There were fireworks yesterday at an open public meeting of the Texas Railroad Commission, the state regulatory body responsible for keeping tabs on the oil and gas industry. Following a variety of routine housekeeping matters, the agency’s General Counsel appeared before the three elected Commissioners in lieu of the regulator’s Executive Director, Kimberly Corley. Commissioner Ryan Sitton promptly interrupted the agency’s top lawyer to inquire about Ms. Corley’s whereabouts. He was informed that Ms. Corley had ostensibly taken a “personal day.” Unconvinced, Commissioner Sitton pressed for details and, ultimately, insinuated that another Commissioner, Chairman Christi Craddick, had given Ms. Corley the ultimatum—behind closed doors—to resign or be fired. Sitton announced that, if true, this would be in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act and indicated that he would seek an advisory opinion from the State Attorney General on the issue. This prompted Craddick to caution Sitton against “embarrassing” himself. You can watch the heated exchange below:
At the 2:45 mark, Sitton scolds Craddick, admonishing her that “this is not a dictatorship.”
Stay tuned to our blog for details on this developing story.