Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,
The Texas State Legislature is now moving bills of concern with their companion bills in back to back votes in both the House and Senate. If you haven’t jumped into the mix to help protect your communities, it’s not too late to participate in the coordinated efforts of the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) in contacting your legislators regarding bills moving through the legislature.
Your participation with phone calls and emails can make a difference. Today’s Friday alert regards critical bills of importance scheduled for anticipated for floor votes in the coming week.
CALL/EMAIL ON THESE BILLS SET FOR SENATE FLOOR VOTE MONDAY
Call or email your local State Senator and ask them to reject both HB 40 by Darby (Companion SB 1165 by Fraser) regarding local control of oil and gas ordinances and SB 1509 by Hancock regarding environmental penalties. Both are scheduled for floor votes on Monday, May 4.
OPPOSE HB 40 by Darby
Relating to the expressed preemption of regulation of oil and gas operations and the exclusive jurisdiction of those operations by the state.
HB 40 would strip local municipalities counties, etc. of their ability to devise ordinances regarding oil and gas activity in a way that protects Texas communities’ quality of life. If HB 40 becomes law, common sense ordinances that address drilling setbacks, pipeline and deep injection well siting, and regulating oil and gas traffic could go away.
HB 40 has now passed out of the House and Fraser is adopting this bill in lieu of SB 1165 for a floor vote in the Senate. If HB 40 is passed on the Senate floor, it will go to Governor Abbott's desk to be signed into law.
OPPOSE SB 1509 by Hancock
Relating to suits brought by local governments for violations of certain laws under the jurisdiction of, or rules adopted or orders or permits issued by, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; affecting civil penalties.
This bill limits the assessment of penalties to a polluter of not less than $50 nor more than $25,000 per day for 120 days. After 120 days, the amount is capped at $1000 per day. The amount also sets a statute of limitations of filing suit within 5 years.
If this bill sounds familiar, it’s because we asked you to call on its companion HB 1794 by Geren, which unfortunately passed the House this past week. If SB 1509 passes on the Senate floor vote on Monday, this bill will also go to Governor Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.
SUPPORT SB 1356 by Hinojosa
Relating to exemption from the sales tax for certain water-efficient products for a limited period.
This bill is also up for a floor vote on Monday, May 4. Not unlike the tax holiday for energy efficient products, the state would establish a tax holiday for EPA-designated Water Sense appliances to promote water conservation.
SUPPORT THESE BILLS SET FOR HOUSE FLOOR VOTE TUESDAY
SUPPORT HB 1232 by Lucio III
Relating to a study by the Texas Water Development Board of the hydrology and geology of the confined and unconfined aquifers in this state.
This House floor vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5. The bill would charge the TWDB with mapping and analyzing the quality and quantity of water in the aquifers around the state.
COMMITTEE BILLS OF INTEREST
MONDAY, MAY 4
SUPPORT THESE BILLS IN HOUSE ENERGY RESOURCES
Email/call in support for these bills. Public testimony will be taken in JHR 140 at 8 am.
SUPPORT HB 2191 by Anchia
Relating to the posting by the Railroad Commission of Texas on its internet site of certain enforcement information.
This bill would ensure that the complaints filed, inspections conducted, violations and enforcement actions taken be posted on the internet in a searchable format by operator and well on the RRC site.
NOTE: There are at least four more bills of interest that we support set for hearing in Energy Resources that day. Go to www.capitol.state.tx.us and look them up by Committee.
TUESDAY, MAY 5
SUPPORT THESE BILLS IN HOUSE ENERGY REGULATION
Email/call in support for these bills. Public testimony will be taken in E1.026 at 8 am.
SUPPORT HB 3153 by Anderson
Relating to a program for the recycling of certain household batteries; authorizing a fee; providing civil and administrative penalties.
This bill, if passed, would create a stewardship program, requiring wholesalers and retailers of small batteries to recycle or manage them responsibly.
NOTE: There are other bills we support including a beverage recycling bill and the disposal of sewage sludge set for hearing in Energy Resources that day. Go to www.capitol.state.tx.us and look them up by Committee.
SUNDAY, MAY 3 - LEGISLATIVE CALL
On Sunday night at 7 pm, we will hold our weekly call where you can learn more details about these critical bills along with other proposed and moving legislation.
We will review the House floor votes this past week on HB 1794 by Geren on environmental penalties and HB 1865 on contested case hearings by Morrison. We will also discuss some good bills coming up in the House Energy Resources related to oil and gas and in Environmental Regulation Committee related to the recycling of batteries and bottle fees.
The toll free call-in number for this Sunday’s call at 7:00 pm is 866.501.6174
Follow the prompts. The code for the call is 31790031892
Alliance for Clean Texas (ACT) is a Texas coalition, where environmental, public interest, consumer-rights and faith groups have joined forces to work for clean, healthy communities.
Please join us in defending our communities’ ability to keep Texas clean, health, and safe for democracy!
Rita Beving & Associates
ACT Member Organizations include: