Oil And Energy, Does America Have The Resources To Be Self Reliant: In this episode, Chairman of the Railroad Commission in Texas, Christi Craddick, will be with us to talk about the difference in our energy sector between the Obama and Trump administrations. We answer these questions: is America capable of having enough resources to be self-reliant? Do these changes help me personally? Should our federal regulations be a one size fits all? Should Trump’s administration be repealing regulations? And more! Tune in now to learn more!

Air Date: 03/01/2018

Guest: Christi Craddick

On-air Personalities: David Barton and Rick Green


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

You’ve found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. Thanks so much for joining us today where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. All of it from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator.

You can find out more about us and the program at WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. Some great information at both of those websites.

Later in the program Chairman of the Railroad Commission in Texas, Christi Craddick, will be with us to talk about the difference in our energy sector between the Obama and the Trump administration. Some big changes that have taken place there.

David, some people may say, “What does energy have to do with the intersection of faith and politics?” But it affects every one of us, it affects the economy in big ways and all of those are still biblical issues, right?

David:

Yeah, it does. And, actually, a few years ago we had Rabbi Lapin speak to the legislators on what the Bible said about energy. He went back into Genesis and showed what God said about energy, about oil, about fuels, and about other things. It was quite amazing to see that the Bible actually has cool stuff on that. And most people don’t think of that.

So, Rabbi Lapin, as he is on so many issues, is he really good on everything in the Bible, Old Testament as obviously his expertise as a rabbi, and it was a real eye opener for legislators.

Energy Is Part of What We Do

David:

But, Rick, as you point out, this is a part of who we are in America today. Energy is a part of what we do – whether it be the heating and the cooling, whether it be transportation, whether it be so many products that are made from petroleum byproducts and petroleum products, it’s just part of our life today. If energy were to go away, or if it became difficult, or if it became as it was just two or three years ago where we were paying four bucks a gallon for gasoline – that’s a problem. And that’s a problem for families trying to make a living and that’s a problem for all sorts of things. So, this is directly there.

I really had a great lesson not long ago about how energy is actually related to freedom. And I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll do it again – when Tim and I were in Poland and we were meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, and with the interior secretary, and the Foreign Ministry secretary, and others, it was striking they said, “We are at the mercy of Russia.”

I was in Ukraine, I was asked to help them to a Constitution four years ago, so they’re working on a new one. And it was right after Russia had invaded Crimea, taken over Crimea, and they were shooting into Ukraine. There had been a number of people lost in Ukraine, particularly from Russian snipers, so it was really a bad deal.

But the thing is, Ukraine is dependent on Russia for its energy, for its natural gas. Well, when we were in Poland, we found the same thing there. Poland is dependent on Russia for all of its natural gas and energy. So, they really can’t afford to make Russia mad even though they don’t like what Putin’s doing, what’s going on. If they make him really mad he cuts off their gas and then, man, that puts them into a poverty situation, essentially, a crisis.

As we were talking, the minister had a really big smile on his face and said, “You know, last week Energy Secretary Rick Perry was over here and we told him we need–” I think he said, “–we need 182 billion cubic feet of natural gas a month and he grinned at us and said, ‘I just happen to have 182 billion cubic feet of natural gas a month I can send to you.’”

Becoming Independent From Russia

David:

The headline is now out. It’s a big deal in Europe. But you now how Poland who’s not only independent from Russia, but there are now supplying natural gas to Ukraine who’s becoming more independent from Russia.

Rick:

Wow.

David:

In the standpoint of freedom, as it turns out, man, you get a lot more freedom when you are energy independent, energy self-sufficient, you don’t have to rely on someone else. Whether it be China, or Russia, or Saudi Arabia or anybody else. They can’t control your foreign policy when you’re able to be independent. And that’s a big deal that’s starting to happen in America in the last year or so.

Rick:

So, David, let me ask you this one before we go to our interview. Because I mentioned   even the Christian worldview and how does this apply to the Bible. Some people will say that the way we use energy – whether it’s oil, gas, natural gas, whatever it is, that we’re harming the environment, or we’re using up natural resources, or whatever, and that’s anti Christian.

