Austin, Texas – Today members of the Texas House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation that will preserve the right of Texans to have access to energy choices in their homes and businesses. House Bill 17, authored by state Representative Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), amends the Utilities Code to prevent Texas cities and towns from restricting access to affordable fuels, including natural gas. The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association has been part of a coalition supporting the bill since its inception, and the governor of Texas has also announced his support of the legislation. The following statement can be attributed to Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO):
“A number of cities across the country are pursuing dangerous policies to restrict or even ban natural gas hookups in new buildings and construction. This trend has unfortunately reached Texas with some cities considering proposals that would ban the use of Texas-produced natural gas. TIPRO supports House Bill 17 to preempt local measures restricting or banning utility service based on the type or source of energy that will be delivered in order to preserve customer choice and allow all Texas homeowners, builders and businesses the opportunity to decide how to meet their own energy needs.
We applaud the Texas House of Representatives for showing strong, bipartisan support for consumer choice with the passage of House Bill 17. Affordable energy is the backbone of the Texas economy, and it is critical that we ensure households and businesses can continue to benefit from all of our state's abundant resources. We look forward to the Senate hopefully passing this bill in a similar bipartisan fashion soon. TIPRO will continue to support this policy change and advocate for its passage into law."