David F. Prindle, Petroleum Politics and the Texas Railroad Commission.

The TRC was created in 1891 to oversee the national railroads. Shortly thereafter, it got tasked with overseeing oil too. That turned out to be an incredible responsibility, because Texas had more oil than anyone had guessed, and because oil, for reasons Prindle explains, is a business that defies the principles of classical economics: "an unregulated oil industry is incapable of acting rationally." Insofar as the TRC was responsible for prorating oil production in Texas, it ended up with a mammoth and unanticipated degree of influence over the economy of Texas, the United States, and the world.

This is easily the most interesting book I've ever read about a state regulatory agency. I would also recommend it if you're interested in: Texas, energy, resource economics, the balance of power between the federal government and the states, the relationship between the private and public sectors, decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, or long-range planning in a democratic political context. 
 



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