Blog

Neeley: Don’t let local control undermine the Texas model

Monday, April 06, 2015

Texas has always been fiercely protective of its prerogatives as a state. From challenging federal regulatory overreach in court to maintaining our own electric grid, we are willing to go to great lengths to ensure we can chart our own political destiny.

Mansfield council OKs tighter gas well restrictions

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 23, 2015 BY ROBERT CADWALLADER MANSFIELD-- After a final public hearing, the Mansfield City Council Monday night unanimously approved tighter restrictions on gas well drilling but did not widen the city’s 600-foot minimum separation between gas and oil wells and the public. The 6-0 vote, with Councilman Stephen Lindsey absent, culminates more than a year of public debate over how to protect against nuisance and potential health risks without stifling oil and gas development — and inviting litigation. The mix of 25 speakers was almost evenly divided on the issue, as were the 19 resident nonspeakers who put their opinions on cards.

Overregulation threatens land owners

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 20, 2015 By Dee Davey Mansfield is a great place to live. Money Magazine is one of the latest to rank Mansfield as one of the best places to live in America. Our strong economy attracts thousands of new residents, many of whom have started new businesses here. But listening to some local activists, things in Mansfield are not so great. They claim natural gas drilling has reduced property values and ruined our quality of life. I’ve been in Mansfield for 39 years and for long-time residents like me, we’ve watched Mansfield grow from a small quiet town and to continue on as a great hometown for the new neighbors who have moved here.

Group opposes overregulating gas ordinances

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 20, 2015 By Kim McCaslin Schlieker Citizens for Mansfield is a group of local residents, landowners, business owners and mineral owners who believe that excessive and unnecessary gas drilling regulations would hurt Mansfield and threaten our private property rights. Citizens for Mansfield is a different group with a different perspective than the Mansfield Gas Well Awareness group.

Bills to preempt fracking bans moving in Austin

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015 By James Quintero Nanny-state rules and regulations are beginning to sprout up in towns and communities across the Lone Star State. Local attempts to micromanage people’s daily lives run the gamut from prohibiting the use of single-use plastic bags to infringing on private property owners’ ability to trim trees on their land to controlling how and where people can use ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Interestingly, most of these local restrictions are being defended on the grounds of “local control.” But where this line of reasoning gets it wrong is that it presumes local control ought to be the goal of policy making. Local control is a means to an end. To the extent that it can achieve or secure people’s natural rights to life, liberty and property, then it is to be commended. It is improper, however, to suggest that local control should be used as a kind of shield with which to infringe upon people’s liberties.

Wednesday letters: Texas' Natural Gas

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 17, 2015 By Nathan Wesely, president, West GulfMaritime Association, Houston Regarding "Oil prices may hurt LNG exports" (Page D1, Thursday), declining oil prices mean Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports are even more critical to maintaining America's energy renaissance. Global demand for U.S. natural gas remains strong and these projects will provide long-term certainty for investment and jobs across the energy and port industries.

Liberty trumps local control

Friday, March 13, 2015

March 12, 2015 By State Rep. Matt Rinaldi Just before his inauguration, Gov. Greg Abbott warned: "Texas is being Californianized, and you may not even be noticing it. It’s being done at the city level with bag bans, fracking bans, tree-cutting bans. We’re forming a patchwork quilt of bans and rules and regulations that is eroding the Texas model." Responding to Abbott’s call, I filed House Bill 1939 to repeal bag bans and surcharges like those enacted by Dallas and Austin, which erode consumer choice and the rights of business owners. Other bills filed in the Legislature this session seek to undo city ordinances that allow red-light cameras, restrict landlords’ ability to choose tenants or infringe on religious freedom.

2014 Texas oil and gas taxes and royalties hit $15.7 billion

Thursday, March 05, 2015

March 5, 2015 By Todd Staples The oil and gas industry’s economic impact on Texas has reached historic levels. In 2014, Texas oil and natural gas delivered a record $15.7 billion in state and local taxes and royalties, the highest such collection from the oil and gas industry in Texas history. Beyond its iconic imagery, the oil and gas industry has a long and continuing legacy of providing billions of dollars in tax revenue each year that directly funds our schools, roads, first responders, essential public services and more.

