The upcoming presidential election has the potential to shape the direction of Texas’ oil and gas industry for years to come. A recent op-ed in the Houston Chronicle authored by Ed Longanecker, president of GAIN Coalition member Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), explains why Texans should seize the opportunity to advocate pro-energy policies.
Oil and gas development has yielded demonstrable economic benefits for the entire country. A new report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy shows that those two sources alone produced two-thirds of the energy consumed in the United States last year. New advancements have the potential to further increase domestic production while also reducing the industry’s environmental footprint, a win-win for all Americans.
Voters on both sides of the aisle are aware of the importance and potential of the oil and gas industry. As Longanecker writes:
“Two-thirds of those polled in a recent Morning Consult survey said they are more likely to support candidates who favor access to U.S.-produced oil and natural gas. Further, 93 percent of respondents said it’s important for the U.S. to produce enough energy to eliminate dependence on other countries.”
Politicians, regardless of their political affiliation, have an obligation to represent these views in their own proposals. When they do not, the burden falls on voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box. This will hold true even after November 3rd. Focus on the presidential and congressional elections should not distract Texans from the importance of local legislation. The 87th Texas Legislative Session, beginning in January, will oversee a number of important energy-related proposals. Longanecker notes:
“Some key areas of focus facing potential deliberation by legislators next year include proposals related to long-term transportation and infrastructure funding, water use and recycling, ad valorem and severance taxes, eminent domain reform and adequate funding for government agencies such as the Texas Railroad Commission and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.”
Getting those decisions right is imperative to ensuring the continued growth of an industry that has and will continue to improve the lives of Texas citizens. In the wake of COVID-19, voter advocacy in support of oil, natural gas, and the infrastructure they require is therefore more important than ever.