Texas lawmakers have made it clear you don’t mess with Texas when it comes to extracting fossil fuels. Even if you’re a Texan.
On Monday, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed legislation that prohibits cities across Texas from banning hydraulic fracturing from their home turf. In what was a major agenda item for Texas lawmakers this session, towns like Denton, Texas — which passed the state’s first local fracking ban last November — will no longer be able to exercise local control over the oil and gas industry when it comes to nearby extraction.
The law will take effect immediately as it passed both chambers by more than a two-thirds margin. Communities will now only be able to impose ordinances that regulate aboveground activity related to oil and gas operations, such as things relating to traffic, noise, lights, or “reasonable setback requirements,” which dictate how far away drilling must be from buildings. The law is meant to ensure that these local surface regulations are commercially reasonable and do not “effectively” prohibit oil and gas operations.
In signing the bill, Gov. Abbott said it “does a profound job of helping to protect private property rights here in the State of Texas, ensuring those who own their own property will not have the heavy hand of local regulation deprive them of their rights.”
“You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.
I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what’s hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described socialist, is an extremely long shot to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. Does that mean his views on key political issues are too radical for America’s voters? Not necessarily. Here’s how his policy positions actually fare in the polls:
Night after night Bill O’Reilly doles out his opinions on the problems that face minorities, black teenage girls and their money grubbing families, but when it comes to his own family and children, it appears he’s got many more flaws to deal with.
NEWSER) – A former Congressional candidate in Tennessee has pleaded guilty after allegedly planning to assault a Muslim community known as “Islamaberg,” court documents say. Robert Doggart, 63—who got just 6% of the vote as an Independent in 2014—was nabbed April 10 and hit with an array of charges for his apparent plan to firebomb and murder Muslims in Hancock, NY, reports the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. But he only pleading guilty to interstate communication of threats, which comes with a maximum five-year sentence. He’s also out on a $30,000 bond, albeit under electronic surveillance, providing he stop getting drunk and using pain medication, the Chattanoogan reports. You can imagine, Muslims aren’t too thrilled with the treatment he’s getting.