I know you’ve done a lot of research on this – you’ve even been an expert witness before the U.S. Senate on some of this environmentalism. What do you say– how do you answer our fellow evangelicals with regard to that?

The Most Inaccurate Science in America Today

David:

The most inaccurate science in America today is environmental science. And I have a presentation I do – particularly for college students and those. We do trainings in the summer with 18 through 25 year olds and they’re getting ready to go to college, or they’re going on to a higher degree or something. I go through and show all these discoveries of environmental science, and all the statements, and all these unequivocal findings they’ve had in the last 15 years. And show you how that within three or five years this it’s exactly the opposite of what they said and that’s-

Rick:

The very thing they were so firm on–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

–turns out to be the opposite.

David:

I’ve got an article from back in the 60s and 70s where it says, “Oh, we only have 30 years left of gas and then we’re going to be out because all the oil supplies are depleted.”

Hey, by the way, in what you look at in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and the new discoveries of oil fields in Alaska bigger than any known before, what they have in North Dakota – the boom that’s going. You look at all the oil that’s out there and even at the current rate of using oil it looks like we are about 300 years left – not 30 years. And they were saying, “Well, we think that there’s only natural gas enough left for 40 years.” Texas alone has enough for 2500 years. Are you kidding?! So, environmental science is the one that they’re off on the most.

You may recall that they used to say, “Hey, you can’t have aerosol cans because that burns a ozone hole and we’re all going to die from global–” Well, it turns out that aerosol cans actually contribute to global cooling now when they were saying global warming just a few years ago.

Take it With Two Pounds of Salt

David:

So, all the stuff you get an environmental science you really have to take not with a grain of salt, but with about two pounds of salt per intake. Because that is the science that changes the most often because they base it on false models, false assumptions, false predictions, and they have very little data. It’s really built on modeling and modeling can change. If you get a one tenth of degree change in world temperature, your model is totally off.

Rick:

And aren’t we supposed to be– part of taking care of the earth is to use the resources that God gave us. No different than as a hunter, when I take that deer, and harvest that deer, it feeds my family. I’m using what God gave me to sustain ourselves.

David:

That was the original mandate, After God said, “Be fruitful multiply.”, He said, “Subdue the earth and take dominion over it.” And so we are taking dominion, subduing it. We’re told in 1 Corinthians that we’re to be good stewards, we’re to use and not abuse.

Now, the definition is how do you define abuse? The environmentalists would say using it is abusing it. Well, that’s not true. Nobody wants– I’m in Texas. I’ve got oil pumps on my land that are not mine, but those guys are really, really, good about not letting anything happen to damage the land because the cattle live on that land and the deer live on that land.

These guys go to excessive lengths to make sure that we don’t harm the environment. The coal scrubbers we have at our coal plants here in Texas it’s actually cleaner air coming out of the coal plants than what you just inhale naturally through the atmosphere. We go to excessive lengths.

Yeah, there’s guys that goof it up every once in a while and what happens is the environmentalists take that and they use fear to promote something. They make the exception into the rule and that’s just not the case.

So, we are being good stewards of it and using it. And God put it here for us to take dominion over, and subdue it, and make it our servant – we’re not its servant. That’s one thing Rabbi Lapid pointed out very well is God created the world to serve man – not man to serve the world.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

And when you get that out of order, then you start worshipping the creation more than the Creator and God put the stuff here for man’s disposal, not man for the environment’s disposal.

Rick:

Well, to help us a little bit with how policies affect that, and who we elect affects the policies that we have, and the difference we’ve gotten in the Trump administration than the Obama administration with regard to this area of energy, is Christi Craddick. She’s the chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas which handles, oversees, all of the oil and gas in Texas. And it’s really going to be applicable to our listeners all over the country because it gives us a picture of what– how different it is right now than it was even 15 months ago. Stay with us. Christi Craddick our special guest on WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history.

