Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2015 - (Page 29)
U.S. SENATOR JOHN CORNYN
the godfather, the programmable microprocessor,
"stairway to heaven" and peyton manning are some pieces
of evidence that plenty of things born in the 1970s remain
relevant today. but not everything ages so well. dashboard
hula girls, pet rocks, The Towering Inferno and the grits blitz
defense demonstrate how even the headiest of heydays can't
keep some '70s phenomena from obsolescence.
Count U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-TX., among those who think that the
1973 Endangered Species Act and the country's severe restrictions on U.S.
crude oil exports-a product of the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation
Act-have not aged gracefully.
Cornyn has described the country's virtual ban on crude exports as "an
antiquated law created in response to disruptions in global supply in the
1970s." Meanwhile, the best indicator of Cornyn's hopes to bring the ESA
up-to-date probably is S. 293, the Endangered Species Act Settlement
Reform Act, which he has introduced in Congress to give impacted local
parties a voice in the settlement process of ESA litigation between special
interests and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Cornyn points to the 2011 multi-district settlement between two green
groups and the USFWS requiring the agency to make ESA classification
determinations for hundreds of species as a rationale behind S. 293.
He notes that the settlement also requires taxpayers to pay plaintiffs'
litigation costs in suits brought against the USFWS. According to Cornyn,
such closed-door deals not only threaten unwarranted regulation, but
also give plaintiffs undue leverage over local land owners, businesses
and elected officials.
"There must be a balance to ensure Washington bureaucrats do not run
roughshod over Texas landowners and job creators," Cornyn says. "This
bill gives states and counties facing regulation a seat at the table with
the USFWS and special interest groups in ESA settlement negotiations."
According to Cornyn, the ESA Settlement Reform Act:
* Applies to certain ESA "citizen suits" that drive the litigation and
* Gives local government and stakeholders a say in pertinent ESA
* Limits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund ESA "citizen suits."
Ultimately, he suggests, shedding some light on the listing process
will greatly improve the law.
"Endangered species listings can have a significant negative impact
on local communities and impede economic development, so improving
transparency around how those decisions are made should be a top
priority," he says. "At a time when technology allows for information to
be readily available, Texans and all Americans should have timely online
access to the data the USFWS uses to rationalize its listing decisions."
"in OrDer tO keeP PrODUctiOn GOinG,
anD OUr ecOnOMY GrOWinG, enerGY
PrODUcerS neeD acceSS tO tHe
GlOBal Market. WitH PrODUctiOn OF
DOMeStic Oil anD GaS PrOJecteD tO
cOntinUe GrOWinG Over tHe cOMinG
YearS, nOW iS tHe tiMe FOr cOnGreSS
tO liFt tHe crUDe Oil exPOrt Ban."
To make his case for loosening restrictions on U.S. crude exports,
Cornyn penned an op-ed piece in September that noted how the
unconventional resource play revolution reset the '70s narrative to one
in which the United States was the world's top oil and gas producer.
"As a result, all of our supply cannot be absorbed domestically," Cornyn
writes. "In order to keep production going, and our economy growing,
energy producers need access to the global market. With production
of domestic oil and gas projected to continue growing over the coming
years, now is the time for Congress to lift the crude oil export ban."
The senator goes on to make a multifaceted case for U.S. exports,
arguing it will support job creation, boost the economy and provide the
country with geopolitical leverage to support its allies and mitigate its
Furthermore, he notes, analysis from multiple sources should ease
concerns that allowing U.S. producers to sell their oil abroad will raise
prices for domestic consumers.
"Although many critics of lifting the ban suggest it will increase the price
at the pump for American consumers, multiple studies suggest getting more
U.S. oil and gas onto the international market will have the opposite effect,
since our gas prices are tied to global oil prices," Senator Cornyn indicates.
Fortunately, Cornyn reports growing momentum on Capitol Hill to
end the ban, and points to legislation that would lift it-the Offshore
Production and Energizing National Security (OPENS) Act by Senator
Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak.-which cleared committee in July. Meanwhile,
he notes, a similar bill in the House passed committee in September and
garnered 137 bipartisan co-sponsors.
"The world looks much different today than it did 40 years ago," Cornyn
says. "While the Obama Administration's decision to allow some limited
crude exports to Mexico is a good first step, it's time to fully embrace
pro-growth energy policies that address both our economic interests
and our strategic concerns."
U P S T RE A M T E X A S F a l l | W i n t e r 2 0 15 -16
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2015
New Texas Law Clarifies State, Local Jurisdiction
Texas Aims to be Country’s Best for Business
Creating Economic Knowledge from Data that Illustrates Obvious and Inevitable Value
Get Lean, Drive Growth with Affordable ERP and Mobility Solutions
Legislative Profile: U.S. Senator John Cornyn
Regulatory Profile: Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Member Profile: Steven Gray, CEO and Director or RSP Permian, Inc.
Calendar of Events
Upstream Texas - Fall/Winter 2015