Texas Railroad Commission concerns

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - While most people believe the Texas Railroad Commission’s role is to oversee the state’s rail system, in reality, the agency has direct oversight of Texas’ natural resources and environment. These are areas that according to a statewide watchdog group called Commission Shift say need to be regulated by commissioners who are held to a higher standard, especially when it comes to accepting campaign contributions from big oil companies.

Virginia Palacios, the executive director and founder of Commission Shift, says, “we produced a whole series called ‘Captive Agency’ and we looked at commissioners’ personal financial statements that they submit to the Texas Ethics Commission. We compared those to some cases on the docket where we see the same companies that are campaign donors or that the commissioners have a personal financial interest in showing up in cases on the docket and commissioners sometimes siding with those same companies that they have a financial interest in.”

In cases like this, Palacios says, commissioners should be recusing themselves from voting, but she says that is not happening. She invites the public to get involved with their efforts of informing people on what’s going on by following them on their social media pages, including Twitter and Facebook, and their website.

Below is the full interview:

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