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William Pinckney McLean

Texas Historical Marker - William Pinckney McLean

Texas Historical Marker

Member of First Railroad Commission of Texas
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A Victoria lawyer. Elected from this county, 1861, to state legislature. In U. S. Congress, 1872-1874. Appointed by Gov. James S. Hogg to newly-formed Commission, created to regulate shipping rates and practices. In his term, 1891-1895, transportation of petroleum became important to Texas railways.

Oil and gas regulation, a major responsibility, began in 1917 with jurisdiction over pipelines. The legislature made the Commission responsible in 1919 for oil and gas conservation. Proration began in the 1920s. Complete regulation came in 1930s with 1,700,000-barrel-a-day production in East Texas, and use of martial law to enforce Commission rules. Commission policies were acclaimed when in World War II Texas was able to supply the Allies with great stores of oil necessary for victory.

The Commission's goal is to prevent waste and protect oil and gas reserves by orderly regulation of exploration, production and transportation. Such men as Commissioner McLean set high ethical standards that still prevail, causing the Commission to merit the confidence of the people and of the petroleum industry.

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