The Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the state's energy industry and hasn't had anything to do with railroads for decades, has been urging the Texas Legislature to change its name for several years, but without success.
Many lawmakers support the heritage of the Railroad Commission of Texas, which is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. It was created in 1891 by Gov. James Hogg and given authority over 'railroads, terminals, wharves, and express companies.' At the time Texas' largely agricultural economy was dependent on railroads to take cattle and crops to market, and a major issue was the allegedly price gouging by the railroad companies.
After Spindletop and the oil boom of the early 20th Century, the Railroad Commission's responsibilities expanded to include pipelines, and then to oil wells and oil and gas operations. During World War II, the Railroad Commission was credited with maintaining the supplies of vital oil to the U.S. military.
But the federal government took over the regulation of railroads in the 1960s, and since then the Railroad Commission, despite its name, has mainly focused on regulating the oil and gas industry.
Without a formal name change, which would have to come from the Legislature, the Commission on its own today created a new logo, which declared 'RRC, Leading Texas Energy.'
Chairman Wayne Christian says it was important to 'preserve the legacy of Texas' olde.
“The RRC is an historic brand in Texas and we want to preserve that part of our history. It’s also a brand recognized around the world as the global leader in energy regulation,” Christian said. “Since the Commission is the lead agency in Texas working to ensure safe, responsible production and transportation of our energy resources, this new logo better communicates to Texans exactly who we are, and what we do to serve them.”
LOGO COURTESY: RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS