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Energy agency’s technology is in a time warp

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The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator, is looking at taking a step into the 21st century – getting a modern software program to organize troves of oil and gas information.

Texas is one of the world’s leading producers of oil and gas, but its industry regulator lags behind other states when it comes to organizing and making easily available decades of data the agency collects from the industry. All this information is trapped in a patchwork system that includes everything from a mainframe computer to cloud computing, the internet-based system in which data is stored and software shared from remote servers.

As a result, the commission has difficulty organizing and accessing data, such as violations over the year, that could help it better regulate the oil and gas industry.

“You need to know what’s going on in order to be able to figure out what your problems are and fix them,” said Adam Peltz, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund, a national environmental nonprofit that has advocated for a tech upgrade.

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Written by Ryan Handy with the Houston Chronicle

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