Drew Darby, Chair
Chris Paddie, Vice Chair
|• Study the impacts of the declining price of oil and the continuously depressed price of natural gas on the Texas economy and the fiscal implications for the Texas budget. Consider impacts on local communities most dependent on oil and gas activity, including impacts on supporting economies such as retail, manufacturing, housing industries, etc. Recommend strategies for sustained energy development and workforce growth during times of depressed energy prices. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development)|
|• Examine whether current statutes are adequate for the successful prosecution of oilfield theft. Consider the potential economic impact of increasing penalties for oil and gas theft and make recommendations establishing an effective law enforcement response.|
|• Study current renewable energy regulations in Texas in order to more effectively balance federal, state and local regulations. Review the rights of Texas landowners who receive royalties, operating fees or monthly production payments to ensure fairness. Explore opportunities to maximize existing wind infrastructure toward the promotion of additional renewable energy development such as co-location for generation and transmission. In addition, consider policy solutions to incentivize colocation of simultaneous surface electricity and mineral energy production.|
|• Study enforcement policies of the Railroad Commission of Texas. Consider the effectiveness of maximum fines as a deterrent of violation, the economic benefit of non-compliance, and greater accessibility to enforcement and complaint data for the public.|
|• Review how the Mexican energy transformation has bolstered or diminished the energy economy in Texas. Explore opportunities that would encourage binational exchange and commerce of oil, gas, and oilfield materials. Discuss how a competitive market across the border will affect supply, market price, reliability of Texas oil, gas and energy markets, pipeline build-out as well as other economic factors such as workforce and local economy sustainability. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs)|
|• Determine if sufficient safety standards exist to protect groundwater contamination from disposal and injection wells. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Natural Resources)|
Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner;
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs;
e. monitor the impact of major energy legislation passed by the 84th Legislature including the implementation of regulated surface activity on oil and gas sites; and
f. review seismic research needs for the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and any response to research findings by the Railroad Commission of Texas.
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