What is the Texas Railroad Commission?

The Railroad Commission of Texas is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining. Despite its name, it ceased regulating railroads in 2005.

The Commissioners

Each railroad commissioner serves a six-year term, staggered so that there are elections every two years.

Wayne Christian
A "lifelong conservative businessman" and former Republican House representative.
Christi Craddick

"In the forefront of the newest wave of conservatives in leadership roles in Texas."

Jim Wright (begins term in January)

An oilman responsible for $181,000 worth of RRC violations.

What does the RRC have to do with climate change?

The little known, misnamed, incredibly consequential Texas Railroad Commission. The Texas Railroad Commission—often shortened to “RRC”—has nothing to do with railroads. Its name is a holdover from times past, and a way to cloak its actual function. (Who doesn’t love railroads!) The RRC regulates the fossil fuel industry in a state the size of Germany, with a population of almost 30 million. 

For more than 25 years, Republicans have held all three seats on the Commission; worse, the commissioners come from the same industry their agency regulates. At least two of the current and incoming commissioners are also on record as climate change deniers. 

Methane is a huge contributor to the climate crisis. (As well as air pollution and premature births.) When excess natural gas is burned off—a process called flaring—methane is released into the atmosphere. Many states have banned flaring outright; the Texas Railroad Commission continues to allow it.

Tell the Railroad Commission Of Texas to End Flaring and Venting Of Oil and Gas Air Pollution


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