Thursday, February 28, 2013

HB 1496

I will blog more about this later, but here is a letter I sent (in a hurry as I get ready for school) to Rep. Myra Crownover today:

I am writing to ask you - as my representative and as a member of the House Committee on Energy Resources - to please oppose HB 1496. This proposed legislation would further erode municipalites' already weak control over industrial activities associated with oil and gas development in their jurisdiction. It represents big government, where smaller city governments are more approrpriately empowered. City governments are more directly accountable to all the citizen interests at stake in mineral development. HB 1496 has a dangerously narrow sense of the property rights involved in mineral development. Surface rights owners that must bear the externalities of these industrial processes also deserve consideration of their rights and municipal governments provide the forums for a fair adjudication of all interests. I ask you to stand against this thinly-veiled corporate ploy to strip Texans of their right to local self-determination. Please stand up for your constituents who actually live on the Barnett shale and oppose a bill sponsored by someone who does not know the full, complex, dirty, and dangerous reality of oil and gas development in urban areas.

Thank you,
Adam Briggle
Chair, Denton Stakeholder Drilling Advisory Group


  1. Why would oil companies care whether landowners are compensated for unjust takings by cities? In the Razor Ranch instance, the threat to sue came from the Rayzor family NOT from the gas company!

    1. This proposed bill makes it sound like it's all about "property rights," something that most people believe in. But that's just smoke and mirrors. It's really about taking away a MAJOR barrier for the shale gas industry.

    2. Do you really think Corinth or Flower Mound banning drilling is a setback? In case you haven't heard, most companies aren't drilling for gas these days!

    3. We've had at least 3 rigs up since Christmas in our areas of Southwest Grand Prairie and Southeast Arlington, TX. Much fewer than past years but they are still drilling around here.

  2. Because industry assisted our local municipality with writing the gas drilling ordinance - and our city is under the assumption that the State has all the necessary laws in place to protect us - we've got it pretty bad already. Hopefully, HB 1496 dies. Big industry is already much too powerful in the State of Texas.