I believe the Texas Railroad Commission is one of the most important elected offices in the state and Texans cannot afford to go another winter with our current Commissioners.
I’m running because 700 Texans died unnecessarily during Winter Storm Uri in a grid failure that could have been prevented if the Texas Railroad Commission had done their jobs. And because when the power was out, instead of working tirelessly to get the grid back online, the Commissioners were focused on making billions for their friends and passing those costs on to consumers.
The world is changing. Texas has been an energy leader for decades, with oil and gas jobs helping millions of Texans provide for their families. In order for energy jobs to continue to be the backbone of the Texas economy for decades to come, we need a Texas Railroad Commission that embraces technology, innovation, and science. It’s too important to wait.
What the heck is the Railroad Commission?!
The Texas Railroad Commission oversees the Texas oil and gas industry. This includes everything from providing permits for and inspecting new wells to pipeline construction, as well as plugging older wells and overseeing coal and uranium mining.
The Texas Railroad Commission played a major role in the February 2021 grid failure. The Commission failed to enforce weatherization requirements on the industry, which led to the grid failing. Then, during the storm, the Commission was central in making billions for oil and gas executives and making Texans foot the bill.
The Texas Railroad Commission DOES NOT oversee the railroads, but it used to. The Commission was established in 1891 to prevent railroad monopolies. When oil and gas got big in Texas, it was given responsibility to do the same thing in that industry.
The Commission is governed by three elected Commissioners who serve in staggered 6-year terms (much like the Senate). One Commissioner is elected every 2 years. There are no limits on the number of subsequent terms a Commissioner can serve.
The Commission has relatively lax conflict of interest policies. The majority of campaign contributions to the current Commissioners have come from the industry and all three Commissioners are partial owners in the companies they are supposed to be regulating.