On November 10, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission will meet to finalize its recommendations to the Texas Legislature for the Texas Railroad Commission. This important meeting is the culmination of a process that began many months ago, and that included Sunset Commission staff recommendations.
I hope I’m wrong, but it appears that the Sunset Commission may vote to gut their staff recommendations, in particular, to delete the recommendation to change the name of the Railroad Commission to the Energy Resources Commission. Chairman Larry Gonzales (R, House District 52) has already proposed an amendment to remove the name change from the Commission report.
For we mere observers of the political process, it seems rather odd that this decision will be made two days after a general election, an election that features Railroad Commissioner at the top of the statewide ballot, an election that features a Republican nominee opposed to changing the Commission’s name.
It’s time for Texas voters to demand better of our one-party-ruled state government. It’s time to demand transparency from the most important agency in our government, an agency that regulates our state’s oil and gas industry.
Ordinary citizens can still help get the name changed, even if the Sunset Commission recommends against it. The Texas Legislature can, and will, pass enabling legislation for the Railroad Commission next spring. Write to your Legislator and Senator and demand that something be done. Only 5% of Texas voters know what the Railroad Commission actually does. This can’t be good for democracy.