3/31/16 TXOGA Voice

A Message from Todd Staples…

This week, as a part of our 2016 Spring Board Meeting dinner, TXOGA recognized two of our state’s best legislators by presenting our Association’s Lone Star Award for exemplary leadership.

State Representative Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Chair of the House Energy Resources Committee, not only authored House Bill 40 this past session, one of the most significant pieces of legislation in recent history for our industry, but was a champion during the entire legislative process bringing members together to solve tough problems. His leadership has been instrumental in encouraging transparency in the budget process. Darby is a most worthy recipient and his influence will only grow in future sessions.

State Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), former Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee, is officially retiring from public service at the end of this year after almost 30 years in both the House and Senate. Fraser was the Senate sponsor of HB 40 this past session, and he also authored Senate Bill 709, a tremendously important bill that provides an equitable and transparent process to environmental permitting. During his years of service, Fraser was named the 2006 Legislator of the Year by the American Legislative Exchange Council for his work in many areas including telecommunications, electricity deregulation, renewable energy, and property and casualty insurance.

Fraser and Darby are well-deserving recipients of the Texas Oil & Gas Association’s Lone Star Award because of their relentless pursuit of building a better and stronger Texas.

Please take a moment to congratulate each of these fine public servant leaders with a personal note of acknowledgement, Facebook post or tweet.

Pictured – TXOGA President Todd Staples, Senator Troy Fraser, Representative Drew Darby and TXOGA Board Chairman Jonny Jones.

TXOGA REPORTS

TXOGA BOARD NEWS

This week TXOGA held our spring Board dinner and meeting. The events had great attendance and participation from Board members with positive discussion over the direction of the Association. At the Board meeting, members heard from Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who discussed the importance of the industry and asked members for feedback and input related to taxes, railroad commission sunset and oil field clean up issues. As TXOGA continues to identify ways to improve and streamline agency efforts, the Board directed the Association to adjust membership levels to better align with ability to participate on the Board and on Committees; established a process to increase participation on the Executive Committee; initiated a Real Property Working group to be appointed by the Chairman to evaluate options associated with TXOGA’s underutilized property; and, finally, continued the overview and analysis of the dues structure and special project funding with options to be presented to the Board in the fall.

TEXAS OIL AND GAS ASSOCIATION GOOD GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE (TXOGA PAC)

This week Texas Oil and Gas Association Good Government Committee (TXOGA PAC) endorsed candidates for the May 24, 2016 primary run-off. Texas Railroad Commission: Wayne Christian (R-Center), Texas State Senate: Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) for SD 1; and Texas House of Representatives: Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) for HD 18, Justin Holland (R-Heath) for HD 33, Representative Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels) for HD 73, Representative Wayne Smith (R-Baytown) for HD 128.
The complete press release can be found here. The TXOGA PAC is the political arm of the Association and has its own members and governance structure. The run-off elections will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, with early voting running from Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20, 2016.
It has never been more critical to elect people who understand the oil and natural gas industry and those who are willing to learn more about the industry and its tremendous contribution to the Texas economy. Your active participation is crucial as our PAC gears up for 2016 fundraising. Please contact Lisa Lucero at lisa@txogapac.org or click on the DONATE TODAY button below, to learn how you can become a member today!

LEGISLATIVE

There were several key legislative committees that met this week. Below is a list and summary of those committee meetings.

Senate Committee on State Affairs
The Senate State Affairs Committee held an interim hearing on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. The purpose of the hearing was to take testimony on the interim charge addressing whether the Legislature should pass a new law that would provide for the award of attorneys’ fees to land owners in eminent domain proceedings. Despite the passage of comprehensive eminent domain reform legislation in 2011 (SB 18), there is significant pressure mounting from landowner groups for the Legislature to pass a law providing for landowner attorneys’ fees in such proceedings.

The overwhelming amount of testimony was from witnesses who favored changing the law to award attorneys’ fees to land owners in eminent domain proceedings when the compensation award is a specified amount higher than the condemner’s offer. Additionally, it was apparent from the questions and comments of the Senators that there is a great deal of sympathy for that position. However, Tom Zabel, representing common carrier pipelines, provided excellent testimony why there is no need for a change in the law, especially as it applies to eminent domain proceedings conducted by the pipeline industry.

TXOGA will continue to monitor this issue and advocate against proposals which would award attorneys’ fees in eminent domain proceedings or which would otherwise impair the ability to construct pipeline projects in a fair and equitable manner for all stakeholders.

Senate Transportation
On Tuesday, Senate Transportation Committee heard invited testimony on Regional Mobility Authorities (RMA) to determine if additional oversight procedures are needed related to the State Highway Fund grants and loans. Testimony was received by multiple RMA’s as well as the Texas Department of Transportation, Transportation Policy Research Center and the Texas Transportation Institute. The Transportation Institute conducted a study which discussed the varying degree of sophistication of the nine RMAs across the state. These differences appeared to be a result of the experience and longevity of the RMA as some have been in place for a significant amount of time while other RMAs are relatively new. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was looked to as an example RMA and the committee will continue to review best practices to determine if changes are necessary.

The committee also heard testimony on a second charge to review current state and federal regulations, penalties and fines related to oversize and overweight vehicles and make recommendations to minimize impacts on the state’s roadways and bridges. The committee heard a lot of discussion related to the various impacts of overweight vehicles on pavement and bridges. It was discussed that changes passed in 2013 to increase fines and penalties on overweight trucks to deter hot loads (illegal overweight loads) are working. Citations are down, permits are up and finding less violators on the roads. Additionally, DPS and Department of Motor Vehicles feel they have the necessary resources to manage overweight vehicle permitting and enforcement and believe the changes have created positive results. Chairman Nichols engaged the University of Texas Center for Transportation Research and discussed the impact of increasing weight by increasing axles. It was clear and convincing that on pavement roads additional weight can be increased with additional axles without negative impact to the pavement (as long as it’s within the per axle weight limits). While bridges create a much different challenge because each is so unique, a solution to increasing weight without negative impacts is to increase axles and have designated routes to avoid bridges which cannot be traversed or bypass bridges that cannot handle the increased loads. Currently, TXDOT and DMV work closely to establish routes for overweight truck permits. Chairman Nichols indicated he wanted to continue the discussion of additional axle’s in more depth.

Senate and House Select Committees on Transportation
The Senate and House Select Committees on Transportation Planning met this week to discussion issues relating to transportation planning, financing and performance. Both committees heard updates from Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) on HB 20. HB 20 from the 84th Session, requires changes be made to several of the planning and programming processes that are used to prioritize and finance transportation projects. TXDOT is working closely with the Select Committees on Transportation Planning and stakeholders on implementation of a performance-based system. Throughout the interim TXDOT is creating a series of legislative reports on these efforts. The most recent report on HB 20 by TXDOT was released this week and can be found here.

House Select Committee on Federal Environmental Regulation
The House Select Committee on Federal Environmental Regulation held its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, March 29, to hear invited testimony on the effects that existing and proposed federal environmental regulations will have on the Texas economy.

Dr. Brian Shaw, Chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), provided an overview and status report on the following federal regulations:

  • Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) would result in retirement of at least 4,000 megawatts of coal generation capacity in ERCOT and could increase consumer costs 16%. CPP would result in a redesign of ERCOT’s competitive electricity market and would present capacity and transmission challenges for non-ERCOT utilities. Texas and 25 states filed suit and obtained a full stay from the Supreme Court; the Court is expected to dispose of the case in 2017.
  • In January 2016, EPA disapproved the Texas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) Revision and finalized a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) replacing the Texas’ reasonable progress goals resulting in additional emission reduction requirements but with no perceptible changes in haze are expected to occur. The total cost of the FIP is approximately $2 billion. Texas has filed a petition for review of the disapproval and filed a motion to stay the FIP.
  • The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) requires Texas to participate in annual sulfur dioxide (SO2), annual nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ozone season NOx trading programs. Under a proposed CSAPR Update Rule, Texas and eight other states would be required to address interstate transport for more stringent 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
  • In 2015 EPA revised the Ozone NAAQS from 75ppb to 70ppb. TCEQ has concluded that there will be little to no public health benefit from the 70 ppb standard, and EPA’s own modeling indicates that lowering the standard will not reduce asthma attacks in children nor respiratory hospitalizations in the elderly. Texas has filed suit challenging EPA’s revision of NAAQS. Representatives Jessica Farrar and Gene Wu questioned Dr. Shaw’s comments regarding the impact of ozone on health as well as TCEQ efforts to identify what is causing increased incidents of asthma if it is not ozone.
  • In August and September of 2015, EPA published a number of proposed rules relating to methane emissions by the oil and gas industry. The rulemaking process is ongoing with final publication expected in August. Representative Drew Darby expressed concerns about the cost of these new regulations on industry especially in the current economic environment. Representative Phil King echoed this concern especially regarding gas development in the Barnett Shale. Representative Cook questioned Dr. Shaw about the EPA’s approach to determining non-attainment based on modeling, and Dr. Shaw condemned the practice. Representative Wu noted that TCEQ is responsible for putting out monitors, however, Dr. Shaw explained that it must be done in accordance with EPA guidance.
  • Last March EPA identified 12 Texas sites as being out-of-compliance with the 2010 SO2 NAAQS although were no monitors or data available for most of the areas. TCEQ is deploying 31 monitors.
  • Last summer, EPA adopted revisions to the Clean Water Act expanding the definition of Waters of the United States and thus the role of the federal government in the regulation of water. Texas and several other states filed suit of the rule, and its implementation has been stayed.

Brian Lloyd, Executive Director of the Public Utility Commission, concurred in comments made by Dr. Shaw regarding the Clean Power Plan, adding that the Plan is not reflective of the current electricity market and is woefully inadequate in regards to reliability.

Warren Lasher, ERCOT Director of System Planning, agreed with previous comments regarding the Clean Power Plan and was available for questions.

Senate Committee on Finance
Senate Finance met on Wednesday, March 30, on matters related to franchise tax, the sales tax holiday, and budgetary matters. First, Chair Nelson brought up old business regarding behavioral health costs, pointing out that the state spends $6.7 billion on it, not the $900 million reported in the press. Members described it as a crisis.

Regarding budget matters, increasing transparency, and incenting effectiveness, John McGeady and Ursula Parks of LBB addressed the committee. McGeady spoke on the matter of format and how other states present their budgets. Texas is one of three states that include performance measures in their appropriation bill. Senator Bettencourt pointed out that most legislative time is spent on supplemental appropriation requests rather than the base budget. Senator Nelson encouraged all agencies to start thinking of their next budgets to be developed as zero-based. In response to a question from Senator Hinojosa, Ursula pointed out that most of the balances that exist in the state treasury are dedicated balances.

John Colyandro of TCCRI spoke to the committee on ways to improve an otherwise good product and process. He spoke to needs for a clearer presentation of the budget to the legislators and to taxpayers. He mentioned that there were too many reports and documents, and a “flood of information.” He proposes a new way of presenting the data.

The budget structure conversations lasted two to three hours.

State debt issues were addressed by Lara Bell and John McGeady of LBB. The committee discussed whether to buy down state debt. Underfunded liabilities such as the Texas Tomorrow fund were also discussed. Senators Bettencourt and Schwertner were critical of TRS’ and ERS’ forecasts of 8% annual returns on their investments. Bettencourt said it was not based on reality. This discussion lasted about an hour.

The first tax panel was Karey Barton and Tom Currah of the Comptroller’s office and Wayne Pulver and Ursula Parks of LBB, addressing the phase-out of the franchise tax. Karey recounted the changes in law that were made 10 years ago and those since that time. Senator Kolkhorst asked about lawsuits. Karey said that the AMC lawsuit could cost $6 billion in refunds and future base losses. Senator Nichols said no one likes to pay it, but said he hears that the most unfair aspect of the tax is that it still applies even if a company lost money. He asked if addressing that could inch us legally closer to being an income tax, and Karey affirmed that it could. Kolkhorst asked that as we reduce the franchise tax, even to zero, do we have any studies that show that the economic growth will offset that in a “dynamic fiscal note?” She said that “Paul Bettencourt is correct; we are living off the rising (property tax) appraisals back home.”
Ursula and Wayne spoke to the question of measuring a dynamic response to reducing the franchise tax. She said that LBB uses the REMI economic model in conducting impact analysis and that it’s important to keep in mind the size of the Texas economy and the state budget, and that “it’s hard to move the needle” with small tax changes. Spending cuts would have negative dynamic implications, she said. Senator Bettencourt asked if the crumbling energy business could be modeled.

