top of page

Chairman Brooks Landgraf Touts Permian Basin As Economic Juggernaut

Blog by Katie Zarate, Director of Communications

Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) presented at this week’s TAB Txlege Breakfast Series. Chairman of the House Environmental Regulation Committee, Rep. Landgraf’s family has been ranching in West Texas for five generations. He has served HD 81 since 2015.

The state’s enormous $33 billion budget surplus is the talk of the town, but some may not know that 13.3 percent of that surplus comes directly from the oil and gas severance tax. The energy industry, which has deep roots in West Texas, has generated high paying jobs and a tax base that helps fund vital infrastructure investments throughout the state. Rep. Landgraf pointed out that if the Texas Legislature wants to keep the economic engine running, it would be wise to invest some of the excess from oil and gas severance taxes back into the very region that generated it. “For the first time in the history of the Rainy Day Fund, we are maxing it out.”

The Chairman explained the fund as a cup that is overflowing. Education, infrastructure, and public safety are three other “cups” that funds could be poured into. The region currently has institutions that lack enough faculty to train healthcare workers, giving them no other choice than to turn away nursing students. Due to high costs of living, there is also a lack of law enforcement officers to patrol highways in West Texas. Rep. Landgraf emphasized the need to offer competitive wages to fill these critical workforce shortages. “We need teachers, health care workers, and law enforcement offers.”

State investments are more important now than ever with increasing attacks from the federal level. In June 2022 the EPA redesignated non-obtainment areas in the Permian Basin. Chairman Landgraf commended Governor Greg Abbott for getting involved and defending the region. Redesignation has since then been put on hold.

On the note of workforce and education, Rep. Landgraf touted Odessa College’s national ranking and reputation for strong welding and commercial truck driving programs. “Community colleges have not gotten the respect or investment they need at the state level.” TAB is advocating in support of the Texas Commission on Community College Finance’s Report to the 88th Texas Legislature. Outcomes-based funding models help ensure students are getting the best ROI on their education, leading to a fuller, future-proof workforce. In early February, Governor Greg Abbott traveled to Odessa to he stated on Twitter that “Through workforce development programs like the ones Odessa College offers, Texas is building the workforce of tomorrow in critical fields like energy & healthcare.”

Odessa Chamber CEO, Reneé Earls, and several members of her team attended the breakfast. Chairman Landgraf bragged on the chamber’s work in the community. “The Texas Miracle begins in the Permian Basin.” During Q&A, he commented that there is appetite for reimagined tax abatement agreements in the Texas House. This is the number one legislative priority for TAB, the Texas State Chamber. Regional chambers across Texas are united and mobilized to support a new, transparent economic development tool this session.

The TAB TxLege Breakfast Series runs through March 8th. Lawmakers, capitol staff, and TAB Members are invited to join February 15 where we will hear from Senator Drew Springer. RSVP:


bottom of page