The Texas Railroad Commission is a ‘Captive Agency’

The legislation failed and the task force fizzled—Wright’s company was fined more than $18,000 for oilfield waste violations in 2018. And while Wright’s efforts to reign in state regulators fell flat, they appear to show his willingness to protect industry players from state oversight. The details of Wright’s past dealings come courtesy of a new report, produced by political watchdog groups Commission Shift and Texans for Public Justice, which analyzed public records, financial disclosures and other documents. Their findings reveal that Wright still owns stakes in the very companies he’s tasked with regulating and that the RRC’s other commissioners present myriad conflicts of interest. The report released Thursday is the final chapter of a series titled “Captive Agency.” The previous installments focused on commissioners Craddick and Wayne Christian, who also maintain financial interests in oil and gas companies.

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