Texas voters are amazingly uninformed about the importance of the Texas Railroad Commission
... a commission that currently has no responsibility over railroads!
The Texas Railroad Commission was established in 1891 to regulate railroads and other transportation-related activities. The agency’s responsibilities were later expanded to oil and gas, increasing dramatically after the discovery of the East Texas field in 1930. From the 1930s to the 1970s, during an extended worldwide oil surplus, the Commission used its legislated powers to support oil prices by limiting oil production from Texas fields. The Railroad Commission was effectively displaced as a market regulator by OPEC in the 1970s. It currently has no responsibility over railroads.
The Railroad Commission’s most significant oil and gas regulatory activities are “inside baseball” – market-setting, preventing waste, and protecting mineral rights owners’ correlative rights. The Commission does, however, have responsibility to protect groundwater from oil and gas wells, ensure pipeline safety, regulate certain mining activities, and regulate certain gas utility rates.