Frack bans are big government in action

Monday, March 02, 2015

February 27, 2015 By State Representative Phil King We’ve heard a lot about hydraulic fracking in North Texas, especially after Denton banned the process. As many legal experts attest, that ban runs afoul of state law and puts local taxpayers on the hook for legal bills as the city defends itself in court. But there’s a more fundamental problem with local fracking bans. They threaten something all Texans cherish: private property rights.

Superintendent questions; need NAS explanation; Denton fracking ban

Friday, February 27, 2015

Frack Free Denton’s Adam Briggle and Denton Kevin Councilman Roden made a series of odd claims in their recent op-ed (“Rep. King should bow to local control,” Feb. 22) that undermined their argument. They said when drilling slows, it has “detrimental economic impacts.” Yet both supported Denton’s fracking ban, which prevents drilling. Briggle has even traveled to Louisiana to encourage others to ban drilling.

Letters to the editor, Wednesday, Feb. 25

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Eric Mach | Denton Record Chronicle February 25, 2015 Shun Al Gore cult When one reads the letters from the progressive parrots, you can tell that they are elated about the prospect of damaging the city’s economy.

Don’t over-regulate gas, oil drilling

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 23, 2015 Larry J. Fabian It’s time to set the record straight. Oil and gas development has been ongoing in Mansfield for over 10 years, and the City Council has done a good job of continuously updating our ordinances to keep our community safe and our local economy strong. As a landowner and mineral owner, I am very concerned with the opposition groups who are pushing for even more regulation and larger setbacks.

Air tests of 5 Barnett Shale wells being hydraulically fractured show no harmful emissions

Monday, February 23, 2015

February 22, 2015 By Ed Ireland, Ph. D. A battery of air tests during the simultaneous hydraulic fracturing of 5 Barnett Shale natural gas wells and the subsequent initial flowback period is one of the largest scale air testing projects of its kind.  Modern Geosciences, a respected environmental testing firm that has been doing quarterly and monthly air testing for the Town of Flower Mound for 6 years, conducted the project. The air studies in Mansfield were requested by the operator of the wells, Beacon E&P, a Colorado based company that has offices in Fort Worth and operations in the Barnett Shale region in North Texas.

For State's Seismologist, Quakes Will Be the Easy Part

Friday, February 06, 2015

February 6, 2015 By Jim Malewitz David Craig Pearson remembers the first time he felt the earth tremble beneath his feet. Mother Nature wasn’t to blame. The U.S. military was.  Pearson stood on the White Sands Missile Range, a sprawling base in south-central New Mexico, on that day some three decades ago. Federal Department of Defense workers fired off a weapons test. Pearson, then a wide-eyed doctoral student, recorded the earthquake it triggered.  “Since then, I was hooked,” he said in an interview.

Its Not The Fracking Making Trouble in Texas

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

There is this odd debate over vaccinations which questions the effectiveness and the safety vaccines.. The anti-vaxxer crowd has on its side nothing except bad science and a lot of emotion but that hasn’t stopped a “debate” from occurring about whether we should be vaccinating our kids. An epidemic of measles however seems to be turning the tide of the argument. What does that debate have to do with energy? Bad science just keeps appearing everywhere propelled by powerful emotions.

University of Texas Endowment Tops $25 Billion, Passing Yale

Monday, February 02, 2015

(Bloomberg) -- They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Now, it’s true of its public university system’s endowment. The University of Texas endowment surpassed Yale University’s as the second-wealthiest in U.S. higher education, according to an annual survey released Thursday by Commonfund and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The value of the Texas System’s fund grew 24 percent to $25.4 billion in the year ended June 30, the biggest after Harvard University’s $35.9 billion. Yale’s endowment, which had ranked second since at least 2002, increased 15 percent to $23.9 billion.

