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Summary: Under current law in the Natural Resources Code, companies who intend on drilling into "oil and gas bearing rock" must submit letters disclosing information about the wells they intend on drilling. The Railroad Commission is allowed to charge a fee up to $75 for these letters. Currently, those fees go to the general revenue fund and then some of that money may be used for studying and evaluating "electronic access to geologic data and surface casing depths."
HB 3309 would redirect these funds. Instead of going into the general revenue fund they will go into the "oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund." HB 3309 also adds the study and evaluation of "electronic access to geologic data and surface casing depths" to the possible uses for the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund.
Analysis: HB 3309 represents a simple redirecting of fee deposits so that instead of going to the general revenue fund they would be placed in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. This legislation neither adds new regulations or fees, nor removes regulations or fees. The implications of this change do not touch on any of TPPA's liberty principles; therefore we are neutral on HB 3309.