An Interview With State Representative Tom Craddick

Texans for Natural Gas | August 10, 2018

At the age of 25 Representative Tom Craddick ran for office to represent his hometown of Midland in the Texas House of Representatives. During Craddick’s tenure in the Texas House he has been a friend and a strong supporter of the oil and natural gas industry.

As part of our Permian Action Week, we spoke with Representative Craddick about his time in office and the role that oil and natural gas plays in his community.

“Oil and natural gas is critical to our education funding.”

-Texas State Representative Tom Craddick

Craddick made it clear that without oil and natural gas, funding Midland’s growing schools would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

In 2017, Midland ISD received $32.5 million in oil and gas tax and royalty revenue. This revenue pays for things like school buses, teacher salaries, school supplies, books and more. Craddick stressed that without the funding from oil and natural gas, it would not be possible for Midland ISD to pay the money they owe to the state’s recapture program this upcoming school year.

“What is happening job wise is we’re not only getting lower unemployment rates we’re getting good, long-term, high paying jobs coming into the Permian [Basin].”

-Texas State Representative Tom Craddick

Craddick expressed the importance of Permian Basin production to not only to jobs in the oil and natural gas industry, but to jobs in all sectors. Currently, Midland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 2.1%.

While it’s certainly true that big oil and gas companies are building new facilities in the Permian Basin, it’s also true that the Permian is also getting new shopping centers, new restaurants, new businesses and more. Real estate companies are flocking to West Texas to build new homes and new commercial properties. This is creating long-term job growth in all industries in West Texas.

Craddick also stressed that these new jobs are higher paying than what the Permian has seen in the past. These jobs are also hiring a younger work-force which is vital to the stabilization and longevity of these industries.

“When more people come into the Permian Basin as companies expand, those employees get more involved in the communities. They participate in things from non-profits to baseball to volunteer work. The growth has really improved our communities.”

-Texas State Representative Tom Craddick

Craddick has lived in West Texas for the majority of his life. He calls Midland his home and went to Texas Tech University. It’s no surprise that bettering his community is something that is very important to him. He spoke proudly about the ways that Midland and other Permian Basin towns are thriving not only economically, but as communities.

An important thing about long-term job growth is that more and more people are calling the Permian Basin their home. These new residents are bringing their families and making strong connections within their communities and are becoming increasingly involved in volunteer work and social organizations.

“We have a lot of the companies that have moved in to the Permian Basin and have put together a group to help go out an solve the problems of rapid growth. They look the needs for education, food, housing, and even entertainment. These projects will help people stay here for the long-term, which will improve the industry.”

-Texas State Representative Tom Craddick

At the end of the day, the Permian Basin is thriving all around. Income from sales taxes alone has risen 17%, providing more funding for local governments. More people calling the Permian Basin their home has encouraged oil and gas companies to focus on protecting our environment and working together to assess the educational and infrastructure needs of West Texas communities.

It’s clear to us and to Representative Craddick that whether you work in the Permian Basin’s thriving oil and gas industry or not, you are positively impacted by it every single day.

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