The Reverend James Caldwell was a famous minister during the American War for Independence. His sermons taught liberty and God’s opposition to tyranny.

The British hated him and tried to kill him. So for his own protection he would actually take loaded pistols with him into the pulpit and lay them beside his Bible as he preached. In the 1780 Battle of Springfield, the Americans ran out of wadding for their guns which was like having no ammunition.

Pastor Caldwell ran inside a nearby church and returned with an armload of Watt Hymnals, the pages of which would provide the much needed wadding. He took this great Bible based hymnal, raised in the air, and shouted to the troops,”Now put to watts into them, boys!”  This pastor’s ingenuity saved the day for the Americans.

For more information or Pastor James Caldwell and other Colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. With us is Christi Craddick, she’s the chairman of the Railroad Commission in Texas. And for those of you, all of our listeners outside of Texas, you’ve got to understand this is mostly oil and gas. So, it’s dealing with all of our oil and gas industry all across the great state of Texas. And Christi’s been there, let’s see, Christi, you’ve been there six years now, right?

Christi Craddick:

No, five.

Rick:

Five.

Christi Craddick:

Yes, I just got my five year certificate today.

Rick:

Do they give you like a pin or something or a little challenge coin? What do you get every year? I get– well, after five years you get a pin and a the certificate. I just got mine today.

Rick:

Alright.

Christi Craddick:

Just over five years I’ve been here.

Let’s Talk Oil and Gas

Rick:

Hey, let’s talk oil and gas and the difference today versus 15 months ago or so under the Obama administration. Have you noticed, at the Texas level at least, at the state level, any difference in these two administrations?

Christi Craddick:

I’ve noticed huge difference. You started out by saying we do oil and gas, but we also do pipelines, and pipeline safety, as well as coal mines. So, it’s a lot of things we regulate and what the difference is from 15 months ago, to me, is amazing. One is just how you work with people in Washington D.C. has improved. But specifics for oil and gas and energy are if you look at what the administration, this administration, *put out today that they will walk– doing trade route, basically, as Trump was doing the trade route – it’s America’s first energy plan.*

What a different philosophy to begin with that we have a president and an administration who want America to create their own energy and develop their own energy instead of selling– buying stuff from overseas. So, that’s been huge for us.

The second piece that I always like to explain to people we all appreciate – I think we’ve got over regulation. It costs time dollars and money for people. And the last administration definitely was over regulating an energy industry.

The difference is this, when they left, when the Obama administration walked out the door, we were watching as an agency about 200 rules and regulations that they had put in place to work for and or had proposed to put in place. Today, we’re watching seven.

Rick:

Wow.

Christi Craddick:

Huge, huge, difference.

Rick:

For industry, and certainly what that then means for jobs and for all of us at the price of the pump, and all of that from 200 down to seven. That means more entrepreneurs are going to be able to go out there and start their business in the oil and gas industry and the pipeline industry. Businesses are going to be able to go out there and produce and get the product to the market faster. That’s a big, big, difference because it’s money they don’t have to spend on all this red tape and regulation and they can get busy getting the product to the consumer.

States Rights

Christi Craddick:

That’s correct. That’s why I think– and they get it that it should be states rights, right. So, they’re understanding and saying to states, “You’ve regulated railroad commissions – the oldest oil and gas regulatory body in the world. You go regulate and let us as EPA and other agencies get out of the way and let you do the smart things that you know how to do well for your state.”

Rick:

That is such a good point, Christi, because there’s not– I can’t imagine that some bureaucrat a thousand miles away in Washington D.C. knows better what the safety standards and all of those should be on a well in Texas than Texas folks that have been in the industry most of their life. Why would we ever cede that authority for regulation to the feds in the first place, I don’t know, and constitutionally we never did. But just from a practical what works/what doesn’t work perspective, obviously it makes more sense to have you guys at the Texas level, and for our listeners around the country – your state regulators doing it, instead of some one size fits all. Which I’ve heard you use that phrase before – it’s crazy we have this one size fits all federal regulation.

