Upstream Texas - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
Texas State Representative
IT MAY SEEM COUNTERINTUITIVE, but good salespeople
often succeed not by saying all the right things, but instead
by listening, suggests Texas Representative Chris Paddie.
Paddie, who represents Texas State House District 9, has made
a career in sales, where over the years he says he has come to
appreciate the value of listening to people to identify and understand
their motivations. From his experience in sales, Paddie relates,
one cannot underestimate the importance of communicating
effectively and engaging directly with people-skills of which he
uses now more than ever perhaps as a lawmaker serving in the
Paddie first began his sales career in Houston, where he moved following
his graduation from Texas A&M University. In Houston, he worked selling
safety equipment and industrial products. Paddie later relocated back home
to East Texas, settling with his wife and two sons in the city of Marshall,
Texas, where he became the general manager of KMHT radio station.
Once he put down roots in Marshall, Paddie says he found himself
interested in serving a more elevated role and becoming involved with
the city government. In 2008, Paddie was elected to the Marshall City
Commission, and went on to become Marshall's mayor.
In 2012, Paddie won his election to represent District 9, which includes
his home city of Marshall, in the Texas House of Representatives. Five
years later, Paddie has been re-elected as District 9's representative for
his third consecutive legislative session.
During his time in the House of Representatives, Paddie has nabbed
a seat on several prominent legislative committees, including the House
Energy Resources Committee. This committee-particularly important
to members of TIPRO-holds jurisdiction over the production, regulation,
transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources;
the leasing and regulation of mineral rights under public lands; mining;
the conservation of the energy resources of Texas; developing and using
alternative energy sources; and increasing energy efficiency throughout
the state. In 2015, Paddie was pleased to be appointed by Speaker of the
House Joe Straus as the vice chairman of the Energy Resources Committee
during Texas' 84th Legislative Session.
Although, long before his role on the House Energy Resources Committee,
Paddie indicates he held a strong appreciation of oil and gas. After all,
Paddie notes, he grew up in East Texas, where oil and gas has been a major
component of the region's history and backdrop. He proudly points out one
of his district's local broadcasting stations in Carthage, Texas, that goes
by the call letters "KGAS."
"I've always appreciated oil and gas as part of our lives and a huge
driver of our economy," he says, "yet my time on the Energy Resources
Committee did help me better understand the industry's place in other
parts of the state, as well as the nuts and bolts of energy production."
PADDIE SAYS HE HAS ENJOYED WORKING
WITH TIPRO SINCE HE FIRST ARRIVED IN
THE LEGISLATURE. "WE LEAN HEAVILY ON
TIPRO'S EXPERTISE TO MAKE SURE WE
FULLY UNDERSTAND THE RAMIFICATIONS
OF OUR POLICY DECISIONS. THE STAFF IS
GREAT, THE MEMBERS ARE GREAT AND
I HAVE CONSTITUENTS WHO ARE VERY
ENGAGED WITH TIPRO. THOSE FOLKS
HAVE PUT A LOT OF BLOOD, SWEAT AND
TEARS INTO BEING SUCCESSFUL."
Now, a couple of years later, Speaker Straus has appointed
Representative Paddie to serve as a member of the House Calendars
Committee in addition to legislative committees that focus on licensing
and administrative procedures, state affairs, and state and federal power
As he considers the work of the legislature this year, the state
representative expresses hope that once the session has ended, Texans
will feel like their lawmakers accomplished the necessary tasks, including
passing a budget that allocates tax money wisely.
"I hope people look back and say we did a good job with what we had
to work with. Although we never get everything we want, I want Texans
to feel mostly satisfied," he stresses.
While thinking about the legislature's 2017 review of the Texas Railroad
Commission-which has undergone its third evaluation by the state's
Sunset Advisory Commission in just seven years-Paddie calls attention
to the importance of the state's oil and gas regulatory agency.
The Railroad Commission's prominence prompts Paddie to raise concern
that the legislature properly funds the agency, now and in the future.
Although it may have been a worthwhile experiment at one time to make
the agency self-funded, he suggests, that strategy has not worked as well
amid an industry slump. "Whether times are good or bad, the Railroad
Commission must have the resources it needs," he emphasizes.
Of course, such a statement will draw no objection from the Texas
Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association. Paddie says he
has enjoyed working with TIPRO since he first arrived in the legislature.
"We lean heavily on TIPRO's expertise to make sure we fully understand
the ramifications of our policy decisions. The staff is great, the members
are great and I have constituents who are very engaged with TIPRO. Those
folks have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into being successful." ■
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