Barry is the only person to ever serve on both the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), and is a nationally recognized authority on a number of emerging energy trends. With this background, Barry brings unique experience and perspective when advising clients on issues relating to state and federal regulations, energy project development, legislative matters, and energy litigation.
Barry’s experience at the PUCT and RRC, coupled with his service on a number of national and regional energy-focused boards and committees, gives him particular insight into emerging developments such as unconventional oil and gas development, electric transmission development, renewable energy generation, and energy storage.
Barry was appointed to the RRC in 2011 to serve an unexpired term and, in 2012, was elected statewide for a two-year term. He was later chosen by his colleagues to serve as chairman of the RRC. During his chairmanship, he also served as chair of the Gas Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2013 to 2014.
Prior to his service with the RRC, Barry was a member of the PUCT for more than seven years and served as chairman of the agency for most of 2007 to 2011. In addition to a number of significant achievements, Barry is best known for leading the PUCT’s adoption and management of the 3,600-mile Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission line project, handling routing disputes and acting as the agency’s liaison with the Texas Legislature, service providers, and landowners. Mr. Smitherman is also an adjunct professor in the KBH Center, where he teaches a course on Texas energy law.