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companies and the office of the Consumer Credit Commission. My experience since reaching the Capitol confirms my belief that the relationship between regulated and regulator is too cozy. Keep in mind the unwillingness of the Railroad Commission to aid consumers with rising utility bills. Even farmers from the oil lands of the Panhandle are demanding that irrigation gas regulation be transferred from the RRC to the new Public Utilities Commission. But will the PUC become just another RRC? Justice William 0. Douglas has suggested that “The great creative work for a [regulatory] agency must be done in the first decade of its existence if it is to be done at all. After that it is likely to become a prisoner of the bureaucracy.” One method of providing an incentive for continued creativity is to limit the statutory life of regulatory agencies through the “sunset” concept. As proposed in SB 54 and HB 154 by Rep. John Wilson and myself, the Railroad Commission, Pink Bollworm Commission, and 64 other regulatory bodies would expire every six years and require new authority to carry on. The review process would focus not only on means to achieve greater governmental economies but on efforts to ensure that groups other than those being regulated were considered in policymaking. Something else worth considering would be a requirement for detailed disclosure of special-interest contacts with regulatory bodies. Currently we require lobbyists to report expenses devoted to influencing Texas legislators, but not to influencing state executive agencies ruling on pollution variances, bank charters, tax assessments, and the like. I am filing legislation to bring administrative lobbying under present reporting requirements. The public interest There is also a real need to involve the public in agency decision-making. Unlike a court proceeding in which both sides are usually represented, agency rule making and adjudication often involve argument by only one party for action that may have significant effects on an unrepresented public. SB 99 would authorize the awarding of attorneys’ fees to public interest groups in certain cases. This is similar to a proposal made by Sen. Edward Kennedy for federal application. An outstanding example of the need Lloyd Doggett has represented Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, and Travis counties as a Democrat in the Texas Senate since 1973. He serves on the national board of Consumers Union. 26 The Texas Observer for both disclosure and more adequate regulation is provided by what has been called the “Texas rent-a-bank scheme” man of the U.S. House banking subcommittee, which recently conducted hearings in San Antonio. Rep. Henry. B. Gonzalez termed state regulation “passive and supine” and the facilitator of “outlandish, sordid conduct.” Legislation addressed to banking problems this session might well be expanded to discourage lax regulation of other corporate endeavors and promote corporate disclosure now, rather than waiting for the next corporate scandal to make headlines. If Texas has problems with corporations, imagine those encountered by far smaller states. If efforts to exact real accountability from the corporate giants are thwarted at the state level, federal action is the only recourse. Federal corporate chartering is an alternative recommended with little explanation by Mintz and Cohen. This approach may be an appropriate solution or it may mean only more paper shuffling. Having charters filed in Washington rather than Austin will not, per se, be helpful. An intermediate alternative may be federally mandated standards for state corporate codes. The authors’ second suggested alternative adding public directors to large corporate boards is also of limited value, though it should be done. An “accountability amendment to the Constitution” that would permit anyone through the federal courts to “challenge conduct, whether governmental or nongovernmental, which substantially threatens the safety or happiness of a not insignificant number of citizens,” is the authors’ only original suggestion, al though they devote little more of the text to explaining the amendment than stating it. Given the tendency of the Nixon Supreme Court to restrict access to the judicial system for those wishing to question governmental conduct, such a constitutional amendment may eventually be necessary. However, a number of statutory proposals such as consumer class action suits are first in line. Unfortunately, neither the class action nor constitutional amendment approaches are realistic alternatives at the state level today, as our inability to afford citizens a right to protect environmental resources so lamentably suggests. 2 Citizen action Much has been said about the irresponsible corporate citizens. Little, however, has been said about what might be done at either the state or national level to bring them into line. For a potpourri of power problems, Power, Inc. is a stimulating piece of work though it is too light on solutions \(it devotes 570 pages to the problems, and only a 15-page conbrief study with a broader range of solutions to corporate power mischief, I prefer Chris Stone’s book 3; for an encyclopedic review of corporate responsibility questions, Taming the Giant Corporation by Ralph Nader and his associates is recommended. But anyone interested in assuring some measure of self-control over their lives and in making democracy function as it was intended probably would do well to read all three books closely. Perhaps the best hope left to us for influencing the huge institutions that govern our lives is gradual but deliberate mass action. Community-based groups are blooming in every state. In Texas, Houston’s ACORN, San Antonio’s C.O.P.S., and a number of neighborhood groups in Austin show promise of sticking around. At the state level, Common Cause and the Texas Consumers Association offer serious opportunities for citizen participation. 2Repeated efforts to grant Texans the right to enjoin violation of environmental laws or at least to compel governmental agencies to enforce these laws have met with staunch opposition from petrochemical and utility lobbies. See & Caldwell. 3Shorter summaries of theme advanced in Stone’s book are “Stalking the Wild Corporation,” Working Papers “Public Directors Merit A Try”, Harvard Business Review ing the Corporate Shell” Nation \(Aug. 2,