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May 22, 2017

Legislature Passes "Ike Dike" Committee Bill

State-appointed group would look into building hurricane barriers along Gulf Coast

A plan creating a committee to study the "feasability and desirability" of a barrier system along the Texas coast that would protect populations and businesses such as refineries was passed by the legislature Monday evening.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 22, 2017

Lege Passes Wind Turbine Limitation Bill

A long-discussed bill that would end tax breaks for property owners intending to build wind energy turbines within 25 miles of military bases has passed the Texas Legislature.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 22, 2017

Texas Energy Report Closing Top Texas Energy Stocks

WTI up 0.40 to close at $50.73

Brent up 0.12 to close at $53.73

Natural gas up 0.07 at $3.33

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CLOSING OIL STOCKS

Anadarko (APC) up 0.05 at 53.35

Apache (APA) down 1.14 at 50.02

Chevron (CVX) down 0.40 at 106.12

ConocoPhillips (COP) down 0.55 at 46.93

Devon (DVN) down 0.31 at 38.08

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) up 0.42 at 23.42

EOG Resources (EOG) down 0.70 at 93.11

ExxonMobil (XOM) up 0.36 at 82.29

Halcon (HK) up 0.05 at 7.15

Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) down 0.09 at 14.44

Noble Energy (NBL) down 0.15 at 31.09

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) down 0.05 at 60.59

Parsley Energy (PE) down 0.19 at 31.42

Phillips 66 (PSX) up 0.30 at 78.55

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) down 3.06 at 173.56

Valero (VLO) down 0.03 at 63.84

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CLOSING TOP UTILITY STOCKS

American Electric Power (AEP) up 0.70 at 69.42

CenterPoint (CNP) up 0.22 at 27.70

Entergy (ETR) up 0.67 to close at 76.36

Exelon Generation (EXC) up 0.47 at 35.53

NextEra Energy (NEE) up 1.06 at 138.35

NRG (NRG) up 0.25 at 15.96

Vistra Energy (VST) up 0.24 at 15.04

By Mike Shiloh

May 22, 2017

Land Office Oil Spill Bill Passes

The Texas House and Senate have signed off, with amendment, on HB 1625, which would allow the General Land Office to confiscate vessels or structures that are involved in an oil spill if, after being properly notified, the owner of the vessel doesn't take immediate action to stop the oil spill. 

The law would apply to vessels and structures "involved in an actual or threatened unauthorized discharge of oil."

By Mike Shiloh

May 19, 2017

Bill Ending County CETRZs Goes to Governor

A bill that ends the ability of Texas counties to use property and sales tax money for fixing roads that have been damaged by oil and gas activities is on Governor Greg Abbott's desk for signing.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 19, 2017

Rate Adjustments Review of Some Electric Utilities Passed by Lege

The Texas House of Representatives on Friday passed and signed the Senate bill requiring a PUC schedule to review certain electric utilities' rates.

SB 735 would require the Public Utility Commission (PUC), by June 1, 2018, to establish a rate schedule by rule that would require an electric utility to make periodic filings with the commission to modify or review the electric utility's base rates.

The bill would apply only to an electric utility, other than a river authority, that operated solely inside the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. (Text from the Legislative analysis)

Critics say the new law (if signed by the Governor) would add to the PUC's and utilities' costs.

By Mike Shiloh

May 18, 2017

Noble Sells More Interest In Marcellus

Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. says it wants to concentrate on lower-cost drilling in its Texas and Colorado assets, so it's selling its portion of a Marcellus Shale company.

Noble announced Thursday it's selling a subsidiary that owns 50% of privately-held pipeline operator Cone Gathering of Pennsylvania to Quantum Energy Partners for $765 million in cash.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 18, 2017

Worth Noting: Changes in the Oil and Gas Industry

Source: @FT, @sobata416

By Haynes & Boone

May 16, 2017

Southern Co. Solar Grows to Among Largest In Texas

Georgia-based Southern Co. is adding a 102 megawatt Texas solar farm to its power generation stable, making it one of the largest renewable generators in the state.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 16, 2017

Texas State Senator Uresti Indicted

A federal grand jury has returned indictments against District 19 Texas State Senator Carlos I. Uresti in connection with business from the FourWinds fracking sand company in Texas.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 16, 2017

Texas House Adds E-Verify to TxDot Bill

An energy-related amendment was added to a routine bill about the functions and continuation of the Texas Department of Transportation that was passed.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 16, 2017

Committee Sends Late-Session Energy-Related Bills to the Senate

With time running out on the legislative session, the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development committee on Tuesday voted out several energy-related bills that will now go to the Senate for consideration. They are:

HB 2533 (a committee substitute) by Estes requiring lawyers for local governments or residents to notify the attorney general and the TCEQ before filing civil suits against a person breaking a law or intending to break a law under the TCEQ jurisdiction.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 16, 2017

Lege Passes Bill Banning Deals with Terrorist States

The Texas Legislature has passed a law prohibiting governmental contracts with companies that do business with Iran, Sudan "or a foreign terrorist organization."

