How Blind Is This Texas Oil Regulator's Blind Trust, Managed by His Brother-in-law?

With millions of dollars at stake, an Exxon Mobil unit went before Texas regulators to argue against a restriction on its operations. One member of the Railroad Commission, Ryan Sitton, took the lead on examining the issue. Then he voted in favor of the company, which got its way.Sitton didn’t disclose that Exxon is a client of his business.Since his election to the Railroad Commission in 2014, Sitton has voted on dozens of issues involving energy companies that hire his firm, Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies. Its business is helping clients ensure equipment stays reliable.Many of these issues have come before the oil and gas commission as part of its consent agenda, where items of no controversy are packaged together for approval. But a few have been contentious, and Sitton has played big roles in deciding them.Not once has Sitton disclosed a relationship or recused himself. He has not released the names of the clients of his company, which is also known as PinnacleART.Sitton says there have been no conflicts of interest. He says he made good on a campaign promise to cut himself off from his company before taking office.  Continue reading...

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