Rep Warren Chisum did industry a huge favor when he tucked an amendment into the TCEQ Sunset bill that will shift “the burden of proof in hearings on controversial permits from companies applying for a permit to the party contesting it.“
Environmentalists said such a change could make it cost-prohibitive for communities to oppose permits because of added litigation costs.
But that’s not the only amendment Chisum added.
Another successful Chisum amendment cuts fees imposed on the delivery of petroleum products. The fee cuts would slice
$7 million a year from a pool of money used to remediate pollution related to underground storage tanks, but Chisum said it would ultimately save drivers from pass-through costs at the gas pump.
House passes TCEQ sunset bill but softens agency’s bite
By Asher Price
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
There was an amendment that would have changed the TCEQ’s mission statement from, “to protect our state’s human and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development” to a more appropriate “the protection of human health and the environment.” According to the article, “Republicans swatted,” that amendment away.
They also refused the amendment to close the revolving door between the agency and the industry it regulates.
“Every single executive director and all but one commissioner over the last 10 years has left the agency to become a well-paid lobbyist,” state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, said. “That clearly undermines decision-making authority at the agency.”
Every Barnett Shale resident should think long and hard about how you vote. We are taking a serious beating in the Texas Legislature this session. The only really good bills came from Rep. Lon Burnam and Sen. Wendy Davis. The wrote good, common sense bills but, so far, none have moved out of committee.