Texas Clean Air Matters

(Update) TCEQ Buckles On Oil & Gas Rules Under Pressure From Industry

Last week we lamented about the TCEQ’s capitulation to industry pressure on proposed rules dealing with emissions from oil and gas facilities. 

State Representative Lon Burnam provided us with a sampling of documents showing the influence exerted by industry during the tail end of the process.  These are just a smattering of the roughly five reams of paper his office received in response to a public information request.

In hopes that it might serve as a resource to others, we are also posting several other documents pertaining to the rulemaking:

Posted in Air Pollution, Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, TCEQ, Texas Permitting / Read 1 Response

TCEQ Buckles On Oil & Gas Rules Under Pressure From Industry

After a 10-month process, the TCEQ finally ended the suspense regarding what emissions safeguards the oil and gas industry will have to follow in order to protect the citizens of Texas.  On Wednesday, the TCEQ adopted a much, much weaker rule than the one it proposed in July (see details at the bottom of this post).  The rule was dramatically scaled back to apply only to those living near the Barnett Shale near Dallas-Fort Worth and, miraculously, the process will begin anew to decide what protections will apply elsewhere.

If you are reading this, you are probably wondering what I think about the outcome.   I’ll answer by telling you what I am going to tell my boss, who will surely ask how my efforts – scores of hours attending meetings, writing comments, coordinating and consulting with experts on this topic (as well as having to watch industry unrelentingly bully TCEQ staff) – translated into results.

It is a fair question given that I truly threw myself into this one.  I convinced myself (and my boss) that – this time – it was going to be different.  With all of the attention focused on the emissions from natural gas operations, including reports showing how the emissions from the oil and gas industry were much higher than everyone assumed, I thought this time we actually had a chance to help TCEQ do the right thing.    Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Barnett Shale, Environment, GHGs, TCEQ / Read 4 Responses