From the Dallas Morning News

There’s little question that the oil and gas industry is a major engine that helps drive Texas’ economic growth, providing thousands of jobs and valuable resources.

This state needs Texas Railroad Commission members with a keen knowledge of the industry who will work diligently to regulate it in a way that protects public health.

Christi Craddick’s background in the industry and her smarts about the complex rules and regulations that govern it make her our choice over Denton historic preservation officer Roman McAllen. Craddick, a 48-year-old Republican, is seeking a second term on the three-member commission.

Craddick vows to continue to educate Texans about the importance of energy production to our state and the role of her commission. She’s well-versed. But the Midland lawyer would be wise to remain mindful that the commission’s main job is to ensure safe and orderly energy production.

And we’re still troubled by the cozy relationship this agency has with the industry it regulates. Oil and gas companies finance the campaigns of commissioners, including Craddick. She owns stock in energy firms and has a financial stake in oil and gas interests around the state.

But it was comforting to hear her tell The Dallas Morning News in a candidate interview that she believes injection wells have played a role in local earthquakes, as scientists have concluded. The commission has been criticized for being slow to acknowledge that link.

Craddick says the studies have prompted the commission to put in stronger rules and guidelines and have led to the hiring of seismologists for further study.

McAllen, 52, is earnest and well-intentioned. But the Democrat has no background in energy or the environment. He said, for example, that if elected, he’d spend six months or more learning about the agency and its regulations. Texans can’t afford that much time getting him up to speed.

Craddick gets our nod.

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