"Texas oil and gas regulators make big bucks from the industries they oversee and fail to recuse themselves when arbitrating conflicts or determining penalties for companies they’ve invested in, according to a new report.
And it all may be perfectly legal.
The report says conflicts of interest create a condition of “regulatory capture” at the Railroad Commission of Texas, the agency that regulates fossil fuel extraction and pipelines in the state.
The report was written by money-in-politics watchdog group Texans For Public Justice, and Commission Shift, a group pushing for reform of the agency.
The notion that Railroad commissioners are cozy with oil, gas and pipeline companies will not surprise many who closely follow commission business. Commissioners themselves, elected statewide by the Texas voters, speak openly and proudly about their close ties to industry and their desire to promote and protect it."
Mose Buchele reports for KUT/Texas Public Radio September 28, 2021.