AUSTIN – Governor Abbott is expected to sign HB 40 today, legislation which restricts local governments from adopting many health and safety protections to limit the worst impacts of oil and gas operations.
“By advocating for and signing this bill, Gov. Abbott has succeeded in seizing power away from local governments working to protect us from the real dangers of dirty drilling,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “In the past, the state of Texas has failed to stop Big Oil from polluting our air and water, causing earthquakes, and putting our families at risk from leaks, spills and explosions. Regrettably, with millions spent by oil and gas in campaign contributions to influence state officials, I don’t think they’re going to start now.”
Environment Texas noted that the bill goes much further than banning fracking bans, prohibiting any “sub-surface” regulation and any standard which isn’t deemed “commercially reasonable.” The group said the bill could undermine oil and gas ordinances in over 300 Texas communities, including setbacks that limit drilling near homes and schools.