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    Rio Grande Guardian > Border Business > FEATURE
checkHinojosa: Eagle Ford Shale is a game changer for South Texas
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Last Updated: 22 April 2014
By Staff
[State
State Senators Carlos Uresti, Juan Hinojosa and Leticia Van de Putte were on a legislators panel at the 3rd Annual Conference of the Eagle Ford Shale Consortium.
SAN ANTONIO, April 24 - Following his participation in the 3rd Annual Conference of the Eagle Ford Shale Consortium, state Sen. Juan Hinojosa issued a statement about the impact of oil and gas exploration and production in South Texas.

Here is the statement in full:

"The Eagle Ford Shale is a game changer for South Texas. It is transforming our communities. We see unemployment going down with the creation of good paying jobs. Communities are being transformed by the billions of dollars in investment coming to the region. Families and parents are finding good jobs and have more money at the end of the month to be able to provide for their children. It is quite visible that the quality of life in Eagle Ford Shale communities are improving.

"The Rainy Day Fund is growing thanks to the strength of the oil and gas industry. It has relieved pressure to increase taxes or cut programs during economic hard times. A healthy balance in the Rainy Day Fund has allowed the Texas Legislature to invest in needed infrastructure, water, roads, and education where all Texans benefit.

"To build sustainable oil and gas communities we must also address the challenges before us to continue to reap the benefits and opportunities the Eagle Ford Shale has afforded us.

"The Eagle Ford Shale play has brought thousands of jobs to the region. It is important that the state and local communities are doing their part investing in and providing a skilled and educated workforce.

"The Texas Legislature must also continue to invest in infrastructure such as transportation and water to help local communities sustain this rapid growth they are experiencing.

"The Eagle Ford Shale boom has created numerous opportunities for the region and the state. Sustaining oil and gas communities must be a shared responsibility between the state, businesses and industry, and local communities. This is not going to stop, this is not going away, so it's up to us to cooperate and work together so that there is no bust to our communities."

Here is the original story:

Hinojosa speaks at Eagle Ford Shale conference

SAN ANTONIO, April 22 - Today, state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa spoke at the 3rd Annual Conference of the Eagle Ford Shale Consortium.

The conference was titled “Driving the 21st Century Texas Economy: Sustainable Oil & Gas Communities.” It was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

As panelist on the Eagle Ford Shale Legislators Panel, Hinojosa, a Democrat from McAllen, discussed the impacts, opportunities, and challenges facing South Texas communities and the State from the booming Eagle Ford Shale.

Hinojosa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, also talked at length about improving infrastructure, the boom of jobs and economy, providing an educating a skilled workforce, the Rainy Day Fund, and private investments in our local communities.

"The Eagle Ford Shale play has brought thousands of jobs to the region. It is important that the state and local communities are doing their part investing in and providing a skilled and educated workforce," Hinojosa said.

He also said sustaining oil and gas communities must be a "shared responsibility" between the state, businesses and industry, and local communities.

"The Texas Legislature must continue to invest in infrastructure such as transportation and water to help local communities sustain growth from the booming Eagle Ford Shale. Changes are taking place very rapidly. Businesses and industry have a responsibility to reach out to and educate the local communities of what they are doing. This is not going to stop, this is not going away, so it's up to us to cooperate and work together," Hinojosa said.

Here are the bullet points made by Hinojosa at the conference:

• Current Production Numbers:

o Eagle Ford is currently producing more than 1.3 million barrels a day; by next year, it is expected to produce 4 million barrels/day.

o In 2013 Texas produced $110 billion worth of oil and gas.

• Investment in the Eagle Ford Shale:

o Oil companies are expected to spend between $23 billion and $30 billion in the Eagle Ford Shale in 2014.

o Parts of the Eagle Ford could see active drilling through 2035.

o Companies from all over the world are investing in South Texas because of the Eagle Ford Shale.

• Taxes and State Revenues from Oil and Gas Industry:

o Texas producers paid $3.6 billion in severance taxes on the production of oil and gas in fiscal year 2012

o Total paid in taxes by oil & gas industries: $12,070,000 (fiscal year 2012)

• Rainy Day Fund (Economic Stabilization Fund)

o The Rainy Day Fund is projected to reach $12-14 billion by the end of the next fiscal biennium.

o The RDF with the strength of the oil and gas industry has relieved pressure to increase taxes or cut programs during economic hard times and keeps Texas economically resilient despite turbulence in energy markets.

o A healthy balance in the Rainy Day Fund has allowed the Texas legislature to invest in needed infrastructure, water, roads, and education. All Texans benefit.

• Infrastructure Improvements

o Water:

 The state has to balance competing interests when it comes to water. In a time of drought water supplies are precious but at the same time our energy sector depends heavily on water for production.

 Fracturing a single shale well requires millions of gallons of water - and South & West Texas are some of the driest regions in the state.

 Desalination of brackish water and seawater need to be in our long-term water management plans.

 In 2011, Senator Hinojosa authored the resolution to secure $6 billion of evergreen bonding authority for the Texas Water Development Board to fund the state water plan.

 In 2013, $2 billion was approved to be diverted from the Rainy Day Fund to kick-start the new State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT).

o Roads: Oil boom and subsequent Eagle Ford Shale development has increased passenger vehicle congestion and industrial truck traffic leading to deteriorating roads

 Texas Department of Transportation estimates that it takes 1,184 truck trips to bring a shale well into production; 353 trips per year to maintain the well; 997 trips every 5 years to re-fracture the well

 The County Roads and Farm-to-Market Roads being heavily traveled on were not designed or constructed to carry the heavy traffic, trucks and tankers now traveling these roads.

 The legislature needs to help provide our local communities with financial assistance for roads not only in the Eagle Ford Shale "energy sector" but all over Texas.

 Expeditious and safe roads are vital to our growing population and necessary to keep the Texas economy growing.

 The transportation proposition on the ballot this November (2014) would divert $1.2 billion a year in oil and gas taxes paid by drilling companies from the Rainy Day Fund and put it towards transportation funding for repairs and maintenance. We need to get this ballot measure passed and start looking ahead to long-term sustainable funding solutions and not keep kicking the can down the road.

• Jobs

o UTSA study estimated that in 2012, Eagle Ford Shale had a $61 billion impact and supported 116,000 jobs (directly + indirectly) across 20 counties in South Texas

 Same study - in 2012, the Eagle Ford supported 46,000 direct jobs

 By 2022, the deposits are expected to generate 128,000 jobs

o Total oil and gas industry jobs: 369,510; total wages: $44,049,071,451 (fiscal 2012)

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