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.
Chair, Denton Stakeholder Drilling Advisory Group