Christi Craddick:

That’s right. I always like to say for perspective– and because we’re Texas, we don’t have a lot of federal lands unlike Oklahoma or New Mexico, right. So, they have to go– on their federal land, they have to go get a federal drilling permit from Bureau of Land Management. It takes the BLM two hundred and seventy two full days to a full year to get a drilling permit out the door. At the Railroad Commission, we have one out anywhere between two days to max of a week.

Rick:

Wow. Big difference.

Christi Craddick:

Big difference.

Rick:

Big difference. How about– tell me real quick on the environmental regulation issue that tends to happen a lot from the federal level. I know you had to fight that a lot while you’ve been at the commission. How different is that with the Trump administration versus the Obama administration?

A Huge Difference Between Administrations

Christi Craddick:

It’s just a huge difference because, again, you’ve got people who want to work and protect the environment. I think that’s a priority for everybody. You want to have clean air, clean water, and clean up land. That’s part of what we regulate is making sure rules are in place for that. But over-regulation has been the challenge.

The Obama administration, in my perspective, was looking to create a problem so they could put a rule in place. As the Railroad Commission, we want to work with companies and operators to make sure, if there is a problem, that we allow them to clean it up – not shut them down. And if we have to, we do enforce and have penalties and go out and do inspections, but we’re not looking for a problem to create a problem. Whereas it’s the difference between the federal government philosophy in the last several years versus ours.

Rick:

Yeah. That creates a very different result for us as consumers as well. Let’s talk about the future. What– you’re right there and you see things that most people don’t get to see.   What do you see as far as the future of energy both for Texas and just American independence on oil?

Christi Craddick:

When you look at energy just in general, look, Texas is the leader, but the United States has really now come into its own on the worldwide energy market. Part of that is because one thing Congress did a couple of years ago was lift the oil market that we now can trade internationally from unrefined crude. So, that has given an opportunity for true free market across the world for not just our oil, but our natural gas and our natural gas products.

You look at Corpus Christi for instance, they are the largest energy port in the world is in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Rick:

Wow.

The Largest Net Export of Energy in the Entire World

Christi Craddick:

They are the largest net export of energy in the entire world. This is a long term opportunity for every– for Texas for instance, but Houston’s important. The Permian Basin today we believe is probably as big as Saudi Arabia production number potential. And we’re going to pass Saudi Arabia as a country by the end of this year in production numbers.

So, that’s real job creation. When you look at the last– with the great recession we’ve come out of in the last couple of years, the energy industry was the only job creator during that time period. Ten million jobs were created during that time period from the energy industry. And I think that’s where people recognize there’s jobs, there’s opportunity. And when you have jobs people are paying taxes, they are wanting to work, and we’ve got a right to work state.

I think that’s where a lot of opportunity in Texas between that and having a regulatory body that makes sense and have fair consistent rules and regulations. So, that’s really important for our market long term.

Rick:

You mentioned Permian Basin – for our non-Texas listeners, that’s the West Texas area out there centered around Midland/Odessa. It’s hard for us to fathom sometimes because we’ve– we kind of think of the Middle East that’s where all the big oil is. And yet you’re saying, “Hey, we may actually have the largest find right there in West Texas and Corpus Christi is the largest port for exporting.” That’s hard to get our heads around.

Why can’t we be energy dependent if we have so much more than what we thought we had and we have that ability? Do you think we’ll ever get to that point?

Christi Craddick:

I think we’re getting closer and closer. I think the challenge– we’ve got a couple of challenges. One, infrastructure. While Texas has 50,000 miles of pipe in it, we’re the biggest pipe state just to transport by a sixth. We’re the biggest pipe state in the country. You’ve got a challenge, in my opinion, not just infrastructure, but also people.

We Need More Educated Workforce

Christi Craddick:

So, we don’t have as many people educated, an educated workforce. And I mean, welders, all the way up to engineers, and everybody in between, to really make this a long term sustainable boom. I hate to– it’s called boom and bust, the long term sustainable market.

