NEWS IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Abbott Appoints Janecka to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Robert “Bobby” Janecka to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a term set to expire August 31, 2025.Click here to read more about this and other gubernatorial-appointments made this week. To view all of this week’s gubernatorial-appointments, click here.
Governor Abbott Declares State Of Disaster As Severe Weather Hits Texas: “I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the severe weather and flooding event that began on September 17, 2019, has caused widespread and severe property damage and threatens loss of life in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, and San Jacinto counties.” Click here to read the full statement.
Governor Abbott to Lead Economic Development Mission to Japan and South Korea: The Office of Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Governor will lead an economic development mission to Japan and South Korea. The delegation will depart on September 20 and return on September 27. Click here to read the full news release.
Texas Joins 20-State Coalition in Support of Affordable Energy Plan: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition of 20 states in supporting the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule against a court challenge by Democrat attorneys general. Click here to read the full news release.
Attorney General Ken Paxton Issues Statement on Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing of Purdue Pharma: Attorney General Paxton released a statement in response to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Purdue Pharma and all affiliated U.S. companies in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Click here to read that statement.
General Land Office:
Texas GLO Announces First Two Regional Public Hearings for Mitigation Funds:The Texas General Land Office (GLO) will conduct the first two regional public hearings to seek input on the use of $4,297,189,00 in funding for mitigation projects in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey as well as 2015 and 2016 Floods. Click here for details.
Commissioner George P. Bush Urges Texans to Monitor Warnings, Prepare for Sever Weather: Today Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush urged Texans to take heed of severe weather warnings, know their risk and be prepared. Click here to read more.
Railroad Commission Increases Pipeline Safety Inspections in FY 2019 - Hires Record Number of Pipeline Safety Inspectors: The RRC’s Pipeline Safety Department filled a record number of pipeline safety inspector positions, reaching an all-time high of 69 for staff deployed statewide to ensure pipelines under the agency’s jurisdiction are constructed, operated and maintained in compliance with state and federal rules. Click here to read more.
RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $450,000 in Penalties: The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $459,784 in fines involving 177 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference last week. Click here to read more.
Bobby Janecka Appointed as New Commissioner: “I am very excited to return to the TCEQ as one of its commissioners,” he says, “I am honored to have been selected by Gov. Abbott for this role. I look forward to serving the great people of Texas.” Click here to read more.
Public Utility Commission:
Public Utility Commission of Texas Imposes $125,000 in Penalties; Also Revokes Six Non-Functioning CCNs; Affirms Temporary Manager: In an open meeting, the Public Utility Commission of Texas approved a settlement agreement requiring the payment of $125,000 in administrative penalties. The Commission also revoked eight certificates of convenience and necessity (CCNs) and affirmed the continuation of temporary management of a water utility. Click here to read more.
Former Secretary of State Rolando Pablos Enters the World of Energy as Consultant: Former Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos is a busy guy. Less than a year after leaving state government, Pablos has become an energy entrepreneur and consultant based in San Antonio. Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
Kyle, Houston Company Strike $2.7 Million Truce Over Pipeline Project: The city of Kyle has agreed to stand down in an ongoing fight over a 430-mile natural gas pipeline slated to cut through the city in exchange for a $2.7 million payout from the project’s operator. Click here to read the full Statesman article.
Are Poker Clubs Legal in Texas? The Answer is Unclear: The raids of two Houston private poker clubs in May — which resulted in charges of money laundering, gambling promotion and engaging in organized crime — left many readers wondering: Are these establishments illegal? Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Third Coast and Heritage Banks Merging to Create $1.1B Combined Bank: Two Houston-area community banks are merging to create a single financial institution with more than $1.1 billion in assets.“Our team is pleased to partner with an organization that shares our relationship-driven philosophy to community banking,” Dennis Bonnen, president and CEO of Heritage Bank, said in the release. Click here to read the full Houston Business Journal article.
Visa Denial Rates for Highly Skilled Workers are on the Rise. Small Texas Businesses are Taking a Hit: The Texas economy relies heavily on temporary work visas, like H-1Bs, to hire highly trained, highly skilled employees from abroad. But H-1Bs have been subject to tougher scrutiny, with denial rates on the uptick. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
CEO Exits Continue in Dallas-Fort Worth. This Time It’s an Energy Services Company: Another chief executive of a publicly-traded Dallas-Fort Worth company is exiting the corner office. Subscribers can click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
Texas Economy May Benefit From Saudi Oil Outage: A drone strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities reportedly took out about 5% of the world’s daily oil supply on Saturday. As a result, the price of West Texas Intermediate rose by as much as 14% to more than $62 a barrel as of Monday afternoon. Click here to read the full Houston Public Media article.
Purdue Pharma Begins Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Journey: Purdue Pharma gets its day in court Tuesday after the OxyContin maker filed for bankruptcy and negotiated a potential multi-billion dollar settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits. Click here to read the full AP article.
How BP Oil Spill Fines Could Help Protect the Texas Coast: Other states were harder hit by the spill, but Texas is still receiving millions of dollars that can be used for vital restoration and conservation efforts. Click here to read the full Texas Observer news article.