June 17, 2019
AUSTIN—Governor Greg Abbott recently signed several pieces of meaningful legislation into law, including bills related to funding for county roads in energy corridors, the protection of critical infrastructure projects, the extension of Chapter 312 and the regulatory authority over produced water. The Texas Oil & Gas Association issued the following statements on each.
Texas Energy Corridors to Receive $250 Million For County Roads (SB 500 and HB 1)
Texas energy production regions are set to receive a huge injection of funding for county roads under two laws signed by Governor Greg Abbott. SB 500 included $125 million from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, for counties in our state’s energy sectors to address critically-needed road infrastructure, and HB 1 included $125 million in funding under the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) appropriation. Funding will flow through a grant process utilizing the County Transportation Infrastructure Fund, administered by TxDOT, and requires a match from local funds to participate.
Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, applauded Texas lawmakers for addressing this public safety need in a manner that encourages continued severance tax generation that benefits all parts of Texas.
“Our state’s phenomenal growth in oil and natural gas production — which has made Texas the global energy superpower – has come with strains on local infrastructure in energy producing regions of our state. This funding for county roads in Texas energy corridors will contribute to the safety and well-being of the communities, families and employees in these high production areas. Improved road infrastructure in energy sectors will also ensure continued growth in state and local tax revenue from oil and natural gas that is supporting our communities, schools and first responders statewide. We are thankful for the leadership of Governor Abbott and the renewed commitment of state agencies to work with local leadership and operators to meet the needs of our state’s energy producing areas. The Texas oil and natural gas industry looks forward to continuing our collaborative work with state and local leaders as we work toward a stronger, cleaner energy future.”
Texas Establishes Stronger Protections for Critical Infrastructure (HB 3557)
Governor Greg Abbott signed into law new protections for our state’s critical infrastructure facilities to safeguard against illegal activities that damage facilities or interrupt the facilities’ operations. HB 3557, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, simultaneously provides tougher punishment to deter illegal activity while maintaining the rights of those who wish to legally and respectfully protest and express free speech.
Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, released the following statement praising this new law:
“Every single Texan relies on the products and services made possible because of our state’s critical infrastructure facilities, whether it is our agriculture systems, dams and water structures, manufacturing and refining facilities, electric transmission lines and substations, or pipelines. Unfortunately, we have seen too many examples of illegal activity that is costly to businesses and local governments and puts employees of these facilities and emergency first responders in danger. Stronger protections against intentional damage, delays, and stoppages caused by illegal activity will ensure that critical infrastructure can continue to serve all Texans.”
TXOGA Applauds Extension of Chapter 312 as an Important Economic Development Tool (HB 3143)
Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, released the following statement applauding Governor Abbott for signing into law HB 3143, which provides for a 10-year extension of Chapter 312 of the Tax Code:
“Texas is consistently ranked as the best state for business, and continuing Chapter 312 will ensure Texas remains competitive with other states for major industrial projects, which benefit all Texans through job growth, investment, and sales tax growth. This is an important economic development tool for local leaders in Texas, and we are pleased that Texas lawmakers recognized that in renewing Chapter 312.”
TXOGA Statement on Bill Clarifying Regulatory Authority Over Produced Water Discharge (HB 2771)
Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, issued the following statement praising Governor Abbott for signing into law HB 2771, which gives regulatory authority of the discharge of produced water to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ):
“Our state’s oil and natural gas operators support fair, science-based regulations and appreciate the work of the nine state and federal agencies who regulate all aspects of oil and natural gas activity. When it comes to the regulation of produced water and its discharge, TCEQ has the necessary structure and expertise to manage delegation of oil and natural gas–related wastewater, as the agency does for many other industries across the state. Wastewater management is heavily regulated, and the state–managed program is required to meet all federal regulations. The oil and natural gas industry will continue to adhere to the highest environmental standards in all of its operations.”