Austin, TX – Today leaders of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) testified in favor of House Bill 40, a legislative measure that would assert the state's exclusive jurisdiction over oil and natural gas development in Texas.
HB 40 preserves the authority of local governments, and protects the ability for a municipality to address resident's concerns related to surface activity that is incident to oil and gas operations, including, but not limited to, commercially-reasonable noise, traffic, lighting and siting provisions. However, the legislation also affirms and defines the state's role in oil and gas regulation by expressing that municipalities may not regulate aspects of oil and gas activity that are already under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state. The Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality oversee the oil and gas industry with comprehensive, environmentally-soundregulations that cover all aspects of oil and gas development. Ordinances or referendums unrelated to oil and natural gas would not be affected by HB 40.
"The Texas oil and gas industry requires an environment of regulatory certainty and stability," commented Ed Longanecker, president of TIPRO. "A statewide patchwork of local ordinances, rules and bans is the wrong path forward for Texas and the energy industry. This approach creates an inconsistent regulatory structure throughout the state, which if left unchecked, could negatively impact business investments, tax revenue streams and employment across multiple sectors."
"Sensible regulations and responsible oil and gas development have successfully co-existed in Texas for more than 100 years," said Raymond James Welder III, president and CEO of Welder Exploration & Production, Inc., and chairman of TIPRO. "Members of the oil and gas industry remain committed to working cooperatively with municipalities and the communities in which they operate."
TIPRO would like to applaud the leadership of Texas officials on this important issue, including Senators Troy Fraiser (R), Eddie Lucio (D), Kevin Eltife (R), Kel Seliger (R) and Donna Campbell (R) and Representatives Drew Darby (R), Phil King (R), Jim Keffer (R), Senfronia Thompson (D) and Rene Oliveria (D).