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A Rose By Any Other Name: Sunset Commission Revisits Railroad Commission

The Texas Railroad Commission is again up front and center at the Sunset Advisory Commission. As you may recall, the Sunset Commission published a list of recommended changes back in April of 2016, which included the following:

  1. Continue the Railroad Commission for 12 years with a new name (Texas Energy Resource Commission)
  1. Transfer contested hearings and gas utility oversight to other agencies
  1. Improve oil and gas monitoring and enforcement
  1. Improve statutory bonding requirements, which are currently insufficient and inequitable
  1. Improve oversight of Texas’ pipeline infrastructure
  1. Continue improvement to Texas Railroad Commission’s contracting procedures
  1. Amend Texas Railroad Commission’s statute to reflect standard elements of Sunset reviews

As reported by the Texas Tribune, the above-listed recommendations are facing rather stiff opposition. It is likely few of them will pass into legislation.

I suggest you take the time to review the public comments. They include very insightful contributions by members of the industry, including Thure Cannon, President of the Texas Pipeline Association, Ben Shepperd, President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, and Todd Staples, President of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, among numerous others.

The Sunset Commission’s Executive Summary can be found HERE.

The Full Report can be found HERE.

Public Comments can be found HERE. 

The Texas Tribune’s coverage can be found HERE.

The always insightful and very thoughtful posts of Austin oil and gas attorney John McFarland can be found HERE.

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