The second panel consisted of John Kennedy, Will Newton of NFIB, Eva De Luna Castro of the CPPP, and Vance Ginn of TPPF.

Mr. Kennedy expanded on Sen. Kolkhorst’s comments by saying that the tax has met most of its policy goals originally set out for it, including the breadth of its reach, the closure of loopholes, and more reflective of the Texas economy. He pointed out that the E-Z computation simplifies the tax for small firms, but “it ain’t a beautiful pig,” and that only 1 in 10 liability-shielded companies actually pay. He suggested that the Legislature should consider several items: (1) continue to lower the tax, though lowering the property tax would be better; (2) do not increase the $1 million threshold; (3) any replacement tax should include minimal compliance costs, and make it similar to other states’ taxes; (4) on transparency, acknowledge that the PTR fund is really general revenue.
Sen. Kolkhorst found it interesting that so few liability-shielded firms are taxed. “They pay nothing” for the state-provided shield. So if you did away with the tax, no one would pay for the shield.

Vance said it is important to note that businesses don’t pay tax – people do. The tax is keeping Texans from reaching their full potential. TPPF would like the simplest, broadest tax. The franchise tax is not the best tax available. Companies have to keep separate books and the cost of compliance can be more than the tax itself. The tax has brought in less than originally expected. They find it best to eliminate the tax entirely. They conclude that repeal would generate more jobs and income across the state. If it can’t be repealed all at once, put it on a path to elimination, so Texans can reach their full potential.

“We’re going to have a tight budget,” said Chair Nelson, suggesting that repeal would be difficult next session.
Sen. Bettencourt asked about elimination of property tax and franchise tax. Vance said that keeping the property tax down would help, but seemed more excited about franchise tax repeal.

Lowering the property tax helps 3.4 million businesses, said Kennedy, not just 150,000 businesses that pay the franchise tax.

Eva said that CPPP’s main concern here is the dynamic impact of losing the $7 billion in revenue for schools and health care – they would like that included in the dynamic model. The franchise tax generates about 7% of tax revenue, she said. The loss of federal matching dollars should also be included. There would be an impact on health care providers and public and private employment. If we exempt public safety and public education or areas with large federal matching funds, what is left to cut?

Will Newton said that over 90% of NFIB’s members have 40 employees or fewer. He said that in a 2015 survey, some said they would raise employees’ pay if the tax were cut, while others would buy new equipment or pay down debt. Will believes that the tax has been an abject failure. It’s just wrong to take money away from people who don’t have it, he said.

On the sales tax holiday agenda item, the first panel was comprised of Ursula Parks and Wayne Pulver of LBB and Karey Barton, Tom Currah, and Brad Reynolds of the Comptroller’s Office. Brad described the four holidays that exist and their history, and recounted some of the proposals that have not passed. Karey added that administratively, the more specific the holidays are in terms of the items, the more efficient they are. Vague definitions are difficult for retailers, considering that it may fall to someone at the cash register to decide what qualifies. Ursula described reports that are available, such as incidence by income group.

Sen. Hancock asked about sales tax audits. “How often does someone get fined?” because we’ve made their job more difficult. Karey described the current process and said that vendors know how to comply by now. He mentioned that lay-a-ways and discounts were originally a problem. Karey mentioned vagueness in the water exemption; other holidays are specific and workable. Hancock asked if we’ve looked at the implementation costs for smaller retailers, that it’s not a problem for big-box retailers, but that it is considerable for Mom’n’Pop shops, that we ask them to change the way they do business so we can get the kudos.

