Senator Wendy Davis Wins Passage of Barnett Shale Bills
The first half of the 81st legislative session may have started more slowly than usual, but freshman Senator Wendy Davis picked up the pace today, passing two bills relating to the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling affecting her Tarrant County district.
Senator Davis said that she values the economic contributions that the Barnett Shale has made to Tarrant County, but wants to ensure that the growing industry does not negatively impact the families and neighborhoods of her district.
"It is important that this industry grows in a way that is respectful to the neighborhoods and quality of life that Tarrant County families enjoy," Senator Davis said. "These bills are about assuring a bright future for our region – not only economically through support of the drilling industry, but also through protection of private property rights and environmental concerns. I am pleased to have had the cooperative support of the drilling industry, municipalities and Tarrant County in formulating these bills and in moving them to passage in the Senate."
The bills that Senator Davis passed today are:
- Senate Bill 686, which would allow natural gas pipelines to be placed in TxDOT right-of-way, giving pipeline companies more placement options and thereby reducing the number of eminent domain cases pursued to place pipelines
- Senate Bill 752, which would restrict the placement of injection wells for the disposal of contaminated drilling wastewater by limiting the geologic formations for which the Texas Railroad Commission can issue a disposal well permit in Tarrant County
The bills passed today are part of a package of several Barnett Shale related bills that Senator Davis has been advancing through the legislative process. Senate Bill 902, requiring the "green completion" of wells drilled in Tarrant County, will come to the Senate floor for a vote soon, and five more bills are awaiting hearings in Senate committees.
Senate Bills 686 and 752 will now go to the House of Representatives, where companion bills are being offered by Representatives Rob Orr and Kelly Hancock, respectively.