Many Libertarians are rightfully conflicted when it comes to regulation. We chafe at government intrusion into our personal and economic liberties. But we also recognize that our liberties are often in danger from non-governmental actors as well, particularly those that are large and powerful. By being profoundly aware of this conflict, Libertarians come to the problem of regulatory policy with a perspective that puts individual liberties at the forefront … liberties that include property rights along with free and prosperous commerce.
Libertarians are proud of their reputation for saying no to excessive government. Where we have perhaps failed is in talking about the positive aspects of Libertarian governance. The Texas Railroad Commission may very well be a great place to engage the public in such a dialog, i.e., how should the Commission focus on government’s primary responsibilities – protecting public safety, protecting our common natural resources, protecting the rights of all property owners, and protecting to right to engage in free and prosperous commerce.
Libertarians know that a truly free society is only possible when everyone’s liberties are fought for, even and perhaps especially, when they conflict. Because the Commission’s activities are confined to a fairly narrow set of issues, yet have a significant impact on many Texans as well as the State as a whole, it is the perfect place to have an important Liberty debate.