The Texas Railroad Commission is going through its third (yes, third) Sunset Commission review since 2010. Even though theoretically required by statute, the Texas Legislature has twice before failed to pass reauthorizing legislation. They’ll be given a third chance in 2017.
This year the Sunset Commission’s staff report (again) lists as its most important recommendation changing the name of the Railroad Commission to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. There are several other important recommendations in the staff report worthy of consideration by the Texas Legislature. But this particular recommendation is such a sane and obvious one that the Legislature may again to fail to act. The arguments I have heard (thus far) for retaining the name are the following.
- Concern that the federal government might rescind enforcement responsibilities currently delegated to the Commission.
- Nostalgia for retaining the Commission’s 125-year-old historical name.
- Concern about the cost of changing signage, the web site, stationary, etc.