Senate Finance Committee Considers Senator Zaffirini's Bill Providing Funding for Eagle Ford Shale Roads
(AUSTIN) — The Senate Finance Committee today (Monday) considered Senate Bill (SB) 1778, legislation by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, that would provide funding for critical transportation infrastructure projects in the Eagle Ford Shale and other shale regions.
SB 1778 would direct a percentage of severance taxes on oil and gas production to facilitate transportation infrastructure projects in the shale regions, including comprehensive construction, maintenance and improvement of county and state roads impacted by oil and gas development.
"The Eagle Ford Shale is a tremendous economic asset to South Texas, but increased truck traffic has strained our rural roadways, threatening public safety and commerce," said Senator Zaffirini, whose district includes the majority of rigs and production and the top-producing counties. "My bill would ensure that a portion of tax revenue generated by oil and gas production would stay in the region and address a critical need."
The Texas Department of Transportation has estimated that it could cost $1 billion to repair the roads impacted by energy production in the Eagle Ford Shale and other areas of the state.
South Texas leaders testified in support of the legislation. They included McMullen County Judge James Teal, La Salle County Judge Joel Rodriguez, DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler, Zavala County Judge Joe Luna, Webb County Judge Danny Valdez and Webb County Commissioner Jaime Canales.
Other supporters of the legislation include Karnes County Judge Barbara Shaw, Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff, Texas Oil & Gas Association, Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, American Natural Gas Alliance and Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
SOUTH TEXAS LEADERS testify in favor of Senate Bill 1778 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee Monday. Senator Zaffirini's bill would direct a percentage of severance tax funding to address critical transportation infrastructure needs in counties impacted by oil and gas development.
LA SALLE COUNTY JUDGE Joel Rodriguez talks with Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, about transportation needs in the Eagle Ford Shale region. La Salle County is one of the shale's top-producing counties.