The Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development yesterday unanimously passed Senate Bill 1165, relating to the express preemption of regulation of oil and gas operations and the exclusive jurisdiction of those operations by the state, also referred to as the “Denton fracking bill.” The bill will now go before the full Senate. Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst Jess Fields and Policy Analyst Leigh Thompson testified on the bill before the committee, and released the following statements upon the bill’s passage out of committee:

“Acknowledging and strengthening the comprehensive and pervasive field occupation of statewide oil and gas regulation is a clear and straightforward way to protect and manage Texas’ interest in the state’s continued growth, prosperity, and economically healthy communities,” said Leigh Thompson, policy analyst with TPPF’s Armstrong Center for Energy & Environment. “This bill does nothing to impair legitimate uses of health and safety regulations by municipalities and political subdivisions. It does, however, restrict baseless and unnecessary regulation in an area already occupied by the state through clear and straightforward language.” 

"Texans expect their basic property rights to be secure from needless takings,” said Jess Fields, senior policy analyst with TPPF’s Center for Local Governance. “SB 1165 ensures that Texas cities cannot usurp Texans' property rights and with policies that turn lawful oil and gas operators into criminals. We must strive to preserve the rights of our energy entrepreneurs who employ countless thousands of Texans with well-paying jobs that support and empower Texas families. SB 1165 and its House companion, HB40, do that."

The Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released research on fracking: Fracking Facts: The Science, Economics, and Legal Realities by Leigh Thompson and Denton and Other Cities Shouldn’t Ban Fracking by Josiah Neeley and Jess Fields.  

The Hon. Jess Fields is the Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a former College Station City Councilman.
Leigh Thompson is a policy analyst with the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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