The Texas Railroad Commission is a misnamed panel that does important work for the state.
It no longer regulates railroads. It does regulate the Texas energy industry.
So it is with some anticipation that I read today that Railroad Commissioner David Porter won’t seek re-election next year to the three-member panel.
His decision is spurring some activity among Texas Republicans. One of them happens to be someone I happen to respect and admire very much.
He is Jerry “The Gun Guy” Patterson, the former Texas land commissioner and a one-time state senator from the Houston area.
Patterson is a proud Marine and Vietnam War veteran. He also has delightful self-deprecating sense of humor; he once told me he graduated in the “top 75 percent of my class at Texas A&M.”
Patterson also was the author during the 1995 Texas Legislature of the state’s concealed-handgun-carry law. I opposed the law at the time, but my view on it has “evolved” over time. I am not an active supporter of the concealed-carry law; I just don’t oppose it.
Patterson did a great job running the General Land Office. He helped he GLO provide low-interest home loans for Texas military veterans.
I cannot speak to any expertise he might have on oil and gas issues. I do, though, respect him greatly as a dedicated public servant — and I hope he decides to get back in the game.