NEWS IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Abbott’s Weekly Appointments: Governor Gregg Abbott reappointed Milian Matt to Gulf Coast Authority Board of Directors, reappointed Botkin to Public Utility Commission of Texas and announced intent to appoint Jaime Masters as Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services. Click here to read more about these and other gubernatorial-appointments.
Governor Greg Abbott Taps Commissioner George P. Bush To Lead Historic $4 Billion Comprehensive Mitigation Plan: Governor Greg Abbott today announced Commissioner George P. Bush and the Texas General Land Office will lead a historic, comprehensive resiliency and disaster mitigation program, funded by more than $4 billion in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant for Mitigation (CDBG-MIT). Click here to read more.
The EPA’s Ozone Rule Would Impose Costly and Unnecessary Regulations on San Antonio: Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office today argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final action designating Bexar County a nonattainment area for the 2015 national ambient air quality standards for ground-level ozone. Click here to read more.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar Releases Certification Revenue Estimate: Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today the release of the Certification Revenue Estimate (CRE) for the fiscal 2020-21 biennium. Click here to read more.
Comptroller Glenn Hegar Distributes $773 Million in Monthly Sales Tax Revenue to Local Governments:Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $773.1 million in local sales tax allocations for October, 5.1 percent more than in October 2018. These allocations are based on sales made in August by businesses that report tax monthly. Click here to read more.
Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for September 2019: The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 796 original drilling permits in September 2019 compared 974 in September 2018. Click here to read more.
Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for July 2019: Crude oil and natural gas production as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) for July 2019 came from 175,101 oil wells and 89,068 gas wells. Click here to read more.
Secretary of State:
Secretary Hughs Encourages Texans to Vote Early, Make Preparations To Cast a Ballot in November 5th Election: Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs today encouraged all eligible Texas voters to take advantage of the early voting period ahead of the November 5th election, which begins on Monday, October 21st and ends on Friday, November 1st. Click here to read more.
Texas Agriculture Commission Miller Aims to Expand Texas Trade with Visit to Vietnam: Commissioner Miller will depart for an Agribusiness Trade Mission in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Friday, October 11. He will accompany the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Ted McKinney along with 15 delegation members; including 13 additional state agriculture departments. Click here to read more.
Acting on Behalf of the TCEQ, Attorney General Files Petition Against Triple P.G. Sand Development, L.L.C.: On behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Attorney General today filed a petition and Application for Injunctive Relief in the District Court of Travis County against Triple P.G. Sand Development, L.L.C. in Kingwood for violations of Chapter 26 of the Texas Water Code and related TCEQ rules pertaining to the discharge of industrial waste and process wastewater. Click here to read more.
TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $305,834: Agreed orders were issued for the following enforcement categories: four air quality, one multimedia, one municipal wastewater discharge, four petroleum storage tank, four public water system, and one water quality.Click here to read more.
Health and Human Services:
HHS Announces Leadership Team Appointments: Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Courtney N. Phillips announced key additions to HHSC’s leadership team who will help guide the agency’s health programs and communications efforts. Click here to read more.
Public Utility Commission:
PUC Imposes Nearly $650,000 in Penalties; Orders $225,000 in Bill Payment Assistance Funding; Establishes Enhanced Reporting Requirements for Water Utility: The Public Utility Commission of Texas approved multiple settlement agreements, ordering a total of $647,500 in administrative penalties and $225,000 in bill payment assistance funding. Click here to read more.
Texas to Get $4B to Help Prevent Future flooding, but Houston Won’t be Managing the Money: More than $4 billion in new federal flood prevention funding will be managed by the Texas General Land Office, not the city of Houston or Harris County, according Gov. Greg Abbott. Click here to read the full KHOU 11 article.
Dallas Attorney Chrysta Castañeda to Challenge Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton: Castañeda, a Democrat, is centering her 2020 campaign on the issue of flaring, or the burning of natural gas that companies do not move to market. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Early Voting in Texas’ Constitutional Amendment Election Starts Monday. Here’s What Voters Will Decide: Voters have 10 proposed constitutional amendments on their ballots. And in three special elections, some Texans will elect new state lawmakers. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Michael Quinn Sullivan Releases Secretly Recorded Audio of his Meeting with Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen: Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen offered media access to Empower Texans, suggested it target certain Republicans, recording shows. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Study Linking Fracking to Permian Basin Earthquakes Stirs Public Debate: A new study from the University of Texas at Austin blames hydraulic fracturing for causing some earthquakes in the Permian Basin of West Texas, dispelling the widely held view that oilfield wastewater disposals wells were solely responsible for the man-made tremors.Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Plastic Company Set to Pay $50 Million Settlement in Water Pollution Suit Brought on by Texas Residents: Petrochemical manufacturer Formosa Plastics has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit in which a judge ruled the company illegally dumped billions of plastic pellets and other pollutants into Lavaca Bay and other waterways, according to the settlement. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Kinder Morgan Begins Construction on Controversial Hill Country Pipeline: Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has started construction on a controversial natural gas pipeline that would run through areas of the Texas Hill Country that opponents say are environmentally sensitive and home to eight threatened or endangered species. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Pipeline Operator Asking Texas Regulator to Rethink Flaring Decision: A first-of-its-kind dispute over whether an oil producer can burn off natural gas — even though a pipeline is available to transport the substance — is headed back to state regulators.Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry Tells Trump he will Soon Resign, President Confirms:Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday told President Donald Trump that he will soon resign, the president confirmed while visiting Texas for a political rally and other events.Click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
Has the Peak of the Shale Revolution Come and Gone?: The shale revolution transformed the United States into the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas in a little more than a decade. But now the industry is facing the prospect that the shale boom has peaked and the best days are behind it as drilling activity declines, jobs dwindle, and many of the prime oil-producing spots are depleted. Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
White House Adviser Says There is Momentum for Initial China Trade Pact: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday there was momentum to finalize the initial phase of a U.S.-China trade deal that was outlined last week, and it may be signed at the APEC forum next month in Chile. Click here to read the full Reuters article.