Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Texas leads the nation in drilling activity and worst regulation

This comes as no surprise to us Texans. In a recent article in ProPublica it is reported that Texas leads the nation for the worst drilling regulations. Read a few paragraphs from the article.

No state has more drilling than Texas, which has 273,660 wells and just 106 regulators to oversee them.

Eighty-three of Texas' regulatory staffers conduct field inspections, according to the commission, meaning each person is responsible for almost 3,300 wells, many of them requiring several visits in a year.

In late 2007, a Texas state auditor's report [3] (PDF) examined the Railroad Commission's enforcement record and found that nearly half of the state's wells hadn't been inspected in the five years between 2001 and 2006, when the data was collected.

Along with the fact that there are too many wells and not enough inspectors, the below paragraph reveals a disturbing problem with the Texas Railroad Commission.

(It also said regulators' routine acceptance of gifts from the companies they police raised questions about their objectivity and conflicts of interest, and the commission imposed a $50 limit on gifts as a result.)

In addition to the above, the TRC elected officials receive a major amount of their campaign donations from the very industry they regulate! No wonder Texas has the worst regulation record in the nation.

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