Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 16 of 263
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at all times with due regard to the rights of the consuming
Recently there have been premonitions and predictions of profound
change in opinion as to policy and procedure. We have heard modified
rumblings of criticisms similar to those of 1931, '32, '33 and '34. Upon
the whole, however, the prospect ahead for the oil industry is good. Conditions
have steadily improved notwithstanding the recent decision of
the United States Supreme Court striking down Section 9-C of the National
Recovery Act. Since that decision there are those who say the
State is powerless, under its present laws, to deal with petroleum and
its products in interstate commerce. While I am personally in favor of a
re-enactment of Section 9-C of the Industrial Recovery Act to meet constitutional
objections and to enable the Federal Government to operate
in its constitutional domain (that is, regulation of shipment of illegal
oil in interstate or foreign commerce), yet I am firmly of the opinion
that the State and this State alone has the power to deal with the production
of oil within the State. I am still in agreement with the State
Democratic platform opposing the "abdication or surrender of the State's
power to control the production of its natural resources," and likewise
oppose "any Federal encroachment upon the exclusive power of the
State to control the production of oil and gas."
Believing as I do that the State and the State alone has this power
and that the State can adequately control same, I am also of the opinion
that if our present laws are not adequate, then they should be strengthened
so as to give to the State Conservation Commission sufficient means and
power to make them fully effective.
So long as we carry out a policy of restricting production of oil, then
that production must be ratably divided between wells in proportion to
their ability to produce. Personally, I have no patience whatever with
in individual or so-called "hot oil artist" who, in violations of the law,
tries to secure more than his fair share of oil production.
I am inclined to believe that present laws are not sufficiently strong
adequately to punish either those who outright steal oil or produce same
in violation to valid orders of the State Commission.
At this particular time there is no so-called "chaos" in the oil industry,
but there are those who for selfish purposes or for power would
relish the State's failure adequately to handle this situation. In no event
will we, as Texans, abdicate our exclusive right to regulate the production
of oil in our State, but, as honest Texans, we have simply got to handle
this problem efficiently.
It seems to me it would be well for us to sit down at this time and
sanely, dispassionately and temperately examine our present laws to
determine their defects, if any, what the State Commission needs and
what this Legislature can do to make State control more effective. I
therefore recommend: That the proper committee of each house begin
an immediate study of our present laws with this end in view. That you
ask the Chairman of the State Railroad Commission and the chief enforcement
agent of the Commission, the Assistant Attorney General representing
the commission and other interested officials and citizens to
appear before your committees for the purpose of pointing out and making
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/16/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .