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Texas legislature considers fee on disposal of fracking wastewater and name change for Railroad Commission of Texas
Proposed H.B. 379 would require oil & gas companies to pay a 1 cent per barrel fee on all hydraulic fracturing wastewater that is disposed of by injection into commercial wells. The legislators proposing this bill urged the House Energy Resources Committee to consider the increased revenues that would be generated by the fee and the incentive this would give to companies to recycle their wastewater. According to State Representative Lon Burnham of Fort Worth, in 2010, approximately 290 million barrels of waste were injected each month into commercial disposal wells. The 1 cent per barrel fee would have generated approximately $34.8 million in additional annual revenue for the state. The fees would be collected by the State Comptroller and all monies would be applied to the Railroad Commission of Texas’ oilfield cleanup fund. Currently the oilfield cleanup fund is statutorily capped at $20 million. Proposed H.B. 2166 would eliminate this cap.