Texas Lawmakers Have Been Working On The Railroad

AUSTIN (May 2, 2013)—The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil industry, would get a new name under a bill that won unanimous approval Thursday in the state Senate.

The bill would expand the mission of the agency, which would be called the Texas Energy Resources Commission.

The agency was founded in 1891 to regulate the railroads, but it quickly extended its powers amid the big oil discoveries of the early twentieth century and has become a powerful national force influencing oil supplies and prices.

The name change was recommended as part of the Sunset review process.

State analysts evaluate agencies every few years to determine whether their functions are worthwhile.

The bill would also give the commission new powers to charge fees and enforce regulations.

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