Action Alert: May 27, 2011
Cyrus Reed, 512-740-4086 or
Donna Hoffman, 512-477-1729 or 512-299-5776
UPDATE ON FRACKING DISCLOSURE LEGISLATION May 27
House Bill 3328, the bill by Rep. Jim
Keffer, that would establish a system for disclosure of
the substances used in the hydro-fracking process for extraction
of natural gas, was approved by the Senate on May 25.
the bill was amended, so it has gone back to the House,
which is expected to refuse to concur in the Senate amendments
and request a conference committee with the Senate to iron
out differences between the two versions of the bill.
Unfortunately, the amendments wanted by the Sierra Club and others pushing for a stronger measure did not get on the bill. There was an amendment to the bill that originated with a fracking service company, but it does not appear to make any major change.
The problematic amendment takes a version of the sunset bill on the Railroad Commission and adds it to fracking bill. The House sponsor of the fracking bill has been engaged in a dispute with the Senate sponsor of the Railroad Commission sunset bill (Senator Hegar) over the governance of the Commission. It's widely thought that the sunset language was put on the fracking bill to try to move on the Railroad Commission sunset legislation.
Although the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club believes that HB 3328 is not the strong disclosure bill needed to protect the public, the Sierra Club believes that even this bill represents a step forward. It would put the Texas Legislature on record that public disclosure of the chemicals and substances used in the fracking process is an important public policy goal. Therefore, the Sierra Club believes that HB 3328 needs to pass, and that the law could and should be strengthened in the future.
Please contact your state representative
and your state senator in support of passage of a fracking
disclosure bill and HB 3328 is the vehicle as quickly
Please act NOW!
[FYI A version of the language from HB 3328 was added on the House floor to the sunset bill for the Texas Water Development Board SB 660. That language was added in the form of an amendment to SB 660 that was offered by Rep. Jim Keffer, the sponsor of HB 3328. It is not clear right now whether that language will remain on the Water Development Board sunset bill.]