The bill is HB 1496 and it will strip municipalities of the right to control drilling and fracking.
After hearing about Taylor’s response to a phone call today about this bill, the only conclusions I can draw are:
- Industry handed him a bill and he filed it without knowing what it means.
- He is not telling the truth.
- All of the above
I asked Mr. Taylor to please explain to me the intent of HB 1496 and he told me it was only to be used to protect mineral owners from municipalities who pass ordinances which ban drilling in their city limits. Mr. Taylor stated the bill’s only goal was to require municipalities to pay fair market value compensation to the mineral owner in the event they could not access their minerals due to ordinances which prevent drilling.
Stop right there! Who compensates the mineral owner’s neighbors for the loss of property value, health, and enjoyment?
I asked Mr. Taylor why the mineral owners could not sue the city using the Regulatory Takings argument but never received a reason why this approach would not work for the mineral owner. Mr. Taylor repeatedly referred to the mineral owner as the “real property owner” and his bill appears to change the language from mineral owner to “real property owner.”
So what is the surface owner who pays the property taxes and makes improvements if not the “real property owner.”
So, Mr. Taylor told me the reason he was so concerned about “real property owner” was because the city of Farmersville, in Collin County, had passed ordinances effectively banning drilling within the city limits and the mineral owners could not access their minerals. The ordinance Sec. 5.103.3 of the Farmersville Code of Ordinance allows drilling “which is approved under the provision of a Special Use Permit, issued in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance” just like Denton. Mr. Taylor really needs to do his homework. When I asked Mr. Taylor why the mineral owners could not sue the city under using Regulatory Taking Mr. Taylor could not answer.
I told Mr. Taylor I would be seeking legal advice regarding the intent of his bill.
If you have questions, call Mr. Taylor at 214-642-0920.
Mr. Taylor also has a Facebook page which would probably be a good place to start if you have questions for him. I don’t have a lot of hope that Taylor can answer any questions.