TX Senate Votes To Change Railroad Commission Name

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has voted to rename the historic Texas Railroad Commission as the state Oil and Gas Commission to better reflect the agency's duties.

Monday's vote also reduces the number of commissioners from three to one, eliminating two statewide elected offices.

The Railroad Commission was created in 1891 but by the 1960s was dealing almost exclusively with oil and gas issues. Its last authority over railroads was removed in 2005.

State lawmakers have been reluctant in the past to change its name. Critics say reducing the number of commissioners gives too much power to one individual over an industry so vital to the Texas