Legislation Affirms State's Exclusive Jurisdiction of Oil & Natural Gas Development

Austin, TX – Today the Texas House of Representatives officially approved passage of House Bill 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 related issues incident to oil and gas development, as long as they are considered commercially reasonable.

The following is a statement from Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), regarding the passage of House Bill 40.

The Texas oil and gas industry is a cornerstone of our state economy, contributing billions of dollars in annual tax revenue and supporting millions of jobs in the state. One of our greatest priorities as an industry is the need for regulatory certainty in our operations. A patchwork effect of local ordinances creating inconsistent regulations across the state is the wrong path forward, and if left unchecked, could negatively impact investment, tax revenue, employment, and lead to additional legal challenges over property rights.

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. House Bill 40 provides clarity that will better define the rights and limitations of municipal authority as it relates to oil and natural gas development. It also will help to address a growing challenge from a regulatory perspective in our state, particularly related to anti-oil and gas organizations seeking to influence local ordinances to slow or stop the development of hydrocarbons in our state and country.

Communities across the state have successfully coexisted with oil and natural gas development for decades. This legislation strikes a careful balance between preserving local authority of city governments, while also establishing a sensible and predictable regulatory structure for the oil and gas industry.

We strongly commend the Texas House of Representatives for their leadership on this important issue and continued efforts to support the responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the state of Texas, and all of the related benefits. We also thank the large coalition of organizations, companies and local government leaders that support this legislation.