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Overview of the Railroad Commission race

Here’s the Chron overview of the race for Railroad Commissioner between the highly qualified and universally endorsed Democrat Jeff Weems and the “I have an R by my name” Republican David Porter.

Weems is a Houston oil and gas lawyer who worked on oil rigs to help finance college.

“I’m a big fan of the oil and gas industry,” he said. “I want to keep it strong because it’s one of our biggest taxpayers.”

However, Weems said, the BP offshore explosion resulting in millions of barrels of oil pouring into the gulf and crippling fishing and tourism industries earlier this year underscores the need to “watch them. You have to regulate. That’s the commissioners’ job.”

For Weems, the campaign comes down to “competence and balance.”

A commissioner must understand, he said, what goes on out in the field in order to have sensible regulations, and a legal background helps because the commission acts like a tribunal in resolving disputes between producers and pipeline companies. The commission also settles natural gas rate disputes between cities and utility companies.

Here’s my interview with Weems if you need a reminder of how good he’d be at this job. There’s not much else I can think of to add at this point.

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