Fracking Things Up

What appears to be a wax figure of Christ Craddick, one of the three elected Texas Railroad Commissioners.

Dear Christi Craddick,

Please help me understand something: How did the Texas Railroad Commission come to be the regulatory agency for the State’s oil and gas industry?

The Wikipedia page on the RRC glosses over this important shift in focus, just saying when it took over the responsibilities (oil pipelines in 1917, oil and gas production 1919, natural gas delivery systems 1920). I just don’t see the connection between trains and drilling. Why aren’t railroads governed by TXDOT? Then we can rename the RRC to something that somewhat describes its primary role.

Or maybe the antiquated name is a thin veil of cover to hide from the general public. To deflect some of the angry and desperate letter from people whose homes cracked in half after a completely unrelated to fracking earthquake. The extra two minutes it takes to connect the dots might be just long enough for some people to give up looking.

But I’m not so worried about the earthquakes. It’s the 25 billion gallons of contaminated water each year we are sending back into the ground that scares me. We won’t be able to repair the water table like we can a house. I see it’s value in the short term, Texas is booming like it does so well, but what the impending water crisis of the next 50 years. It’s clean energy at what long term price?


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