The law awaits the governor's signature.

By Mike Shiloh

May 16, 2017

Utility Relocation Amendment Fails In Texas House

An amendment to an amendment for SB 312 failed in the Texas House minutes ago.

It would have allowed for TxDot to relocate utility work at the expense of the utility if the utility's own permitted relocation work isn't done in a timely manner

By Mike Shiloh

May 15, 2017

Hedge Fund Sues Energy Future: Reuters

Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp filed a lawsuit against Energy Future Holdings Corp on Thursday, claiming that the bankrupt power company has prevented it from pursuing better options for it as its $18.7 billion deal with NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N) falters.

Energy Future's plan to exit its three-year-long bankruptcy hinges on selling its majority stake in Oncor, Texas' largest power distribution network, but that deal is in limbo since state regulators scuttled it over concerns it would not benefit ratepayers.

Elliott, Energy Future's largest creditor, wants to lay the groundwork for a plan of reorganization for Energy Future that involves converting its significant debt holdings in the company to equity, eventually putting Oncor under the hedge fund's control, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Other options include finding another buyer for Oncor.

By Reuters

May 15, 2017

Renewables Ask Perry for Support: The Hill

Five energy groups are urging the Department of Energy to support their sectors in an ongoing review of the baseload power sector.

The groups said their member companies contribute to a stable electric grid and have created thousands of jobs, but that they could use more support from the federal government.

"Due to low market prices for natural gas and wind, and a history of federal and state support that has favored these technologies, baseload renewables have been struggling to compete and, in some cases, are facing closures," the groups wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry last week.

"Your review offers an opportunity to better understand the impacts these policy decisions have had, not only on our industries, but also the grid itself."

The groups requested a meeting with Perry as part of his review. Signers of the letter include the National Hydropower Association, Biomass Power Association, Geothermal Energy Association, Energy Recovery Council and the American Biogas Council. -- The Hill

By The Hill

May 15, 2017

Texas House Clears Ship Channel Improvement Fund

Fund aimed at improving ports for future growth

The Texas House passed on 3rd reading Monday District 4 Senator Charles Creighton's Senate Bill 28, which creates within the state general fund an account called the Ship Channel Improvement Revolving Fund.

The state doesn't apply special funding to the fund at first but the fund does allow for a special place for later funding and for private contributions.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 15, 2017

Some Energy Bills Have Died, Some Live On

Less than two weeks left for the Lege as energy bills drop by the wayside

There may still be hope for the few.

The Texas House of Representatives deadline for passing its own bills arrived at midnight Thursday, a look at other bills came to a halt Friday and there were a number of energy-related bills that were left out in the cold.

As The Texas Energy Report earlier reported, the Railroad Commission of Texas has been re-authorized under Sunset legislation through the year 2029 with the passing of its major bill that also includes a Monitoring and Enforcement strategic plan for the Oil and Gas Division; the development of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy; and added pipeline safety and regulatory fees.

Gone But Not Forgotten:

HB 3403 (OIl and Gas related) died in committee. It would have restored some of the rights to "a municipality" to require fracking operations be a certain distance from day care centers and schools. Inspired by the bill last session that removed the city of Denton's rights to ban fracking in the city limits. There is a companion bill, SB 1868 by South Texas state Senator Judith Zaffirini that is still stuck in committee.

HB 3175 (Utilities related) died in committee.  It would have amended the Utilities code directing some utilities to include in targeted low-income (less than 126% of the federal poverty level and receiving food aid) energy efficiency programs of at least 10% of the utility's energy efficiency budget, and allowing funding for such programs through greenhouse gas emissions fees. Sponsored by Houston-area state Representative Ron Reynolds.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 15, 2017

Wind Project Near Wichita Falls Has New Investor

A wind farm in development near the town of Seymour, about 45 miles southwest of Wichita Falls, has a new high-tech investor.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 15, 2017

Texas Administrators Back Federal Environmental Program

Possible revival of the "Rigs to Reefs" program

Texas oil and gas and government administrators are set to testify in Washington this Wednesday for the federal "National Artificial Reefs" program that may be seeing a revival.

