The Texas Senate passed HB 40 today – a bill that strips away the right of cities to protect their citizens from hazardous oil and gas operations – without debate. The bill was largely written by the oil and gas industry and sponsored by Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), whose election campaigns have been heavily funded by oil and gas companies. In response to the passage of HB 40, Sierra Club Conservation Director Cyrus Reed issued the following statement:
[Original Post: John Tedesco and Jennifer Hiller, San Antonio Express News]
Oil and gas companies rushing to drill in the Eagle Ford Shale since 2009 have burned and wasted billions of cubic feet of natural gas — enough to meet the needs for an entire year of every San Antonio-area household that relies on the fossil fuel.
Pro-Polluter Bills Move Forward Despite Concerns; Budget Conferees Named
April was indeed the cruelest month (so far). It saw advances in bills that serve the interests of the oil and gas industry and Texas Chemical Council, despite legitimate concerns about their potential to undermine basic citizen and city rights.
To all of you who have taken action in April, thank you so much for contacting your State Representative and Senator on HB 40. Unfortunately, the assault on individual and community rights continues. The House is about to vote on another bad bill that restricts the rights of citizens like you, and we're running out of time to stop it.
S.750 and H.R.1412 Are Too Extreme for the Borderlands. The Bush Administration took border militarization to the extreme when it waived 37 federal protections along the border. Unfortunately, pending legislation would take that waiver even further, exempting any surveillance or apprehension activity of the Border Patrol from “any” provision of law in some areas! Even the Border Patrol has opposed this kind of extreme proposal, stating that it can achieve its mission while working in compliance with public land laws such as the Wilderness Act.
The Texas Legislature is making decisions without your input. Don’t let that happen! Join your fellow water conservation supporters for one to two days of citizen lobbying at the state capitol (or via phone)!