"Texas’ Oil, Gas Regulator Refuses To Talk To Media"

"HOUSTON — Texas’ oil and gas regulatory agency has instituted a blanket policy barring staff members from doing media interviews, raising questions about transparency as the state grapples with the intricacies of one of the largest energy booms in decades.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which has three commissioners leading one of the largest state agencies of its kind in the country, approved the policy in August, about a year after Milton Rister took over as the agency’s executive director. Since then, all media inquiries have been funneled through a spokeswoman who responds via email and bars any direct access to staffers.

The commission, which also regulates pipelines and mining, devotes much of its time to issuing permits for oil and gas drilling and production, ensuring that wells are safe, and investigating complaints or problems at those sites."

Ramit Plushnick-Masti reports for the Associated Press June 15, 2014.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014