Evidence Doesn't Support Fracking As Cause Of Texas Earthquakes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Investors Business Daily January 27, 2014 BY MERRILL MATTHEWS A recent spate of earthquakes in the Dallas area, centered around the old Texas Stadium in Irving, has raised concerns that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the cause. Making that correlation may be understandable, but it's almost certainly wrong. The good news is that the series of earthquakes has been relatively minor — with the largest ranging in magnitude between 2.5 and 3.6 — and any damage appears to be generally limited to wall and ceiling cracks in a few homes.

Suggestions that fracking is unsafe are based on fear, not facts

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Eagle January 21, 2015 By Dr. Stephen A. Holditch I began working on hydraulic fracturing of low permeability reservoirs in 1970 and have published more than 150 papers, most of which involve the subject of fracturing or low permeability reservoir development. I ran a consulting company for over 20 years and we designed and supervised hundreds of fracture treatments. Many of those were Austin Chalk or Buda wells in Brazos County. We drilled dozens of wells in Brazos County, many under the city limits of Bryan and College Station, to include a few under the Texas A&M campus in the Bryan Woodbine Field.

Schnurman: Why Texas won’t get busted again by low oil prices

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Dallas Morning News January 19, 2015 Mitchell Schnurman This time is different, and not by accident. Oil prices have fallen by more than half since last summer, prompting cuts in energy jobs and rig counts. That is stoking fears of a deep downturn in the state’s economy. But Texas is less vulnerable to the kind of oil shock that derailed the state in the 1980s, and that’s by design.

As North Texas Quakes Continue, Experts Look For A Cause

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

KERA News January 12, 2015 By BJ AUSTIN Another small earthquake vibrated Irving Sunday night: a magnitude of 2.5 at 7:46 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That makes 17 in the last week in North Texas, most of them around the old Texas Stadium site in Irving.  As the quakes continue, speculation circulates as to what's causing them.

What’s at fault? Scientists seek cause of Irving earthquakes

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Dallas Morning News January 10, 2015 By ANNA KUCHMENT, RANDY LEE LOFTIS, JAMES OSBORNE and AVI SELK The earth under North Texas barely stirred for at least a century, until something down there snapped in 2008. Swarms of small quakes rippled up from unknown faults beneath the soil. They rustled Cleburne, Azle and Irving. Last week’s 15 temblors around the old Texas Stadium site included the strongest yet in Dallas County, and their waves shook downtown office towers.

Gov.-elect Abbott: End local bans on bags, fracking, tree-cutting

Friday, January 09, 2015

Austin-American Statesman January 8, 2015 By Jonathan Tilove Declaring that freedom and private property rights should not be bound by city lines, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott on Thursday called for doing away with a “patchwork quilt” of local bans on everything from paper and plastic bags to fracking that he said threatens to turn Texas into California.

U.S. Interior Secretary Criticizes Fracking Bans, Citing ‘a Lot of Misinformation’

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

National Review Online January 5, 2015 By Jillian Kay Melchior Recent local and state fracking restrictions are “the wrong way to go,” says Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. She spoke only weeks after New York imposed a fracking ban, a decision the state justified by citing a much-criticized state department of health report on the supposed negative public-health consequences, including “community impacts associated with boom-town economic effects.”

The East and West Coast Converge on Denton

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 19, 2015 The term “you flew here, we grew here” took on a whole new meaning this week in the City of Denton.  Three national environmental groups finally stepped out from behind their east and west coast curtains, petitioning a Texas court to allow them to intervene in litigation – brought by the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) and the state’s General Land Office (GLO) – that challenges the city’s new fracking ban.  As reported in by the Daily Kos: “Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks are leading the intervention charge, represented by attorneys from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Earthjustice.”

Texas City's Fracking Ban Will Likely Cost Taxpayers Millions

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breitbart December 16, 2014 By Sarah Rumpf AUSTIN, Texas -- The decision by voters in the North Texas oil and gas city of Denton to pass an ordinance that would ban fracking could cost their city millions of dollars a year, with several lawsuits already filed and more potentially on the way.