Texan producers applaud bill ensuring consumer access to gas
TIPRO, a Texas oil and gas advocate, said March 30 it applauded a state bill that ensures consumers can have access to fuels, including natural gas, regardless of local environmental policies.
Joe Deshotel, a state Democratic representative, authored a bill, HB17, that bars any city or town from restricting access to energy supplies. Ed Longanecker, the president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, said the bill’s passage in the state House of Representatives was a step closer to blocking a growing nation-wide precedent of prohibiting new gas hookups.
“This trend has unfortunately reached Texas with some cities considering proposals that would ban the use of Texas-produced natural gas,” he said. “TIPRO supports House Bill 17 to preempt local measures restricting or banning utility service based on the type or source of energy that will be delivered in order to preserve customer choice and allow all Texas homeowners, builders and businesses the opportunity to decide how to meet their own energy needs.”
Deshotel’s bill adds to a growing list of measures in the state meant to prevent a repeat of the blackouts that gripped Texas during a February freeze. Despite the state's rich oil and natural gas reserves, millions of people were without power for days.
The bill, which awaits approval from the state senate, is meant to ensure consumers enjoy energy security from a wide-range of supplies, its authors stated.
TIPRO said the measure enjoys tacit support from the Texas governor, Greg Abbott. In a February 24 address, Abbott said all forms of power generation in the state failed under the freezing conditions in February.
“That includes natural gas, coal, nuclear, as well as wind and solar,” he said. “Each of these power sources failed to fully produce because of inadequate safeguards.”
The Texas measure follows a growing trend for state and city legislators working to advance the economy toward a greener future. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in his State of the City address in January said the city would ban new fossil fuel connections to new construction by at least 2030.
Instead of natural gas, de Blasio advocated for hookups to hydropower connections in Canada.