Bills to preempt fracking bans moving in Austin
Thu, March 19, 2015
Ideas about local control and its proper place in the public policy sphere might seem abstract to some, but its application — or misapplication, as it were — has some very real and tangible consequences for Texas and its future.
Take the issue of local fracking bans, for example.
In November, Denton held a referendum on whether to allow private enterprises involved with hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking,” to continue operating in their community. Backed by national environmentalists and other special interest groups, the anti-fracking campaign proved successful and the operation was banned within the city limits.
Some contend that Denton’s fracking ban was a local decision; but in the nation’s largest oil-producing state, a local decision like this has statewide economic implications affecting everything from revenue to employment to the prosperity of all. Consider what’s at stake.
Oil and gas-related economic activity created 21,100 jobs during the last year through January 2015, employs 2.7 percent of state’s labor force and generates 11 percent of total state revenue, according to the Texas comptroller.
These are just some of the very tangible results of the “Texas Model” of low taxes and commonsense regulation to advance economic prosperity.
And these results are being put at risk on account of an agenda-driven few who are riding roughshod over property owners and local businesses’ rights to use their property in a manner they deem appropriate.
Fortunately, common sense appears to be winning the day at the Texas Capitol. As the session has progressed, more and more lawmakers have proposed legislation that affirms the idea that local control is not a blank check.
Several bills are making their way through the legislative process to rein in unchecked local regulations that are either an affront to liberty, threaten Texas’ economic prosperity, or both.
Read the original article here: http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article15293777.html