ECONOMY

Steve Brown (l.) and Ryan Sitton, Democratic and Republican nominees for Railroad Commissioner.
Steve Brown (l.) and Ryan Sitton, Democratic and Republican nominees for Railroad Commissioner.

Race for Railroad Commissioner Revives Overhaul Talk

Several thwarted legislative proposals to overhaul the Texas Railroad Commission — the state's curiously named oil and gas regulator — have resurfaced in the race for an open seat on the commission, illustrating key differences between the candidates' priorities.

With Lamb-scaping Crew, Texas Solar Farm Aims to Shave Maintenance Costs

Sheep wander between rows of solar panels at at a 4.4-megawatt solar farm in northeast San Antonio. OCI Solar Power, the farm's operator, uses the sheep – and their voracious appetites – to maintain shrubbery on the 45-acre site.
Sheep wander between rows of solar panels at at a 4.4-megawatt solar farm in northeast San Antonio. OCI Solar Power, the farm's operator, uses the sheep – and their voracious appetites – to maintain shrubbery on the 45-acre site.

Operators of a 45-acre San Antonio solar farm have turned to sheep – not lawnmowers – as a low-cost, low-effort way to control overgrown shrubbery that might otherwise impede the company’s technicians. 

Series: Hurting for Work

Here's a look back at our four-part Hurting for Work project, a series on how disdain for government regulation sparked a "Texas miracle" economy — while tearing down protections for the workers who built it. 

Calif. Lawmaker Returns the Favor With Job-Recruiting Trip to Texas

California State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, speaks to media outside the Texas State Capitol on June 30, 2014. Gaines is in Austin discussing his efforts in promoting California as a premier destination for business relocation.
California State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, speaks to media outside the Texas State Capitol on June 30, 2014. Gaines is in Austin discussing his efforts in promoting California as a premier destination for business relocation.

Following Gov. Rick Perry's travels to Sacramento earlier this month to promote Texas’ business climate, a California state senator has returned the favor.