On Oct. 16, the 2015 Border Energy Forum (BEF) concluded, following two days of intriguing speeches and panel presentations from some of the most prominent leaders across all platforms of the energy industry. The BEF is a bilingual event focused on fostering collaboration and conversation of the most efficient and technologically advanced uses of energy resources on both sides of the border. Attendees engaged in high-level discussions on local, federal, and international policies affecting the energy sector. The event featured break-out sessions on a variety of topics including cross-border energy cooperation, renewable innovations, LNG exportation, energy storage, and water policies. Speakers included Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush; Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico; Amanda Martin-Brock, CEO of Water Standard; and Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States.
In his keynote address, Commissioner Bush noted that under his leadership the GLO took a historic step this year in holding Texas’ first-ever online sale of oil and gas leases. Previously, anyone wishing to develop oil and gas reserves on Permanent School Fund land had to physically submit a bid, sealed in an envelope, to the GLO office in Austin. It was a process that had changed very little since the 1950s. By putting the process online, the GLO brought in more bidders, made more money—about $1,500 per acre more than the last traditional lease sale—and the Permanent School Fund made $20 million in about 20 minutes.
“Even in a soft oil and gas market, we made more money per acre by opening up the bidding process to more producers and investors,” Commissioner Bush said. “The 21st Century economy is online. We sell on eBay, buy from Amazon, and catch a ride through Uber. Putting these energy lease sales online just makes sense. Texans demand a more efficient, effective government, and we are delivering it at the General Land Office. As you can see, we are busy at the GLO doing big things for the people of Texas. And we are just getting started.”