Cooperating to Protect Valuable Water Resources

Energy companies in Texas are driving the development of technologies that reduce water usage in the production of our shale energy resources. The Associated Press reported this week that energy "companies using hydraulic fracturing in Texas say they are recycling more water than ever before."
 
The AP cited recent testimony by Texas Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick explaining that these successes were due, in part, to recent moves by the Texas Legislature to encourage industry led water conservation efforts. Craddick noted that the recent rule change brought about a cooperative approach intended to allow companies to "be innovative" in their approach to water conservation. This approach has resulted in significant gains in water conservation.

The AP also noted that the Railroad Commission implemented another rule change in 2013 that "addresses well construction in an effort to better protect Texans' groundwater." The Railroad Commission "has not received any reports of groundwater contamination caused by fracking."
 
The impact of energy production on our state is virtually impossible to overstate. This week it was announced that "oil and gas producers paid a record $15.7 billion in state and local taxes and royalties last year, according to an industry analysis." While receipts may shrink this year as a result of falling energy prices, "the state and localities would still receive vast sums of money from” the energy industry in 2015.

The energy industry is the backbone of our state’s economy and energy innovators are working continuously to refine all aspects of energy production. We would all be better served if government bodies in Texas, particularly at the local level, found more ways to promote innovation through partnerships rather than simply looking to punish the industry at every turn. 

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