Senator Judith Zaffirini was named a Legislative Champion by Texas oil and gas leaders at the 12th biennial Future of the Region South Texas (FORSTX) conference in Corpus Christi on Tuesday (Oct. 28).
“Senator Zaffirini is a tireless energy advocate, and this award is a symbol of our appreciation for recognizing that a robust oil and gas sector helps to keep our state economically strong,” said Luke Legate, who presented the award on behalf of the Statewide Joint Association Education Initiative, a group of nine leading organizations of the state’s oil and natural gas industry.
Initiative members are the Texas Oil & Gas Association, Texas Pipeline Association, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Foundation for Energy Education, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, Texas Royalty Council, Permian Basin Petroleum Association, South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable and Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association.
A member of the Senate Finance and Natural Resources Committees and the organizer of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, Senator Zaffirini prioritizes collaborating with state and local leaders and industry to address the opportunities and challenges associated with oil and gas development in the Eagle Ford Shale.
“The oil and gas industry has created more than 300,000 jobs in our state and contributes billions of dollars annually to state government, thereby reducing the state’s fiscal woes and funding critical infrastructure, health and education programs,” Senator Zaffirini said. “Our challenge now is to leverage this economic success by making key investments that will prepare our region and state for the future.”
Texas Workforce Commissioner Hope Andrade, Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, and Senator Zaffirini were the keynote speakers at the conference where South Texas leaders focused on key issues including economic and workforce development, healthcare, border security, transportation and energy.
“The Future of the Region conference is a wonderful opportunity for stakeholders from throughout South Texas to work together in developing solutions to some of our most pressing challenges,” Senator Zaffirini said. “I continue to be inspired by South Texans’ dedication to our communities. This optimistic vision for the future of our region and is the foundation for ensuring prosperous, sustainable communities. Every two years, the impressive position paper generated at the conference provides realistic ideas for state legislators and other policymakers.”
FORSTX is a community and regional planning organization that brings together leaders from 47 South Texas counties, including 14 in Senate District 21, namely, Atascosa, Bee, Bexar, Duval, Jim Hogg, Karnes, La Salle, Live Oak, McMullen, San Patricio, Starr, Webb, Wilson and Zapata. Senator Zaffirini has been at the forefront of the organization since its inception in 1986 and has addressed all of its conferences.