So, that’s one of the challenges this country has–

Rick:

Interesting.

Christi Craddick:

–getting a good educated workforce long term. Look, I’m a liberal arts major, but STEM Education – science, technology, engineering, math, is really important for this industry.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah. No doubt. Last thing- and this is really where it comes home to every American. Because sometimes people listen to show like this and they go, “That’s great for oil companies and that sort of thing. What does this mean to me?”

I don’t know if people remember – when the price of gas shoots up because we’ve had too many regulations or the administration prevents drilling and that sort of thing, it just slows the economy down, it keeps people from being able to expand. So, everything you’ve talked about today, Christi, affects every American. This is an industry that no one is unaffected by this.

Did You Know You Are in the Oil and Gas Industry?

Christi Craddick:

Well, I always like to tell people– people look at me and say, “I’m not in the oil and gas industry.” And I say, “Well, you are.” Because whether you’re benefiting because lower tax rates, but, really, if you go look and all of us have a cell phone. Well, guess what? It’s plastic. Or you drove to work somehow, or whether you’re in a car you use gas, or whether you did it by the rubber in your tires, or whether you’re writing something you’re taking notes with ink. But every piece of plastic we have in the entire world is an oil and gas product.

So, think about your life without oil and gas products, what your electricity rates would be, it affects your everyday lives and you don’t recognize it. But in this state we benefited because of the tax dollars that have gone into this state. We have 2016 numbers – 9.6 billion dollars in the state of Texas went– came from oil and gas tax dollars and royalty payments. So, that’s real dollars going into a state where we can have a lower tax base. And that’s important too.

Rick:

Good stuff. Well, Christi, keep up the great work and we look forward to having you back again soon.

Christi Craddick:

Thanks for the time.

Rick:

That’s Christi Craddick. Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Moment From American History.

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American Patriot Paul Revere road to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British. But he also sought patriot leader Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.

Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they asked Pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British he replied, “I’ve trained them for this very hour. They will fight and, if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.”

Later that morning 70 men from his church, and several hundred British in the first battle of the War for Independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “The militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meeting house on the Sunday morning before.”

The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty. For more information on this pastor and other Colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks to Christi Craddick for joining us today as well. We’re back with David Barton now. David, I didn’t take notes while I was talking to Christi, but I think she said under Obama they were looking at– they were monitoring, kind of watching 200 different new regulations coming from him. Now they’re having to only deal with seven different ones. What a difference that has to make for being able to let the market thrive.

Good News on Regulations (Or the Lack Thereof!!)

David:

Well, we recently had a Good News Friday where we talked about one of the good news things said that Trump said that for every new regulation you put in place you have to repeal two. So, that was the standard he set. At the end of the first year, it looked like that was actually 19 to 1 – that for every regulation that went into place 19 were being repealed.

Rick:

Wow.

David:

I was in D.C. just a couple of weeks ago and found the new number is now 64 to 1. Every regulation that goes in, 64 are being repealed. And that’s close to what Christi said. If you go from 200 down to seven, that’s not quite the 64 to one, that’s more in the vicinity of 30 to 1, but nonetheless.

Rick:

But still, that’s unbelievable. And, David, you know how much of a Reagan fan I am. But Reagan didn’t accomplish anywhere near that in terms of getting rid of the regulation and that was one of his top three priorities.

David:

Well, we know that, in general, about 25 percent of the cost of a family living in the year is paying businesses for regulations. Because when you put more regs on they raise the price of bread, they raise the price of milk, they raise the price of insurance, of everything else. And so you will not only see prices go down, you’re going to see a lot more competition, a lot more entrepreneurship, a lot more business growth, as a result. Because it is now cheaper to get into business, and start a business, and run a business, because you don’t have to comply with all these regulations.

