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Texas Railroad Commission – The biggest bang for your buck – if you are with the fossil fuel industry

Concurrent with Public Citizen‘s release of its report – Drilling for Dollars: How Big Money Has a Big Influence at the Railroad Commission, which details how fundraising by incumbents increased 688 percent between 2000 and 2008 with the biggest driver of the increase donations from individuals associated with the fossil fuel industries – the same industries the commission is charged with regulating – The Texas Observer released an investigative report on the Railroad Commission detailing how decisions by the Railroad Commission have a significant effect on consumers’ monthly gas bills.

An in-depth study of 10 major rate cases to be released on Tuesday by the Atmos Cities Steering Committee, a coalition of North Texas municipalities, shows that the commission has sided with natural gas utilities over consumers and their own impartial hearing examiners in every single case since 1997.

The Observer’s review shows a clear pattern: The Texas Railroad Commission has repeatedly, over the past decade, found ways to boost the bottom line of gas companies to the detriment of Texans’ pocketbooks. The study compares the recommendations of the commission’s hearing examiners, impartial arbiters who often spends weeks reviewing evidence and taking testimony, to the final decision by the three elected commissioners.

Check out the Observer’s story by Forrest Wilder – Overrated: How the Texas Railroad Commission costs Texans millions on their natural gas bills.  Then read Andy Wilson’s blog about Public Citizen’s new report – Drilling for Dollars: How Big Money Has a Big Influence at the Railroad Commission