If California Democrat Henry Waxman gets his way, state authority over “oil and gas exploration and production” would be usurped by the federal government. That’s how Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones is describing the effects of HR 5626, which is expected to be before Congress in the next several days.

In a letter sent last week, Jones points out that federal oversight of the oil and gas production industry has had a “less than stellar record” in recent months, especially.

She is very rightly correct in noting the legislation “will drive up the drilling costs of wells at a time when American consumers can least afford the increased energy costs or the declining supply that will necessarily result.”

Commissioner Jones writes of Waxman’s legislation:

“This bill, and others similar to it, is being rushed through Congress with no state input on the drafting of the legislation. We uncovered mistakes arising from inexperience in the bill. Even worse, requiring states to concur with Federal drilling regulations both onshore and offshore puts needless hurdles in front of experienced state oversight of drilling for oil and natural gas. Chairman Waxman’s policy is bad for America’s energy security.”

Rather than letting more federal bureacrats interfere in the oil and gas industry, competent state leaders — like Commissioner Jones and her colleagues Michael Williams and Victor Carrillo — should be left alone to do their job.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”


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