Eliminate barriers to energy development in Texas

The Texas Tribune’s TribTalk published an opinion editorial by former chairman of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee Jim Keffer where he discusses the importance of investing in energy infrastructure and eliminating “senseless barriers to energy pipeline development.”  In his experience in the Texas Legislature, Keffer made it a priority to promote energy independence through thoughtful, market-based energy polices.  Keffer writes:

“Investment in our nation’s energy infrastructure network has a wide range of benefits beyond affordable and efficient delivery of energy products to consumers. For example, the Texas oil and natural gas industry paid more than $14 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties in fiscal year 2018. That is the equivalent of $38 million each day that directly funds our schools, universities, roads and emergency responders.”

He also highlights the growing influence of energy and liquefied natural gas projects across the state. According to the Texas Oil and Gas Association, oil and natural gas will generate an economic benefit of an estimated $145 billion in Texas. As energy development continues to be a priority among officials throughout the Permian, there will be a growing need for energy infrastructure like pipelines to transport oil and natural gas. Keffer adds:

“Further, using the Permian Basin as a case study, production in 2018 alone exceeded 15 billion barrels, while total takeaway capacity was 5.5 billion barrels; in effect only 58% of total production went to market. New pipelines that will likely go into service at various times in 2019 and will alleviate the bottleneck — but until then, capacity constraints will likely limit producers’ activities. In addition, flaring and venting of natural gas in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico reached an all-time high in this year’s first quarter. This widespread waste of a valuable commodity is the result of persistent infrastructure challenges, a lack of enough takeaway capacity and natural gas storage and an unexpected outage on a key pipeline in the area.”

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