Warren Chisum for Texas Railroad Commissioner?

Put state Rep. Warren Chisum on the "maybe" list for Texas railroad commissioner — if there is such a thing when the job comes open.

As a sworn-in state lawmaker, the Pampa Republican is ineligible for appointment to the commission spot opened up by Michael Williams' retirement. Williams is leaving in April to run for the U.S. Senate, and Gov. Rick Perry will appoint someone to serve until the next regular election in 2012. But current lawmakers can run then. And Elizabeth Ames Jones' term on the commission comes up that same year, so there could be two seats to fill.

Or just one. The Sunset Advisory Commission has recommended changes at the RRC, including replacing the three elected commissioners with just one. If that happens, there'll be one spot open in 2012, and the winner won't have to share power with others. Another recommendation would change the name of the agency to the Texas Oil & Gas Commission, and others have suggested the Texas Energy Commission as a more descriptive tag.

Chisum isn't committed, but he's interested. "It's a possibility," he says, confirming a trial balloon first floated in the Texas Energy Report. "There was some talk about it. It's early, but I'll look at it." And, he adds, he's busy with the budget and everything else during the legislative session. The time to make a decision "is more like a year from now," he says.

 

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