I’ve talked before even WallBuilders, we’re a fairly small company, 20 employees or whatever it is. But because of regulations there’s seven to eight employees I cannot hire because I have to spend that on regulations. And if I didn’t have that, I could actually have more people with a job and help the community more, etc. So, that’s a very real thing on the regulations. That is a massive change in just a year period of time – a little over a year period of time.

Can You Even Imagine What That Is?!

David:

We were talking about energy in general and what we have with Texas and talking about oil. She mentioned that in Texas we have 450,000 miles of pipeline in Texas. Now, do you have any way of creating a picture image of what that is?

Rick:

I can’t even imagine that.

David:

Let me give it to you. Four hundred and fifty thousand miles of energy pipeline is enough pipeline to go all the way around the world at the equator 18 times.

Rick:

Wow.

David:

So, we can circle the globe 18 times with the pipeline we have just in the state of Texas. That is that is huge. And the fact that just west Texas– you said Permian Basin which is Midland/Odessa. Just that part of Texas which is– that’s maybe one fourth of Texas– we’re now producing more oil than Saudi Arabia’s oil production. And, man, they used to drive OPEC, and drive our prices through the roof, and what they did to former presidents because we weren’t exporting anything, we weren’t producing, we weren’t allowed to produce.

As she said, instead of 260 some odd days to get a permit from the federal government we can get it in Texas in two-seven days. All of that is causing us to be energy independent, which causes energy prices to go down, which also gives you political freedom as well. It’s all good stuff.

A Lot of Different Forms of Energy

David:

And by the way, in Texas, we’ve got a lot of different forms of energy. We’ve got natural gas, we’ve got oil, we’ve got the big solar mills, and we’ve got these huge windmill farms all over the state. But the thing that we don’t ever pay attention to is coal. And I remember that that was a big deal with Obama is he was going to shut down the coal mines – just regulate them out of business.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

And if you think of the top coal producing states in the United States who do you think of? Who’s up there in the top?

Rick:

I always think of West Virginia.

David:

Now see, I do too–

Rick:

I don’t even know why. I think it’s movies or something – I don’t know. But I always think West Virginia.

David:

Well, that was where all the interviews were coming from when Obama was saying we’re going to shut down the coal mines. They were talking to West Virginia miners and so that’s part of it. That’s where the media went, so obviously they think West Virginia is a big coal mining thing, and it is. And probably in West Virginia that is a big part of their economy because they’re not a huge state. But do you know who produces four times more coal than West Virginia?

Rick:

No idea.

The Top In Coal Production

David:

Wyoming. I would never think of Wyoming.

Rick:

I would not have thought of that, no.

David:

Well, when you look at the top coal producing states in the United States, out of 50 states, Texas is number six in coal production and–

Rick:

I didn’t even know we had coal production.

David:

Thank you very much.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

I had no clue. And as it turns out I was talking to one of our state reps who’s on energy committee and he said, “Oh yeah, we produce enough coal in Texas to be able to run the economy for, I don’t know, 130 years or something.” It’s just unbelievable what we have in the way of Texas that most of us don’t know about. But it’s that when other states as well.

I mentioned earlier in the first segment what’s happening with the expansion of oil fields now in Kansas and places you don’t think about. They’re finding these new oil fields and we’re finding that we’re having more energy and we’re not on the verge of running out of it. There is a surplus, God has put an abundance there. And now we’re shipping it all over the world.

What a change a year has made when you kind of untie the hands of business people, entrepreneurs, and let them start doing what they can. And they are concerned about the environment, so we’re not scared of them screwing up the environment. That’s a big phobia on the other side. But Christi is a great example of what happens when the free market system comes together to serve people.

Oil And Energy, Does America Have The Resources To Be Self Reliant

Rick:

And let’s not forget that affects everybody. This is, again, this does not just affect oil companies, or what you think of as the oil industry. This is going to affect everyone in the country. So, very, very, thankful that we’re able to let that market thrive, it gets those prices down, it makes the supply greater for all of us, which is much better for every single family in the United States.

Thanks for listening today, folks. We appreciate you listening to WallBuilders Live.