Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Railroad Commission faces name change, more oversight

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TWC News: Railroad Commission faces name change, more oversight
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A name change and additional oversight could be coming to the Railroad Commission.

Texas’ Sunset Advisory Committee has been reviewing the commission and looking at ways to make it more efficient and transparent.

Some of the recommendations include changing the name of the commission to help curb confusion.

The way that commissioners finance campaigns was also addressed. A number of people testified that more than just disclosure is needed to clean up the process.

"Studies have shown that 80 percent of the money raised by candidates in the Texas Railroad Commission comes from oil and gas interests, and we think that creates a huge conflict of interest,” Craig McDonald with Texans for Public Justice said.

The committee also addressed additional pipeline safety measures to avoid crude oil spills.

Lawmakers are expected to debate a number of the committee's recommendations in the upcoming legislative session.

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