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One legislator said he believed the entire review was unnecessary, and the criticism mean-spirited.
"When I went through this report, I thought to myself, 'Why are you so angry at the Railroad Commission?'" Rep. Dan Flynn told Sunset commission staff.
“Oil and gas industry is the heart and soul of the state of Texas, the Canton Republican added, "And for us to go and attack an agency that’s done a pretty good job, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Though no lawmaker completely echoed Flynn, his spirited defense of the Railroad Commission underscored the difficulty of implementing change at the hulking agency in Texas, the nation's oil and gas king.
Sunset Commission staffers said they did not intend to be mean.
“We are not angry with the Railroad Commission,” said Ken Levine, executive director of the Sunset Commission. “We think in a lot of ways, they do a really good job. And when we spotted things where they weren’t, we brought it forward.”