Coal-ash landfill collapse raises new concerns about coal-ash landfill complex preliminarily approved by state environmental regulators for Texas floodplain: Press Release

 

-FEMA re-examining Webb County flood maps after TCEQ staff advances floodplain landfill –

 

LAREDO – The collapse of a coal-ash landfill threatening a North Carolina river and area water municipal supplies is raising new questions about Texas environmental regulators advancing a coal-ash landfill complex in a South Texas floodplain just miles from Rio Grande River municipal water supplies for millions of Texans.

 

The Associated Press reported recently that, “heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal-ash landfill at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast… [A]bout 2,000 cubic yards of ash were displaced… enough ash to roughly fill 180 dump trucks. The company has not yet determined whether the weir that drains the lake was open or if contamination may have flowed into the Cape Fear River.” https://apnews.com/b4123ca86d5d49d98d67a677f25ea152

 

Parents PAC Endorses Ex-Oilman

October 4, 2018

 

In a first, the political action committee aimed at supporting quality education to “reflect traditional mainstream American values that honor and support children and their families” has made endorsements for Texas statewide candidates, among them former oilman Houston Democrat Mike Collier over incumbent Lt. Governor Dan Patrick….
 

Crude Oil Prices Rise As Inventories Decline

October 4, 2018

 

By Alex Mills

 

Crude oil prices in the U.S. and around the world continued their upward swing this week. U.S. oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange broke through the $75 per barrel mark and the $85 mark for Brent traded in London.

News of sharp declines of oil exports from Iran have made many traders fearful of a supply shortage. Iranian exports hit a low level with a decline of about 250,000 barrels per day from August and about 1 million b/d from April. Current exports from Iran are estimated at 1.7 million b/d.

The price differential between Brent and NYMEX has grown to $10, and as much as $15 per barrel for oil produced in the Permian Basin of West Texas because of pipeline bottlenecks creating an oversupply.

Even though the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported this week a slight increase in crude oil stocks nationwide, it also reported that crude oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma have declined significantly. EIA reported an increase of 8 million barrels in U.S. crude oil stocks to 403 million barrels, but noted at Cushing crude oil stocks have declined some 63 million barrels compared to same period in 2017….
 

Exclusive: TAEP To Join EPA “Produced Water” Study With Texas Water Management Report Of Its Own

October 4, 2018

 

Oil and gas production and the resulting extensive use of water in Texas has exploded over the past two years, with management of produced water becoming such a critical concern that the EPA is preparing to set policies, and independent producers are getting involved in the process.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has embarked on what it calls an “extensive study” to find alternatives to the use of underground injection to dispose of water used in fracking operations.

Meanwhile, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP) has prepared remarks that will be considered at a Washington EPA hearing next Tuesday, during which the TAEP will announce its own study of how produced water might be handled as part of wider water management policies.

“Produced water” is a term for “non-recoverable” water mixed with hydrocarbons and other substances such as sand used in oil and gas drilling

The EPA study is intended to find federal approaches to produced water management under the Clean Water Act, and how they “can interact more effectively with state and tribal regulations, requirements or policy needs, and whether potential federal regulations that may allow for broader discharge of treated produced water to surface waters are supported.”

In comments to be presented to the EPA by TAEP, the alliance emphasizes the 2017 Legislature’s preference that federal control over water management be delegated to the state, or at least developed in close cooperation with Texas authorities.

In a TAEP report three years ago, it was emphasized that water management policies should include the primary consideration of local conditions, and how best to encourage the recycling and reuse of water, “without stifling the oil and gas industry.”

A second conclusion from the report was that the “Texas oil, gas and water treatment industries are poised to consolidate their gains if legal, regulatory and economic policies properly align.”

Because the industry has grown so significantly in the years since the report — with nearly four million barrels of oil now produced daily in Texas — the TAEP said Thursday it’s preparing a new report to be called “Sustainable Produced Water Policy, Regulatory Framework and Management in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry: 2019 and Beyond,” due in the first half of 2019.

In a letter to the EPA, TAEP President John Tintera noted that “the Texas Legislature supports the delegation of federal statutes to the State.

“In 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Concurrent Resolution 26 (attached), which called on ‘the executive branch and the Congress of the United States to work in conjunction with the State of Texas to identify federal regulations promulgated during the last eight years, especially those promulgated under the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of the Interior, and the United States Department of Energy, and determine whether they should be revised, delegated to state agencies, or eliminated in order to ease the overly burdensome regulatory patchwork on the oil and gas industry in Texas’.

In the argument for delegating more federal permitting authority over water management, Tintera also noted an Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission statement in which the “spirit of cooperative federalism” is cited, as is Presidential Executive Order 13777, calling for more delegation of federal regulatory authority to the states.

That February 2017 Executive Order called on federal agencies to organize regulatory reform and created the US Regulatory Reform Task Force to recommend repeal, replacement, or modification of “outdated, unnecessary or ineffective” regulations.

 

TIPRO Statement On New NAFTA Deal

October 2, 2018

 

The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) released the following statement after an announcement from the Trump Administration that Canada has agreed to join the United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The statement can be attributed to Ed Longanecker, president of TIPRO.

 

“The conclusion of negotiation talks with Canada to form the USMCA comes at a unique time in our country’s history as the United States becomes the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. Energy integration with Mexico, the United States and Canada has been a success story that has led to the creation of many new opportunities to improve trade relations across North America.

TIPRO has advocated for several items that have been included in the USMCA, including continued zero tariffs on oil and natural gas products and the preservation of investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS), a key provision that serves to protect multi-national companies that invest abroad. While ISDS will be phased out for Canada, they will be included in four areas of investment in Mexico, including oil and gas, power generation services, telecommunication services, transportation services, and the ownership or management of infrastructure.

A continued priority for TIPRO is focused on lifting steel and aluminum tariffs, which were not addressed under the USMCA and are currently on a separate track with the administration. Continuing to strengthen trade relations in North America supports increased production of domestic oil and natural gas and expands both economic and geopolitical benefits for our country. TIPRO urges Congress to approve the USMCA.”

 

 

Chairman Craddick Highlights Growing Energy Revenues for Tax Association: RRC

 

AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick on Friday addressed the current and future outlook of the Texas energy industry and its economic impact to the state at the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) annual meeting in Austin.

 

“The energy industry supports nearly one-third of our state’s economy, generating approximately $30 million a day. This revenue is critical in helping fund important services for Texans, such as public schools, public safety, and roads,” Craddick said. “Thanks to Texas’ incredible energy growth over the last year, the Rainy Day Fund is forecast to hold a balance of $11.9 billion by end of fiscal 2019, the largest ending balance in the fund’s history.