Tribpedia: Texas Railroad Commission

The Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) is a state agency with regulatory jurisdiction over the oil and gas industry, pipeline transporters, the natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline industry, natural gas utilities, the LP-gas industry, and coal and uranium surface mining operations.

Railroad Commissioners are elected to six-year terms with one Commissioner seeking election every two years.

The Railroad Commission's ...

After immigration and bathroom fights, House votes to keep Railroad Commission functioning

State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, leads a coalition of Hispanic and African-American groups in a gathering on the South Steps March 21, 2017.  Anchia was voicing opposition to school voucher bills winding their way through the legislature with committee hearings scheduled Tuesday. 
<p>State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, leads a coalition of Hispanic and African-American groups in a gathering on the South Steps March 21, 2017. &nbsp;Anchia was voicing opposition to school voucher bills winding their way through the legislature with committee hearings scheduled Tuesday.&nbsp;</p>

Immigration and bathrooms took over a good chunk of a floor debate on whether to keep the Texas Railroad Commission functioning until 2029. In the end lawmakers voted unanimously to tentatively send the bill to the Senate.

Ashley and Cody Murray, ranchers in Palo Pinto County, pose with their two children. They allege nearby gas drilling caused methane to leak into their water well before it exploded, severely burning the couple, their four-year-old daughter and Cody's father. Their legal case could put pressure on Texas regulators.
Ashley and Cody Murray, ranchers in Palo Pinto County, pose with their two children. They allege nearby gas drilling caused methane to leak into their water well before it exploded, severely burning the couple, their four-year-old daughter and Cody's father. Their legal case could put pressure on Texas regulators.

Years after well explosion, Texas family still waiting for answers from agency

A North Texas family is still waiting for answers about whether nearby gas production caused their water well to explode and why the Railroad Commission seemed to miss early signs that something like this could happen in their community. 

Ty Edwards, assistant general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, points to brackish water flowing from one of several flowing abandoned wells— originally drilled for oil, but later used for irrigation — that no state agency plans to plug.
Ty Edwards, assistant general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, points to brackish water flowing from one of several flowing abandoned wells— originally drilled for oil, but later used for irrigation — that no state agency plans to plug.

Abandoned Texas oil wells seen as "ticking time bombs" of contamination

Texas is among several states grappling with a surge of abandoned drilling sites and dwindling funds to clean them up.

 

Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.
Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.

EPA: North Texas Quakes Likely Linked to Oil and Gas Drilling

Federal regulators believe “there is a significant possibility” that a recent surge in North Texas earthquakes is linked to oil and gas activity, even if state regulators won’t say so.

 

Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.
Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.

Tiny Nordheim Sues State Over Drilling Waste Dump

A tiny South Texas town is continuing its fight against an oil and gas waste site half its size, even after regulators gave its developer the go-ahead. Residents of Nordheim, population 316, are suing the Texas Railroad Commission.

Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.
Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.

Christian Defeats Gates in Railroad Commission's Republican Runoff

Former state Rep. Wayne Christian won the Republican nomination late Tuesday in the race for Texas railroad commissioner, edging out Houston-area real estate mogul Gary Gates in a race that turned heated in its final stages. 

A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.
A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.

Eagle Ford Town's Residents Disgusted by Waste Site's Approval

The Texas Railroad Commission approved a permit for a huge oil and gas waste facility outside of tiny Nordheim, ending one of the first organized protests against industry activity in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

A 2011 photo of Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.
A 2011 photo of Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.

Child Abuse Case Resurfaces in Railroad Commission Race

Sixteen years ago, CPS staffers accused Gary and Melissa Gates of abuse and removed their 13 children from their home. That case fizzled quickly, but the allegations and ensuing legal fight continue to provide fodder for Gates' political opponents.