Representative Trent Ashby – District 57 – Texas
“With temperatures climbing into the triple digits, it’s clear the dog days of summer have set in across the Lone Star State. As you squeeze in a summer vacation or plan a long weekend trip before school starts next month, I wanted to remind everyone about YOUR office at the State Capitol in Austin. My staff can show you around the office, arrange a tour of the Capitol, or give recommendations about places of interest in the area. Whether this summer, or some time in the future, I hope you’ll use our office as a resource anytime you visit the Austin area.
With that, here’s an update from your Texas Capitol. . .
House Interim Charge: Energy Resources:
Our next interim committee to examine is the House Committee on Energy Resources. This 13- member committee has purview over conservation efforts, regulatory affairs, and the future development of energy resources such as oil and gas, and their associated mineral rights. In addition to considering legislation on these topics, the committee also oversees the powerful Railroad Commission of Texas.
As with all other committees, Energy Resources will evaluate the state’s response to Hurricane Harvey, and identify future improvements that can be made in the event of another natural disaster. More specifically, they will work to develop a plan to ensure that all first responders have an ample supply of fuel to respond to Texans in need.
The committee will also explore the effect that the Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program has on gas utility ratemaking. Currently, there are questions about how utility companies justify rate increases on customers, and there is some speculation that rates increase even when expenses are not. I look forward to reviewing the findings in this area, as the Legislature should always work to protect hard-working Texans from price gouging by unscrupulous actors.
Additionally, the committee will work to cultivate new policies and scrutinize current statutes as it pertains to non-producing oil and gas wells across the state. With the advancement of technology in the energy sector, many landowners have benefited from production that has come from formerly abandoned or dormant wells. It is my hope that my colleagues in the Legislature and I will continue to promote sound policies that support energy independence and a robust energy sector in Texas.
The mobile office returns in the month of August and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: on August 1st from 9:00-11:00am at the Leon County Courthouse in Centerville, and from 1:30-3:30pm at the Madison County Courthouse Annex in Madisonville; August 15th from 9:00-11:00am at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett, and from 1:30-3:30pm at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton; or on August 22nd from 9:00-11:00am at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.