Demand Real Reform for the Texas Railroad Commission
To Protect Texans, We Need Responsible Regulation of Oil and Gas Companies
Like every Texas state agency, the Railroad Commission goes through a process called “Sunset,” in which lawmakers evaluate whether the agency is meeting its mission and if any improvements are needed before reauthorizing the agency to continue operating.
For the past four years, the Texas legislature has kicked the can down the road by passing reauthorization bills without making improvements, even when they are desperately needed.
The legislature is about to reauthorize the Railroad Commission for another 12 years. The bill being considered (HB 1818) would do almost nothing to reform the agency that needs a number of substantial changes to protect Texans.
House Bill 1818 needs a lot of work, but the most important changes that the committee needs to include are:
- Proper bonding requirements to cover the cost of sealing wells if they are abandoned by the company;
- The creation of a searchable database to the Railroad Commission website with information relating to spills, inspections, complaints and enforcement actions, including fines and penalties;
- Increased fines for violating regulations to deter repeated violations;
- A name change, so the Railroad Commission would be called the “Texas Energy Resources Commission.” This way, people would know what the agency does (it doesn’t even regulate railroads!)
Email Your Texas State Representative to Support Amendments to HB 1818
Where it says “Street Number and Name,” please just enter your street address.