The final panel, also on the sales tax holiday, was comprised of George Kelemen of the Retailers’ Association and Brakeyshia Samms of CPPP. The retailers supports the holidays. Kelemen said that consistent timing of the holidays would make them work better. Brakeyshia expressed concern that the tax system is very unfair, and that sales tax holidays need to be reconsidered. CPPP believes that holidays should only be held if growing revenues made them affordable. She says that the need for services is greater than the need for tax holidays.

Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development
On Friday, April 1, the Senate Committee on Natural Resource and Economic Development met to hear testimony on the following charges: 1) Economic Development: Evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of programs and resources currently used to support economic development in Texas. Make recommendations regarding continuation of effective strategies, modification of existing administrative or regulatory barriers, and the reduction or elimination of ineffective programs. 2) Expedited Permitting: Evaluate the permitting process in Texas and neighboring states and make recommendations for eliminating unnecessary barriers and expediting the process to ensure that the regulatory process is consistent and predictable. 3) Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Legislation relating to Texas aerospace incentives; 2) Expedited permitting; and 3) Electric utility rate adjustments.

Rich Walsh with Valero testified on behalf of TXOGA in support of the expedited permitting process at TCEQ. The Committee also heard about past issues and practices of the Committee from previous chairmen including The Honorable A. R. Schwartz, The Honorable J. E. Brown, The Honorable Kenneth L. Armbrister, and The Honorable Kip Averitt. Texas Association of Manufacturers and Texas Chemical Council testified in support of Chapter 313 as did Dale Craymer with TTARA.

A full report of the Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing will be included in next week’s TXOGA Voice.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
Senator Bob Hall has organized a summit on electric grid security. According to Senator Hall’s invitation it is an opportunity to hear from state and national experts as they address critical security concerns from high-impact threats that could cause a nationwide critical infrastructure collapse for a month or more. Topics will address the Texas electric grid’s vulnerability to electromagnetic pulse (EMP), geomagnetic solar storms, and cyber-attacks; discuss emergency preparedness and emerging protective technologies; and highlight state and federal legislative EMP protection and electric grid security efforts. More information is available here.

REGULATORY


Emission Reduction Credit Program
TXOGA PEC and PELC met this week to work on upstream specific issues to the potential area and mobile source emission reduction credit (ERC) program the TCEQ and EPA is considering. Members of TXOGA will meet in person with TCEQ on Friday, April 15, to address issues raised regarding whether oil and gas shutdowns can generate ERCs in nonattainment areas.

JUDICIAL


Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners

In good news this morning, the Texas Supreme Court granted Denbury’s petition for review in this matter. TXOGA previously filed an amicus brief in the case. The date and time for oral argument has not been set, but we will notify you when that is updated.

COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA

As part of the ongoing project with API, TXOGA held 6 focus groups this week in San Antonio, Austin, and College Station. Information from these focus groups, and the others held in Dallas, Denton, and Brownsville, will be used to conduct a statewide poll in the coming months. The TXOGA Communications Committee meeting and workshop to discuss the employee mobilization tactics of our members companies is next week. If your company has any employee mobilization materials you would like the communications committee to review as we work to create materials for TXOGA, please send it to Kate.

Remember, if you haven’t already, please Like TXOGA on Facebook and Follow TXOGA on Twitter and encourage your colleagues to do the same!

MEMBERSHIP


In an effort to have a truly unified industry voice in Texas, TXOGA is working to recruit new members. If you know of industry counterparts that are not involved in the work of the Association or are former TXOGA members, please contact Neal Carlton at ncarlton@txoga.org. If your company would like to make changes to your representatives who serve on TXOGA committees, please email Neal. We can also send you a current breakdown of those from your company serving on committees, if desired.

Membership dues invoices were sent out in December. If not already processed, please pay your dues immediately and contact Neal with any questions.

 TEXAS OIL & GAS ASSOCIATION WORKER’S COMPENSATION SAFETY GROUP

If your company is not already maximizing savings by being a part of the industry’s largest workers’ compensation insurance program in Texas, please contact Jim Sierra at jsierra@txoga.org today to obtain easy information on the best way to access this program.

