New Group Calls for Reform of Railroad Commission

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The commission has been “chipping away” at the inventory of abandoned wells with the state plugging fund, but Palacios noted that there are currently over 6500 wells and the commission has just issued a goal of plugging 1,000 wells a year for the next biennium.

“It seems they’re barely keeping pace and not anticipating what’s coming,” she said.

It is the landowners dealing with the resulting pollution, Palacios added. “What is the landowner supposed to do if companies go bankrupt and leave wells and equipment behind?”

She said the commission has a mission of preserving the state’s resources, protecting the health and safety of Texans and enhancing or accelerating development. The commission, she charged, seems to be taking the development portion of the mission more seriously than protecting communities or preserving resources. “There needs to be a balance.”

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