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Eagle Ford: Economic study, water issues top agenda at joint legislative briefing
AUSTIN -- The Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus and the House Energy Caucus hosted a joint legislative briefing March 26 to update state policymakers regarding water issues in the Eagle Ford shale and new research regarding the economic impact of oil and gas development in the shale counties.
Attendees listened to presentations from a panel regarding water recycling; Railroad Commissioner David Porter regarding the report issued recently by the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force; and Dr. Thomas Tunstall, who reviewed the results of a new study released March 26 by the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development.
The study shows that the Eagle Ford shale generated more than $61 billion in revenue for South Texas in 2012. What’s more, it includes economic and job growth projections and reveals that the Eagle Ford shale added more than $1 billion in total local government revenue and more than $1.2 billion in estimated state revenue in 2012.
According to a March 26 Sen. Judith Zaffirini press release, hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) requires tremendous amounts of water, and Porter discussed new rules regarding water recycling developed by the Texas Railroad Commission.
A panel of industry leaders -- including several specializing in water recycling -- discussed water issues related to oil and gas development in the Eagle Ford shale, including the possible use of propane in place of water in fracking.
“Water conservation and recycling are critical in the Eagle Ford Shale,” Zaffirini said. “My Senate Bill (SB) 1779, for example, would incentivize the use of recycled water in oil and gas drilling or production.”
Legislators who represent counties in the shale founded the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus in 2012, envisioning it as a means for lawmakers to address issues related to oil and gas production in their districts and throughout the state. The caucus will focus on short- and long-term solutions to the impacts of the Eagle Ford shale on transportation, education, public safety, housing, environment, and other areas.
Chair of the Government Organization Committee, Zaffirini represents nine Eagle Ford shale counties, Atascosa, Bee, Duval, Karnes, La Salle, Live Oak, McMullen, Webb, and Wilson. The majority of production, the majority of rigs, and the highest-producing counties are in her district.
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