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Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development - 84th R.S. (2015)

Committee Members
Craig Estes, Chair
Troy Fraser, Chair
Brian Birdwell
Bob Hall
Kelly Hancock
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Eddie Lucio
Robert Nichols
Kel Seliger
Carlos Uresti
Judith Zaffirini
Charges
• Implementation of Federal Regulations: Study the impact and identify challenges Texas faces implementing proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including, but not limited to the Clean Power Plan, Reduction of Methane & Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas facilities, Ozone standards, Regional Haze, and Waters of the U.S. Make recommendations for legislative or constitutional action the committee considers necessary.
• Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP): Study and make recommendations regarding the use of Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP) funds, including reducing air emissions from mobile sources in response to changes in ozone standards.
• Economic Development: Evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of programs and resources currently used to support economic development in Texas. Make recommendations regarding continuation of effective strategies, modification of existing administrative or regulatory barriers, and the reduction or elimination of ineffective programs.
• Expedited Permitting: Evaluate the permitting process in Texas and neighboring states and make recommendations for eliminating unnecessary barriers and expediting the process to ensure that the regulatory process is consistent and predictable.
• ERCOT/PUC Electricity Issues: Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. In this oversight and monitoring, the committee should: 1) identify and recommend opportunities to streamline programs or services and enhance grid safety while maintaining the mission of ERCOT and PUC and their programs; and 2) identify barriers ERCOT or PUC may have in their governance that may be appropriate to improve or eliminate.
• Oil Field Theft: Study and make recommendations for solving the oil field theft problems facing Texas, including identifying the proper mechanisms for increasing enforcement effectiveness.
• Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1)Legislation relating to Texas aerospace incentives; 2) Expedited permitting; and 3) Electric utility rate adjustments.

Note:
Senator Estes appointed Chair effective 1/1/2016, to replace Senator Fraser (Press release, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, 12/18/2015). Estes served as Vice Chair from 1/23/2015-1/1/2016.

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