Houston's W&T Offshore vice president David Bump and Texas Parks and Wildlife program leader J. Dale Shively are scheduled to go before the US House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 15, 2017

Battery Recycling Bill One Casualty Of Texas House Agenda

Slow-moving nature of this session's House leaves environmentally far-sighted bill behind

A bill in the Texas House of Representatives considered far-sighted by the inventor of the lithium iron battery is among those killed when the House hit its deadline for passing its own bills last Thursday.

University of Texas physicist and professor John Goodenough championed HB 1874 for its call to recycle such batteries by setting up a process to collect used lithium ion batteries, a system to be run by the battery manufacturers.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 12, 2017

Texas Energy Report Closing Top Texas Energy Stocks

WTI down 0.01 to close at $47.81

Brent up 0.02 to close at $50.77

Natural gas up 0.05 at $3.41

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CLOSING OIL STOCKS

Anadarko (APC) up 0.09 at 51.63

Apache (APA) up 0.38 at 51.45

Chevron (CVX) down 0.25 at 105.96

ConocoPhillips (COP) down 0.45 at 46.97

Devon (DVN) down 0.09 at 37.86

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) up 0.12 at 23.01

EOG Resources (EOG) up 0.42 at 94.70

ExxonMobil (XOM) down 0.06 at 82.55

Halcon (HK) down 0.25 at 6.53

Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) down 0.15 at 14.33

Noble Energy (NBL) up 0.19 at 31.53

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) down 0.20 at 60.87

Parsley Energy (PE) down 0.07 at 31.91

Phillips 66 (PSX) up 0.27 at 79.79

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) up 0.38 at 171.64

Valero (VLO) up 0.07 at 66.42

---------------

CLOSING TOP UTILITY STOCKS

American Electric Power (AEP) up 0.51 at 68.06

CenterPoint (CNP) up 0.14 at 27.29

Entergy (ETR) up 0.32 to close at 75.70

Exelon Generation (EXC) up 0.63 at 34.13

NextEra Energy (NEE) up 0.91 at 135.55

NRG (NRG) up 0.20 at 15.07

By Mike Shiloh

May 12, 2017

Crude Oil Rigs Up By Nine: Baker Hughes

The number of active crude oil rigs in the US was up 9 in the latest count by Baker Hughes bringing the total to 712.

Oil and gas rigs overall are up to 885 total, with most of the increase in the Permian Basin with 6 added.

One rig was added in North Dakota's Bakken Shale.

By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

Technical Problems with TER Email

Technical problems with our server prevented most TER NewsClips emails from going out Friday morning.

The latest NewsClips are available by clickling News Clips.

By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

Wildhorse Buys Anadarko Eagle Ford Acreage

Wildhorse Resource Development Corporation says it's about to become the second-biggest operator in the Eagle Ford shale play with its new land purchase from Anadarko and KKR.

Price is $625 million in cash and stock.

The two Houston-area companies announced the agreement Thursday for Wildhorse to buy 110,000 acres with proved developed producing reserves of nearly 23 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Wildhorse already operates 386 wells in Burleson, Brazos, Lee, Milam, Robertson and Washington counties, next to this latest property acquisition.

By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

As Georgetown Goes Renewable, Other US Cities Join In

One city destroyed by winds now harnesses wind

Now that the city of Georgetown has officially become one of the first US cities to be powered exclusively by renewable energy (the last of its city-owned electricity pre-renewable contracts are running out this month), other cities across the United States are lining up for similar power arrangements.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

Chinese Company With US Funding Joins RES for Texas Wind Project

Berkshire Hathaway backs turbine project near Brady

McCullough County, about 70 miles west of Temple, is the site of a new 160-megawatt wind farm that could support power demands of up to 48,000 homes.

The Rattlesnake Wind Project is preparing for construction and it to be built by a Chicago-based subsidiary of the Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjaing Goldwind Science and Technology Co. Ltd, which purchased the project last year from Renewable Energy Systems (RES), an international renewable energy firm.

Financing for Goldwind Americas came from Citi and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, according to the company.

The two companies say they'll be working together to complete construction, which will be Goldwind's biggest US wind project so far.

