Earlier this year, the General Land Office (“GLO”) created the Texas Defense Task Force (more on that here) to defend state land rights and combat federal policies that threaten the Texas oil and gas industry. The Task Force is just one of the ways that the Texas government is working to protect the state’s energy economy – the state continues to implement other measures to support the oil and gas industry.
In January, prior to the formation of the Task Force, Governor Abbott held a roundtable discussion with industry experts in West Texas and signed an executive order intended to alleviate some of the pressures the energy sector was facing as a result of an overabundance in supply and executive orders implemented by the federal government. The order allows state agencies to challenge federal overreach threatening the oil and gas industry. Abbott has also pledged to veto any legislation resembling the “Green New Deal”, instead promising to favor policies aimed at strengthening workforce development.
Last month, Governor Abbott signed SB 13 into law. The bill responds to the pressure major corporations are facing to cut ties with the oil and gas industry amid climate change concerns (and the resulting decreased cashflow to energy companies) by prohibiting state investments in businesses that boycott or otherwise unfairly penalize oil and gas companies. Companies like Google, who has declined to provide AI software for oil and gas production, would not have access to state-funded investments. The law is not absolute; amendments to the bill provide for some exceptions, for example, where forcing a state fund to sell stock in an offending corporation would harm the fund’s members, or where the stock is held indirectly by a private equity fund. In any case, Governor Abbott and the Texas legislature have sent a clear message: Texas won’t tolerate companies turning their backs on the oil and gas industry.
Kuiper Law Firm, PLLC specializes in oil and gas issues. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on industry developments; if you have any questions about the information in this article, do not hesitate to contact us.