A bankrupt oil and gas operator left dozens of orphan wells on Molly Rooke's land in Refugio County. In 2019, one of the wells blew out, spraying volatile chemicals into the air and onto nearby wetlands for a day and half, before the Railroad Commission responded to temporarily shut in the well.
Commission Shift is building public support to hold the Railroad Commission of Texas accountable to its mission in a shifting energy landscape.
Commission Shift is educating and organizing a wide array of Texans to build support for changes at the Railroad Commission of Texas that improve the agency’s function, transparency, and accountability to people and places impacted by the oil and gas industry.
Contrary to what its name implies, the Railroad Commission of Texas has no authority over railroads. Instead, the agency oversees oil and gas development, coal and uranium mining, and gas utility service in Texas, among other functions. Its mission is to serve Texas through stewardship of natural resources and the environment, concern for personal and community safety, and support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. Too often, the Commission has promoted accelerated development of oil and gas over all other parts of its mission -- to the detriment of natural resources and the environment, safety, and economic vitality.