By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

Bill Raising Truck Load Limits Along Gulf Coast Passed by Texas House

SB 1524 to allow permits to increase truck weight limits from 80,000 to 100,000 pounds on state roads only and disallow municipalities along the Gulf Coast from regulating their movement on state highways approved by TxDot was passed Thursday by the Texas House of Representatives.

Passage was applauded by Todd Staples at the Texas OIl and Gas Association: "Texas took a big step forward with the House passage on third reading of SB 1524 by Senator Robert Nichols and Rep. Geanie Morrison. SB 1524 anchors Texas at the epicenter of the multi-billion-dollar expansion of petrochemical manufacturing occurring in the United States, powered by the shale revolution. 

"Smart public policy like SB 1524 improves safety and our roads, and allows Texas oil and natural gas to secure our economy, our environment and our future. 

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By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

Bill Raising Liability of Political Subdivisions In Electric Utility Contracts Passes Texas House

HB 931 raising the cap for monetary liability for any one person injured or killed from $250,000 to $350,000 taken on by political subdivisions who contract with electric co-ops or companies was passed by the Texas House of Representatives Thursday.

The bill also increases the political subdivision's liability to $350,000 per person and $700,000 for each occurance and $100,000 for each instance of destruction of property. plus court costs and lawyers fees and possible related costs.

By Mike Shiloh

May 11, 2017

Perry Says Hole Filled at Hanford Nuclear Reservation

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says a hole that developed in the top of a nuclear waste storage tunnel in Washington state has been filled, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Perry announced Thursday morning that the 400-square foot (37 square meter) hole was filled swiftly and safely. He says the next step is to reduce risks at the aging tunnel.

By Mike Shiloh

May 10, 2017

Petrobras Includes Additional Assets to Possible Sale

Petróleo Brasileiro SA will include its Pasadena, Texas refinery and its African assets in a divestment plan, the Brazilian state-controlled oil company said in a Wednesday securities filing, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Petrobras, as the company is known, reaffirmed its target of divesting up to $21 billion in assets by the end of 2018. It currently controls half of divesting African venture Petrobras Oil & Gas BV, or Petrobras Africa.

By Reuters

May 10, 2017

Calpine For Sale?: WSJ

Calpine Corp., a big U.S. power generator that has been hit by sluggish demand and weak pricing, is exploring a sale, according to the Wall St. Journal.

The Houston company, which owns 80 power plants and has a so-called enterprise value of more than $16 billion, is working with investment bankers at Lazard to sound out possible buyers, according to people familiar with the matter. Calpine has attracted interest from a number of private-equity firms in an auction that is at an early stage, the people said.

By Mike Shiloh

May 10, 2017

Poll: The Younger the American, the Less Respect for Oil and Gas

The divide is increasing between Americans who regard the energy industry favorably and unfavorably, according to a new survey by Ernst & Young.

The US Oil and Gas Perceptions Survey released Wednesday blames poor communcations by the industry for the increasingly negative views among generations.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 10, 2017

Texas House Passes O&G, Electricity Infrastructure Protection from Drones

A bill putting operators of unmanned aircraft known as drones on notice that operations over sites designated as critical infrastructure are against the law was passed Thursday morning by the Texas House of Representatives.

District 68 Drew Springer's CSHB 1643 deisgnates petroleum refineries, wellheads and flare sites surrounded by protected fences as critical infrastructure, with electrical power generating, substation, switching station and electrical control facilities added, along with natural gas compressors, liquid natural gas terminals and storage facilities and chemical, polimer and rubber manufacturing sites.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Petrobras looks to sell Texas refinery for $200 million: Bloomberg

Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA is looking to sell its refinery in Pasadena, Texas, for less than $200 million, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing two sources, far less than its purchase price.

Petrobras, as the company is known, paid $1.2 billion in two installments in 2006 and 2012.

The acquisition is being investigated by federal prosecutors, who say the refinery cost many times what it was worth and that bribes may have been paid as part of the purchase. Also see:  Petrobras' US Refinery: So Cheap. Could Venezuela Buy It?

By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Oil and Gas Funding of Lawmakers Criticized in New Report

Lawyers and lobbyists are biggest contributors but oil and gas money fuels portions of legislators' campaigns and may apply undue pressure, report concludes

Oil and gas companies have given nearly $9 million to Texas lawmakers over the past three years, according to a new report from the non-profit Texans for Public Justice along with Public Citizen and the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter.

