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A new report from an environmental group acting as an oil and gas watchdog reports that about half of all active wells in Texas are not inspected on a regular basis to ensure compliance with safety regulations. The shale drilling boom of the last few years has overwhelmed state inspectors at the Railroad Commission, whose numbers have increased from 88 in 2010 to 153 currently. But Earthworks, which conducted the study, estimated that in 2010, 53 percent of active wells were not inspected. The group also contends that even when violations are found, the penalties are so minimal that industry can afford to ignore them. Barry Smitherman, head of the Railroad Commission, disputed the allegation, issuing a statement detailing improvements to the commission’s operations and enforcements.