Plano Lawmaker Authors Bill to Strip Cities of Right To Regulate Oil and Gas Drilling

Categories: Biz, Politics

van taylor.jpg
Representative Van Taylor of Plano
State Representative Van Taylor, a real-estate investment banker from Plano, has introduced legislation that would settle, once and for all, who gets the last word on drilling under private property: That would be the Railroad Commission of Texas.

The bill, filed Tuesday, would strip from Texas municipalities the ability to regulate drilling within their borders in any meaningful way. It's the latest iteration of an idea that's cropped up in the Texas House before, at the top of an industry wishlist. As fracking pushed the natural gas boom out of the pastures and into the 'burbs, producers often found themselves running afoul of local ordinances that diluted the density with which they could drill up leased acreage. In Southlake, XTO simply moved on. In Dallas, well, it's complicated.

So, what would become of Southlake's code-mandated 1,000-foot buffers between a house and a well pad? If it has the effect of preventing someone from drilling, it gets trumped. Only rules pertaining to "visual aesthetics," "noise abatement" and "hours of operation" would be left to municipal discretion. This legislation won't help Trinity East because the city of Dallas owns the floodplain the company intends to frack.

The campaign war chest of Taylor, the bill's author, has been the primary beneficiary of Denbury Resources, an oil and gas company that lately has been tapping mature oil fields. He has received more donations from the company than any other state rep. Sworn into office in 2010, he's a relative neophyte, but there are also worse horses for an oil company to hitch its wagons to.

Taylor is a young guy. He's got a Harvard MBA. And he's also apparently kind of a bad-ass -- he served with the Force Recon Marines during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In short, he's the kind of guy who, with a little guidance and grooming, could have a future.

Trouble with this bill is, his fellow lawmakers are sure to hear from the cities, many of which aren't keen on letting the Railroad Commission call the shots in their own backyards.

H/T Texas Sharon


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8 comments
primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

The best government money can buy.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

THE GOP  DEMANDS  LOCAL CONTROL for the people .......

Except where people actually have the audacity to use it .... Then they pass laws so the power  can be removed  from the locals and done more efficiently  at the CENTRAL Government level....

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

That pinheadded pussy didn't get his ass kicked enough as a kid. 

schermbeck
schermbeck

Funny that a state legislator with no gas drilling in his own County is trying to tell local communities with drilling what's best for them. That doesn't sound very conservative to me.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Halfway measure. Give the last word to the drilling companies and skip the middlemen.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@schermbeck Are you kidding?

That sounds exactly like the typical con. 

Do as I say, not as I do.

Now, if you want to see him change his tune, get his neighbors to sign gas leases, then he'll see Jesus, and I'm not talking about the guy that cuts his grass.

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