The report notes that the number one special interest group giving money to Texas legislators is lawyers and lobbyists, who gave 12% of overall contributions or more than $18 million.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Statements by Railroad Commissioners on Legislative Passage of House Bill 1818; RRC Sunset Legislation: News Release

AUSTIN - Chairman Christi Craddick and Commissioners Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian issued the following statements on the legislative passage of House Bill 1818 (HB 1818), the Railroad Commission's Sunset legislation. HB 1818 now moves to Gov. Greg Abbott for his consideration.
 
"I want to thank the Legislature and our staff for their time and hard work on our agency's Sunset bill," Chairman Craddick said. "All of us at the Railroad Commission share in the commitment to protect the public and the environment in a way that allows the energy industry to remain an economic driver for our state. This Sunset review has spanned several legislative sessions and has resulted in an even stronger Railroad Commission today. We look forward to continuing the important work we do for the people of the great state of Texas."
 
Commissioner Sitton said, "I appreciate the Legislature's hard work in reviewing the agency and ultimately passing a Railroad Commission Sunset Bill. We recognize that there is always room to continue to improve, but our commitment to customer service, transparency and effectiveness has never been greater. Texas' energy future is incredibly bright and I'm proud that this agency will continue to regulate the industry that remains the lifeblood of the Texas economy."
 
Commissioner Christian said, "Ensuring regulatory certainty for our booming energy sector by completing the Sunset process has been one of my top priorities, both as a candidate and now as a Railroad Commissioner. I appreciate the Legislature's hard work on this important legislation. Now the energy sector can fully focus on what it does best, employing thousands of Texans, strengthening our economy and providing billions of dollars in tax revenue that fund schools, public safety and other critical functions of our state."

By Railroad Commission of Texas

May 9, 2017

Texas Senate Passes Electric Grid Security Bill

A bill aimed at protecting the Texas electric grid from threats and possible dangers passed the Senate on Tuesday.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Texas Senate Passes RRC Sunset Reauthorization Bill

A contentious House bill okaying the Railroad Commission of Texas for another 12 years was passed by the state Senate Tuesday.

HB 1818 from District 52 Representative Larry Gonzales passed the Senate 29-2.

The Texas Sunset Adviisory Commission made new recommendations last year when turning in its report, after the legislature failed to renew the commission in each session since 2010.

Bids to change the commission's name to the Texas Energy Resources Commission or Texas Energy Commission or to fold the commission into othe state agencies such as the PUC failed along the way, as the 125-year-old commission was subjected to intense study over the past years.

By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

TIPRO Applauds Texas State Senate for Passing House Bill 1818: News Release

Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association: Texas Railroad Commission Sunset Bill Provides Regulatory Certainty for Oil & Gas Development and Support for State Economy

Austin, Texas – Today, the Texas State Senate approved passage of House Bill 1818 with a vote of 29 -2. After failing to pass during two prior legislative sessions, House Bill 1818 renews the Texas Railroad Commission for 12 years.

The following is a statement from Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), regarding the passage of House Bill 1818:

The Sunset Advisory Commission, supportive members in the Texas Legislature and Railroad Commissioners showed extraordinary leadership in supporting passage of House Bill 1818. Passage of House Bill 1818 will provide the regulatory certainty and oversight needed to support the responsible development of oil and natural gas in the state of Texas and the enormous economic benefits provided by this industry.

By TIPRO

May 9, 2017

Revamped Gasoline and Diesel Tax Administration Bill Passed by House

HB 2925 from District 55 Representative Hugh Shine is aimed at correcting administration of gasoline and diesel fuel motor fuels taxes and the fee on the delivery of certain petroleum products by adding a reporting requirement on purchases of fuel for export that is subsequently resold.

The bill originated because of concerns that some oil industry practices in gasoline and diesel fuel exports may result in the state collecting less money in taxes than the state is due.

By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Radioactive Tunnel Collapse at Washington State Nuclear Plant; Update: No Fly Zone

No injuries and no radiological release are reported after a tunnel collapse at the mostly-decommissioned Hanford Nuclear Reservation, along the Columbia River, about 40 miles east of Yakima in south central Washington state.

Workers have been evacuated from the site.

There is some concern that the breach could expose highly radioactive material that is in the tunnel.

The FAA has called a "no fly zone" above the plant until it can be determined that there is no danger to pilots.

Seattle TV station KING reports that the tunnel was full of highly contaminated materials such as hot radioactive trains that transport fuel rods.

The station said a source told them there was road work going on adjacent to the collapse.

