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Railroad Commission of Texas

Previous Sunset reports on this agency

  • Next Review Date: 2028-2029 Review Cycle - 91st Legislative Session

  • Last Review Cycle: 2016-2017 Review Cycle - 85th Legislative Session

Sunset Documents for 2016-2017 Review Cycle, 85th Legislative Session

Legislative Documents

Final Results of Last Sunset Review

  • Continue the Railroad Commission of Texas for 12 years, retaining the agency’s name.
Oil and Gas Monitoring and Enforcement
  • Require the commission to develop and implement a strategic plan for the Oil and Gas Division that tracks and measures the monitoring and enforcement program.
  • Direct the commission to accurately track the number of unique oil and gas violations to address repeated inaccuracies in their annual reports. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission to systematically track major violations cited by field inspectors. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission to develop a definition of repeat violations in rule and report the number of all repeat violations on its website. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission to audit a sample of oil and natural gas production reports and transportation reports and ensure compliance with lease severance orders. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission to develop a policy to require production reports to be filed electronically, and also direct the agency to provide oil and gas production information on its website in a format that is easier for royalty owners to use and understand. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission to expand its risk matrix for oil and gas inspections to include a more appropriate array of factors. (Management action – nonstatutory)
Pipeline Safety and Damage Prevention
  • Authorize the commission to enforce damage prevention requirements for interstate pipelines.
  • Authorize the commission to create a pipeline permit fee to offset the costs of administering the permit.
  • Modify language in the General Appropriations Act to further ensure that the commission collects, and is appropriated back, fee amounts to offset the costs of administering its Pipeline Safety program, including administration costs. (Change in Senate Bill 1, 2018–2019 State Budget)
Seismicity Data in Railroad Commission Rules
  • Direct the commission to incorporate findings from the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program at UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology as they become available into its oil and gas disposal well rules or guidance, as applicable. The rules should seek to prevent any induced seismicity caused by disposal wells. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Prohibit the commission from awarding a contract unless the contractor and any subcontractors use the E-verify program to verify employee information.
  • Direct the commission to complete centralization of all contract administration functions by September 1, 2016. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission to implement and keep updated contracting best practices as outlined by recent legislation and the comptroller. (Management action – nonstatutory)
  • Direct the commission’s executive director to report quarterly to the commissioners at their open meetings regarding the status of contracting improvements. (Management action – nonstatutory)
Alternative Fuels Promotion Program
  • Repeal the alternative fuels promotion program.
Standard Review Elements
  • Apply the Sunset across-the-board recommendation regarding alternative dispute resolution to the commission.
  • Allow the inactive Oil and Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund Advisory Committee to expire.
  • Continue requiring the commission to submit its report on the Oil and Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund to the Legislature.