AUSTIN (KXAN) – As tension continues to mount between the U.S. and Iran, the impact on Texas of a conflict in the Middle East is becoming clearer. Right now, more than 500 Texas National Guard, Army and Air service members are deployed in the Middle East, not to mention the enlisted men and women in the national forces stationed across the state.
Human lives are not the only thing at risk. The Texas economy is tied directly to the oil trade coming out of Iran. Texas actually produces more oil than Iran. In 2018, the state produced more than 4.8 million barrels per day, while Iran produced 4.7 million barrels. Just last year, Texas produced more than five million barrels per day.
“We have become energy independent in the U.S. and I think Texas has led the way in that independence”, said Texas Representative Michael McCaul. “That really does impact our foreign policy.” However, any conflict with Iran could cause oil prices to fluctuate. Just this morning, prices fell after President Trump commented on yesterday missile strike on two American bases in Iraq.
Texas’ conflict with Iran
Texas law actually forbids the state from forming contracts with any companies that engage in business with Iran. Each year, the Texas Comptroller, currently Glenn Hegar, is required to make a list of any businesses operating in Texas that have ties with Iran. Last year, the list included 23 businesses, mostly oil and gas companies based in China and India.
Iranian Americans in Texas
Texas has one of the largest Iranian American populations in the country, with the largest population center found in Houston. 6-10% of Iranian Americans live in Texas, according to the University of Texas. It is estimated that three to five Iranian Americans call Austin or San Antonio their home.