Texas Railroad Commission

Mose Buchele / KUT

In the brutal final scene from the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood, sociopathic oilman Daniel Plainview meets his rival for the last time. If oil fields are like milkshakes, he says, it pays to have a straw that reaches all the way across the room “and starts to drink your milkshake.”

“I. Drink. Your. Milkshake,” Plainview screams maniacally. “I DRINK IT UP!”

What does that have to do with the Railroad Commission of Texas? More than you might think. That’s because the commission regulates oil and gas in Texas. Ironically, it has nothing to do with railroads.

Eddie Seal / Texas Tribune

The science on whether there's a link between oil and gas activity and a surge in earthquakes in Texas isn't clear-cut, says the new seismologist for the agency that regulates the industry here.

flickr/fireboatKS

The race to fill an obscure but powerful statewide office in Texas has been overshadowed by national politics this year. That’s a shame not only because the office is important, but because the race for that office has been packed with strange twists and turns.

A lot of those twists and turns come down to perceptions (and misperceptions) about the names involved in the race for Texas Railroad Commissioner.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Today the Sunset Advisory Commission – which evaluates the effectiveness of state agencies and decides whether they should be disbanded or reformed – will meet to look at one agency that’s managed to avoid  reform for years: the Railroad Commission of Texas. 


Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

When Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine visited Texas earlier this week he came with words of encouragement for a Democratic Party in a deep red state.

“We’re going to go after Texas,” he said, recalling his time leading the Democratic National Committee. “We are serious about this.”

And as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to make controversial comments and drop in the polls, some Democrats are allowing themselves to dream of that victory.

One of them is, himself, a candidate.  

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