The site was built in 1943 as part of the US Manhattan Project nuclear development program.

By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Alternative Energy Station Signs Bill Passed by Texas House

HB 3679 from District 45 Representative Jason Isaac amends the state Transportation Code to provide for signs.informing motorists of facilities providing alternative fuels and electric vehicle charging stations, including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, and propane, and electric vehicle charging stations.

By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Oil and Gas Land Change of Use Bill Passes Texas House

The bill HB 3198 by District 72 Representative Drew Darby specifies liability for the additional tax imposed on land appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land in the event of a change of use of the land as a result of oil and gas operations.

By Mike Shiloh

May 9, 2017

Texas House Passes Bill Protecting RRC Intellectual Property

By Mike Shiloh

May 8, 2017

Tokyo Gas buys 30 pct stake in Castleton's Texas gas unit: Reuters

Japan's biggest city gas supplier Tokyo Gas Co said on Monday it has acquired a 30 percent stake in a subsidiary of Castleton Commodities International LLC, its first equity investment in a U.S. upstream company, Reuters reported Monday.

"Tokyo Gas did not reveal the price for the stake in Castleton Resources LLC, which owns and operates over 160,000 net acres of leasehold in East Texas with access to the Cotton Valley and Haynesville Shale and has a net production of about 238 million cubic feet equivalent per day, equal to 1.65 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG)."

By Reuters

May 8, 2017

Time Running Out for US Methane Regulation Change.

The US Senate has just days to pass a resolution undoing a major Obama administration methane regulation, The Hill reports.

Under the terms of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the Senate has until Thursday to pass a bill undoing the Bureau of Land Management's methane rule or it stays on the books.

Senate leadership has said they want to bring the bill to the floor before time runs out, though as of Monday afternoon they had yet to put it on the schedule.

Several issues are complicating the bill's path forward. Two Republicans have already indicated their opposition to the measure, while four others are publicly undecided. If any of those four oppose the resolution, it cannot pass.

Furthermore, a group of at least three Midwestern Republican senators put pressure on leadership by asking for a resolution to an ethanol policy dispute before the methane vote.

Most Democrats are expected to vote against the bill should it come to the floor (although two -- Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- are undecided).

By The Hill

May 8, 2017

Electric Utility Land Use Liability Bill Passes Texas House

A bill that proposes to limit the liability of electric utilities in high population Texas counties that are next to other high population counties (Ft. Bend County next to Harris County) when utility land is used for recreation was passed by the House Monday afternoon.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 8, 2017

Texas High Speed Rail Legislation Moves Right Along: Quorum Report

Time is running out for a number of bills aimed at possibly derailing Texas Central's proposed high-speed rail project, but some continue moving through the process at a pace that is encouraging to those opposed to the Houston-to-Dallas rail project
the Quorum Report said Monday.

"Four high speed rail bills received hearings in the House Transportation Committee Thursday. They deal with things like prohibiting state dollars for private rail projects, elevation requirements for the tracks and bonds.

"The bills were all left pending.

"Three other Senate bills dealing with prohibiting state dollars for such projects, rail security and eminent domain authority have already passed through the upper chamber but have yet to receive House hearings," QR reported.

By Mike Shiloh

May 8, 2017

Texas Electricity Grid Security Bill Passes House

A bill to create a committee to closely scrutinize the security of the Texas power grid was passed Monday evening by the House.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 8, 2017

Bill Requiring Texas AG Notification In Civil Suits Passes House

A bill passed the Texas House on Monday afternoon that requires those bringing civil lawsuits under the state Health and Safety code as administered by the TCEQ to notify the Texas Attorney General and the commission before starting the suit.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 8, 2017

Texas House Passes Oil and Gas Lessee "Check Stub" Bill

The Texas House has passed a bill requiring all oil and gas companies leasing land from royalty interest owners, if paying owners using a paper check, must provide to the owners detailed financial information on a check stub or on paperwork that accompanies the check.

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By Mike Shiloh

May 8, 2017

Houston's Rubicon Continues Acquisitions

Rubicon Oilfield International continues its expansion with Monday's announced acquistion of oilfield equipment supplier Choice Completion Systems LLC.

Both companies are based in Houston.

Choice was established just last year.

The sale price has not been disclosed by Rubicon, which has reportedly been using private equity funds to make a number of acquisitions over the past year, including oil tools provider Logan International Inc., casing and cementing supplier TopCo Holdings Inc. and oilfield supplier Tercel Oilfield Products

By Mike Shiloh

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