Legislation Affirms State's Exclusive Jurisdiction of Oil & Natural Gas Development
Austin, TX – Today the Texas Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee voted in favor of House Bill 40 (HB 40), a legislative measure that affirms the state's exclusive jurisdiction over oil and natural gas development in Texas. The bill also preserves the ability of municipalities to address surface issues related to oil and gas development, as long as they are considered commercially reasonable. If approved by the full Senate, HB 40 will be sent to Governor Greg Abbott for his consideration.
The following is a statement from Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), regarding the passage of HB 40.
One of our greatest priorities as an industry is the need for regulatory certainty in our operations. A growing patchwork effect of local ordinances creating inconsistent regulations across the state is the wrong path forward for Texas. If left unchecked, this could have a chilling effect on investment, tax revenue, employment, and lead to additional legal challenges over private mineral rights, the dominant estate in Texas.
The Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality already effectively oversee the oil and gas industry with comprehensive regulations that cover every aspect of oil and gas development.
This legislation will protect the ability of municipalities to address surface related issues that are incident to oil and natural gas development, including amended bill language that is supported by the Texas Municipal League and local government leaders across the state.
If passed by the legislature, HB 40 will help to address a growing challenge from a regulatory standpoint in our state, particularly related to anti-oil and gas organizations spreading misinformation and fear about the industry in an attempt to influence local drilling ordinances.
We applaud the leadership of Chairman Troy Fraser and supporting members of the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee for voting in favor of this important legislation.