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FM attorney testifies against oil, gas drilling legislation

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Flower Mound officials have been actively involved during this 84th Texas Legislative Session to voice concerns about bills filed that would diminish or eliminate local control.

House Bill 40 and House Bill 539 relate to oil and gas drilling operations.

HB 40 relates to the express preemption of regulation of oil and gas operations and the exclusive jurisdiction of those operations by the state.

If approved, HB 40 would give unrestricted rights to drilling companies at the expense of homeowner rights, according to a news release from the town.

HB 539 would eliminate municipal regulations by requiring cities to pay the state for any lost state tax revenue due to oil and gas ordinances.

Other bills related to energy production include HB 540, 1736 and HB 2855 as well as Senate Bill 440, 343, 1673, 360, 1288 and 1165, according to a website known as www.localcontroltexas.org

The bills range from eliminating municipal authority to prohibit hydraulic fracturing treatment to pre-emption of local law by state law and conformity of local law with state law, according to the Texas Legislature Online website.

Bryn Meredith, the town’s attorney, testified on March 23 on behalf of Flower Mound before the House Energy Resources Committee. Both bills remain pending in committee review.

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