2023 Legislative Updates

January 20, 2023

PPROA Legislative Report – Travis McCormick
Please note – these bills are filed and have not made it to committee for debate at this point

HB 1 (BUDGET) – Its unusual that the most substantial tax relief legislation is the appropriation bill
$3.1B to finance rate tax reductions already in law. $9.7B in additional relief from 5 possible options – 1) Increase residential homestead exemption 2) Reducing state compression percentage 3) Tinker with education code on lowering tax rates 4) Lowering the 2.5% in current law 5) Lower homestead appraisal cap to 5% — Looks like it’ll be structured in constitutional amendments to get past the state’s spending limit. All of these are permanent commitments.

HB 618 (Darby) provides a tort liability shield for oil and gas operators who generate drill cuttings and transfers them to a permit holder for commercial recycling or disposal.

HB 1194 (Turner) would require that applicants for new oil or gas wells disclose on their application whether the proposed well site is located within 1500 ft of the property line of a school and create new requirements.

HB 734, 744, 764 – Stop cities from banning fossil fuel powered appliances and equipment.

HB 1972 (Hawkins) – would require that 50% of generating capacity installed in the state come from renewable energy by January 1, 2030, and that 100% come from renewable energy by January 1, 2050.

HB 578 (Raymond) requires the Railroad Commission to develop and adopt a comprehensive plan to protect the state’s oil and gas infrastructure, including wellheads and pipelines from: natural disasters; severe weather events; cybersecurity threats; acts of terrorism; widespread power outages; and other potential threats.

Signatories on the “Eminent Domain” legislation moratorium plan to oppose any legislation dealing with eminent domain for the next four sessions.

HB ___ (Zweiner) – creates a Climate Change Planning and Reporting, refile

HB 642 (Reynolds) – Creation of Environmental Justice Advisory Council

HB 707 (Harris) – Ban financial institutions from discriminating against customers on ESG

HB 876 (Reynolds) – Study how climate change effects welfare of Texans

HB 982 (Toth) requires agencies and political subdivisions to only enter in contracts for goods and services with companies who will provide written verification that the company does not currently and will not during the term of the contract, use prohibited “ESG criteria” to evaluate business decisions or investment strategies.

HB 411 (Collier) – Amend hearings conducted by SOA on behalf of TCEQ to require companies not amendment and change problems ahead of going to SOA. A delay tactic to make industry start over.

HB 1158 (Darby) would incentivize projects that aim to capture, reuse, store, or sequester carbon dioxide emissions with a grant program at TCEQ.

SB 257 (Eckart) – Require ending flaring on University Lands by 2027.

SB 154 (Springer) – would establish a minimum setback requirement of 3,000 ft from the property line of each property that borders the site of a proposed wind turbine generator.

HB 960 (Jetton) – require that an applicant for registration of electric motor vehicles pay an additional $100 road maintenance fee.

HB 820 (King) would require that owners of electric and hybrid vehicles pay an additional fee at the time of registration or renewal of registration – $200 for electric vehicles, $100 for hybrid vehicles. Fees collected are to be deposited in the state highway fund, with the exception that 10% of the fees collected go to the electric vehicle battery disposal account. The bill also creates the aforementioned electric vehicle battery disposal account, to be administered by TCEQ, and to be used only to reimburse costs incurred by the state or political subdivision that have to dispose of electric vehicle batteries.

SB 505 (Nichols) – Registration fee for electric vehicles.

SB 156 (Perry) – Regulating groundwater districts. Most controversial provision is over how you award attorneys fees and expert witness costs in lawsuits, takes away requirement of awarding to GCDs.

HJR 27 (Craddick) – Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of and use of money in the Grow Texas fund, to take a portion of severance taxes and invest them in areas where there is production.

HB 449 (Schofield) – Repeals the tax penalty, also known as the “rollback tax”, on ag land that is changed to a non-ag use.

HB 623 (Harris) – exemption from ad valorem taxation of tangible personal property consisting of animal feed held by the owner of the property for sale at retail. Could be opened up to be expanded to help O&G.

HB 228 (Goodwin) – adds a 25% tax on “gas produced and flared or vented in this state by the producer.”

HB 321 (Lopez) – indexes the state’s gasoline and diesel taxes, currently imposed at 20¢ per gallon, to changes in the highway cost index for the 12-month moving average of the price of materials and labor compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation.

HB 391 (Goldman) – Repeals franchise tax.

HB 591 (Capriglione) – exemption from the severance tax for gas produced from certain wells that is consumed on site and would otherwise have been lawfully vented or flared.

SB 255 (Eckhardt) – Repeal of the temporary tax reduction for certain high-cost gas.

SB HB 1336 (Darby) – Establish that a landowner owns the geothermal energy and other associated resources below the surface of the landowner’s land as real property. It would also entitle the landowner or his lessee, heir, or assign to drill for and produce geothermal energy and associated resources below the surface of the landowner’s land.

SB 470 (Springer) – Companion to Landgraf’s bill to prohibit the enforcement of certain federal laws regulating oil and gas operations within the State of Texas.

SB 502 (Hughes) – Companion to Darby’s bill on recycling for beneficial use, or disposal of drill cuttings.

HB 1414 (Toth) – Ban federal laws regulating gas stove usage within the State of Texas.

HJR 81 (Schofiled) – Refile from last session that would amend the Texas Constitution to prohibit the “taking of property” by eminent domain for the purpose of transferring the property to a private entity. Regardless of how property ends up in a private entities hand condemnation is not allowed.

HB 1459 (Rosenthal) – Eliminate flaring by 2029.

HB 1276 (Hinojosa) – Refile and similar to other bills would require the UT System board of regents (board), no later than June 1, 2024, to adopt a formal policy goal to eliminate routine methane flaring on university lands by 2027.

HB 1420 (Shaheen) – would require that any electric vehicle charging station installed (or funded) by TxDot be capable of sending and receiving information through a communications network. Additionally, the charging station must have at least one user interface that would allow a user to operate the charging station to allow the station to start or stop a charge as well as increase or decrease the rate of electricity flow based on a signal from the electric grid.

HB 808/809/810 (Metcalf) – Change from “appointed” to “elected” for appraisers and appraisal districts of local governments

HB 1224 (Metcalf) – Will cap all annual appraisal increases on all real property at 10%.

256 (Eckhardt) – Increasing gas production tax for flared or vented.

HB 1241 (Hawkins) – would require the Railroad Commission to publish monthly the names of operators who report the 20 highest levels of flaring on the RRC website; report the level of flaring and flaring intensity for each of those operators. The commission would be required to publish (yearly) aggregate level of flaring and flaring intensity for all operators.

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