April 25


There's no drought in Austin

Texas’ water worries unlikely to interfere with oil and gas agendas

Two hot issues, water conservation and the state’s natural gas and oil boom, came together before a joint house committee hearing on Wednesday. Could frugal, stern water conservation get in bed with oil and gas’s devil-may-care ways? Alas, for the members of the natural resources and energy resources committees, the hearing on water usage in hydraulic fracking was more boring than a mediocre Valentine’s Day rom-com.

To this viewer, Wednesday’s invited testimony lacked the necessary frisson to create a compelling plot. It focused heavily on the industry’s innovation without a peep from any conservation or community groups. They appeared neither to give testimony nor as an influence on any present committee members, who acted primarily as passive listeners rather than hard-nosed interrogators.

“It wasn’t lost on anybody that there wasn’t a sense of balance at the joint hearing,” said Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), a member of the natural resources committee.

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