In the past, the Texas Railroad Commission has been criticized for an alleged lack of transparency and attachment to the industry that it is supposed to regulate. One candidate wants to change that.
Roman McAllen, the Democratic nominee for Railroad Commission, is running on a platform of bringing balance to the Commission. Facing Republican incumbent Christi Craddick and Libertarian Mike Wright, McAllen believes that his detachment from the energy industry makes him the best candidate for the job this year.
"What qualifies me the most is that I'm not in the industry," McAllen said.
A former insurance adjuster for Progressive and AIG insurance companies, McAllen earned a Master of Architecture in 2011 and presently serves as the preservation officer for the City of Denton. Today, McAllen is running for Railroad Commission on a platform of respecting the press, science and local control. Public engagement is one of the biggest issues that McAllen says ties back to every point in his platform.
"Today, 88 percent of Texans live in cities and,as an urban planner and a preservationist, I will bring a contemporary approach to this regulatory role.” McAllen said."Public input and a fair and balanced consideration of facts is part of the foundation of democracy.”
On the topic of changing the name, McAllen is the only candidate appearing on the November ballot who is all in for changing the name. If elected, McAllen says there will be robust discussions in the legislature about the name change because it is simply the right thing to do.
"We would not call the Food and Drug Administration the Department of Transportation. A leader must call this out."
"When people don't know what the Railroad Commission actually does, then they can't trust it and they do not know there is something that needs supervision, as the industry does," McAllen said.
A name suggested by 2016 Libertarian candidate Mark Miller, the Texas Oil and Gas Commission, is viewed favorably by McAllen, but the Democrat said he would like to see a name that is absolutely clear to everyone and more importantly get out there and hold more public meetings.
Looking ahead, McAllen calls water conservation the "number one issue" facing Texas today. McAllen hopes to work on “ensuring water is used as wisely as possible by the energy industry”, if elected.
”Incentives should be updated from the pre-hydraulic fracturing era to now to encourage this," McAllen said. "With the indisputable fact that climate change is occurring and human caused, it is the responsible and moral thing to take strong action now.”
While admittedly facing an uphill climb, McAllen believes that he will be the Democrat to snap the party's statewide losing streak in this race in Texas if voters are ready for "fairer, more equitable and safer" regulation and if he can overcome corporate PAC support of other candidates.
"We are seeing people doing the wrong thing; we are seeing people lying and we are seeing deliberate deception, all led by the GOP administration and supported by our statewide elected officials. This is not the Texas way and I think folks have had enough.” McAllen said. "I think Texans are better than that."
For more information on McAllen's campaign for Railroad Commissioner, please visit https://www.mcallenfortexas.com/.