Texas Legislature passes bills to support fossil fuel industries

By Railroad Commission of Texas on 5/5/2021

AUSTIN – Tuesday, the Texas Legislature passed two critically important bills that allow Texas to fight national efforts to eliminate fossil fuels.

House Bill 17 protects consumers by prohibiting political subdivisions from discriminating against specific fuel sources like natural gas and coal; this will ensure cities and counties cannot pass California-style ordinances that ban gas hook-ups in new buildings or homes.

“Winter Storm Uri exposed the importance of allowing individuals to have access to natural gas in their homes,” said RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian. “99.5 percent of customers connected to natural gas maintained service for the duration of Winter Storm Uri, ensuring they had fuel to cook food and heat their homes.”

Senate Bill 13 prevents our state from investing in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) financial products that boycott Texas energy companies.

“Extremists are coming after your retirement account vis-à-vis ESG investing,” said Christian. “Studies clearly show this investment strategy leads to poorer outcomes for investors, and for the State of Texas, divesting from fossil fuels would have a dramatic impact on our state’s economy and budget. As proponents of SB 13 have said, this sends a strong message to big business, that if you boycott Texas energy, Texas will boycott you.”

“I would like to thank bill authors Senator Brian Birdwell (HB 17/SB 13), Representative Joe Deshotel (HB 17), and Representative Phil King (SB 13) for their leadership on these issues,” continued Christian. “While the federal government picks winners and losers by propping up unreliable forms of energy with massive subsidies, Texas has demonstrated it prioritizes consumer choice and reliability more than virtue signaling to a small and loud group of woke political activists.”

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