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Oil and gas practitioners rejoice! The Texas Legislature has finally passed HB 1818 which effectively extends the life of the Railroad Commission through September 1, 2029. The bill now heads to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature or veto. The legislation will become law within 10 days if the Governor chooses not to sign it, effective September 1, 2017.

As you’ll recall, the Sunset Advisory Commission initially recommended numerous changes, revisiting the Railroad Commission three separate times as the result of lawmakers’ failure to pass reform bills. Ultimately, the vast majority of the Sunset Advisory Commission’s recommendations were rejected.

HB 1818, as engrossed, does contain new provisions. The legislation provides for the development of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy (new Section 81.065), an Oil and Gas Division Monitoring and Enforcement Strategic Plan (new Section 81.066), and the never popular new Pipeline Safety and Regulatory Fees (new Section 81.071). The remainder of the revisions appear to be administrative/general Legislative Council house keeping.

After much drama and teeth gnashing, the Texas Railroad Commission has emerged unscathed. As a traditionalist, I am happy to report she has retained the dignity of her original name.

As engrossed, HB 1818 can be found HERE.

The Texas Tribune Article regarding final passage of HB 1818 can be found HERE.

Note that all bills pending in the House Energy Resources Committee have now died as of Midnight, May 11, 2017, the last day for the House to consider House bills and House joint resolutions on 2nd reading on the Daily or Supplemental Calendar. For more excitement than should be allowed, see House Rule 8, Section 13(b) HERE.

To enjoy DJ Shadow’s Midnight in a Perfect World, click HERE.

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