Texas Railroad Commission | KERA News

Texas Railroad Commission

The science on whether there's a link between oil and gas activity and a surge in earthquakes in Texas isn't clear-cut, says the new seismologist for the agency that regulates the industry here.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

At a community forum on Thursday night, Fort Worth and Arlington residents voiced concerns about a proposed saltwater injection well near Lake Arlington. The residents made their case to an audience of one: Ryan Sitton, one of three Texas Railroad Commissioners who regulates the oil and gas industry in the state.

The race to fill an obscure but powerful statewide office in Texas has been overshadowed by national politics this year. That’s a shame not only because the office is important, but because the race for that office has been packed with strange twists and turns.

A lot of those twists and turns come down to perceptions (and misperceptions) about the names involved in the race for Texas Railroad Commissioner.

Jennifer Whitney / Texas Tribune

Have oil and gas companies injected toxic materials into Texas groundwater sources?

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

The regulatory agency overseeing Texas' oil and gas industry says a series of small earthquakes in North Texas likely wasn't caused by drilling operations by an Exxon Mobil subsidiary.

Raw Gas Fuels Worry For Rural North Texas Homeowner

Jan 6, 2015
Joyce Marshall / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A stiff winter wind smacks into the plate-glass windows of Jon Salis’ Lake Palo Pinto home as six space heaters work overtime to keep it warm. Natural gas used to keep his 2,100-square-foot house cozy. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Barbara Brown is known to some of her neighbors as “The Digger.” She earned that nickname after collecting thousands of documents about oil and gas drilling, shortly after she says a swarm of minor earthquakes damaged her dream home, and those of her neighbors in Reno and Azle. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

A Texas agency is hiring a seismologist as part of an effort to tackle a sudden increase in earthquakes in areas with significant oil and gas drilling activities.

The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates drilling, says Tuesday it is hiring a seismologist after holding a contentious meeting with residents in Azle.


Education Commissioner Michael Williams is a big presence. His deep, hearty laugh and his 6-foot frame fill the room as he talks school policy with educators who came to hear him speak last week.

If voters had chosen differently, the 59-year old lawyer and former Texas railroad commissioner -- the first African-American elected to statewide office -- would be sitting in Congress. But he lost the Republican primary last year. Then his close friend, Gov. Rick Perry, appointed him education commissioner.

Imagine Living Next To These Holiday Lights

Nov 26, 2012

Five stories that have North Texas talking (and that you might've missed over the looong holiday weekend): Austin 'burb goes Gangnam style, Larry Hagman keeps on giving, the Railroad Commission might get a new name and more.

Pipeline Opponents Cite Michigan Spill

Jul 23, 2012
Mic Stolz / flickr

The group Public Citizen wants the Texas Railroad Commission to further regulate oil pipelines. They’re concerned about the Seaway pipeline, which is owned by a company responsible for the biggest on-shore oil spill in U.S. history. 

President Obama’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone tar sands pipeline has not stopped plans for segment passing through East Texas. And KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports a group of landowners has organized to fight back.