UPCOMING EVENT

 

  • Wednesday, April 6, at 10:30am – TXOGA Communications Committee Meeting and Employee Mobilization Workshop will be held at TXOGA.
  • NEW – Wednesday, April 6, at 9am, 675 W. Walnut St., Garland 75040 – House Economic and Small Business Development will meet at the Richland College Garland Campus. The Committee will meet to consider the following interim charges: 2) Evaluate what local governments are doing to attract businesses to their communities and examine ways the state can leverage these practices and provide support. Include ways to improve local economic development programs to ensure a continued return on investment for taxpayers. In addition, study the authority, financial accountability, and types of statutorily allowed expenditures of economic development corporations. Provide analysis of 4A and 4B sales tax programs and determine if they are still meeting their intended purpose effectively. 5) Evaluate Texas’s competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating high-growth, high-tech industries, fostering economic development, and creating new jobs. Examine if current incentives and regulations assist or hinder the state’s ability to compete with other states for economic growth and sustainability. The Committee will also hear from area cities and chambers of commerce regarding their economic development efforts. Invited testimony only.
  • NEW – Tuesday, April 12, at 9:30am – Railroad Commission of Texas Open Meeting at the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress, Room 1-111, First Floor, Austin, Texas.
  • NEW – Tuesday, April 12, at 1pm – TXOGA Member Only Meeting.
  • NEW – Thursday, April 14, at 10am – TXOGA Production Environmental and Production Environmental Law Committee will have a quarterly meeting.
  • NEW – Wednesday, April 20, at 10am – TXOGA Regulatory Practices Committee monthly meeting.
  • NEW – Thursday, April 21, at 11:30am – TXOGA Legislative Lunch and Learn Topic: Railroad Commission Permitting presented by Gil Bujano with BP.
  • NEW – Tuesday, April 26, at 9:30am in Brownsville, TX – House Natural Resources will be held at: Brownsville City Hall, 2nd Floor-Commission Chambers, 1001 E. Elizabeth St., Brownsville, TX 78520. The Committee will address the following topics and interim charges: Water Quality Interim Charge 9: Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs. Desalination Interim Charge 4: Evaluate the progress of seawater desalination projects near the Texas coast as a means of increasing water supplies and reducing strain on existing supplies, building on the work of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination (83rd session). Examine the viability of the use of public-private partnerships and of methods by which the state might facilitate such a project. Interim Charge 5: Monitor the use of funds made available to Texas in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Consider approaches to maximize the benefit of these funds for the long-term stability of the coastal economy and ecosystems. The Committee will hear invited and public testimony.
  • NEW – Wednesday, April 27, at 10am in Arlington, TX – The Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief will meet. The hearing will be held at the following location: University of Texas at Arlington, E.H. Hereford University Center, Rosebud Theatre 300 West First St., Arlington, Texas 76019. Parking will be available in Lot 11. The Committee will hear invited, resource and public testimony on the following interim charges: Study the property tax process, including the appraisal system, and recommend ways to promote transparency, simplicity, and accountability by all taxing entities. Examine and develop options to further reduce the tax burden on property owners. Those wishing to give public testimony, please limit prepared remarks to 3 minutes. If submitting written testimony, please submit 20 copies, with your name on each copy, to the Committee during the hearing.
  • NEW – Thursday, April 28, at 1pm – House Energy Resources will meet jointly with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development to hear invited testimony on the following charge: Study the impacts of the declining price of oil and continuously depressed price of natural gas on the Texas economy and the fiscal implications for the Texas budget. Consider impacts on local communities most dependent on oil and gas activity, including impacts on supporting economies such as retail, manufacturing, house industries, etc. Recommend strategies for sustained energy development and workforce growth during times of depressed energy prices.
  • NEW – Wednesday, May 4, at 11:30am – Senate Select Committee on Texas Ports will meet to consider and adopt the Committee rules and conduct any other organizational business deemed necessary by the Chair. Testimony will be heard on the economic impact that inland waterways, coastal ports and inland ports have on the state economy, and the future impact that the Panama Canal expansion will have on Texas ports. If submitting written testimony, please submit 20 copies with your name to the Committee during the hearing. All witness registration will be done electronically. All oral testimony will consist of only invited testimony.

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