax exemption applies to coal conversion facilities and any carbon dioxide capture system located there, plus any equipment directly used for geologic storage of carbon dioxide or enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas classified as personal property. The exemption does not apply to tangible personal property incorporated as a component part of a carbon dioxide pipeline, but this restriction does not affect eligibility of such a pipeline for the carbon dioxide pipeline exemption.

Finally, carbon dioxide capture credits are available for coal conversion facilities that capture 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions during a certain period. The owner of such a facility may take from a 20 percent reduction of the North Dakota privilege tax, a tax levied on operators of coal conversion facilities, up to a maximum of a 50 percent reduction when 80 percent or more of carbon dioxide emissions are captured. The tax reduction is available for ten years from the date of the first capture or ten years from the date the facility is eligible for the tax credit. xiii


Texas has the opportunity to lead the way in showing that the fossil fuel industry is ready to continue to provide affordable energy, electricity, and a vast array of products for the benefit of consumers while still improving our environment through lower carbon emissions. Consumers will continue to need fossil fuels for electricity, fuels, and products, but their production and use can become carbon neutral through CCUS. CCUS can be the answer to meeting government-mandated reductions in emissions, without harming the vital fossil fuel industry.

On both the federal and state level, renewable energy has benefitted from substantial subsidies.xiv As Texas has focused on incentivizing wind and solar energy in part to help reduce emissions, a new focus on enabling the oil and gas industry to utilize CCUS to reduce emissions will achieve similar goals, while still affording the state the ability to produce reliable, affordable energy. In addition, Texas’ existing workforce will be protected while also new technical jobs will be created. With a dedicated focus, the Texas energy industry stands to be the model toward reliable and secure energy production, and carbon neutrality,
through CCUS.

i https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=41433

ii https://www.energy.gov/carbon-capture-utilization-storage

iii Columbia | SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy | Evaluating Net-Zero Industrial Hubs in the United States:A Case Study of Houston

iv https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-105111
v https://www.iea.org/reports/ccus-in-clean-energy-transitions
vi https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11455.pdf
vii https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/key-climate-and-energy-provisions-in-5560526/

viii https://www.catf.us/2022/06/inflation-creates-new-urgency-for-passage-of-45q-enhancements/#:~:text=In%20the%20most%20recent%20draft,for%20inflation%20beginning%20in%202 027.

ix https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/taxrelief
x Tex. Tax Code § 11.31
xi Tex. Govt. Code Tit.10, Ch. 2155.451
xii Tex. Govt. Code Tit. 10, Ch. 2155.455

xiii FTI Orrick USEA CCUS Report.pdf

xiv https://www.dsireusa.org/