Enhanced drilling rules optimize shale benefits

June 12, 2013 at 1:12 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Recently, the Railroad Commission strengthened regulations governing shale development. It is gratifying that the tremendous economic benefits from oil and gas development are being matched by enhanced environmental safeguards. The chairman, commissioners and staff leadership should be commended.

I see firsthand the economic benefits from oil and gas development - from new cars, stores, businesses and jobs. There is no doubt South Texas is being revitalized. The University of Texas at San Antonio estimated the total economic impact in Eagle Ford Shale counties was more than $61 billion in 2012, with more than 116,508 full-time jobs supported. The revenue also supports critical local programs such as schools and emergency response infrastructure that make our communities more secure.

To continue optimizing this opportunity and for our region to keep competitive over the long term, it is critical that drilling regulations continually be updated and improved alongside advancing technology. It's good news that the Railroad Commission's new regulations do just that - ensure environmental protections and economic benefits are equaled for the benefit of us all. To everyone involved, we say thank you.

To see the Railroad Commission's announcement, click the link with this letter online.

Jim Huff, Live Oak County Judge, Chairman of Future of the Region South Texas, Three Rivers



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