There are reports coming out of Austin that there are major concerns around the risks of earthquakes and drought. As a result there are plans being proposed that will encourage people to re-use water, phase out the permits that have been provided for hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal wells and allow local decisions to be made when it comes to permits for groundwater.
The idea has been put forward by Steve brown who is planning to stand as a Democrat for the position of Railroad Commissioner. It is claimed that there is enough water used for drilling to fill 40,000 Olympic sized swimming pools and it is agreed that this amount is beginning to put a strain on the farmers’ residents and other businesses in the area according to Mr. Brown. The figures have come from the Texas Water Development Board, so this is no fear that they have been skewed to try and make a point.
Republican candidate Ryan Sitton has joined in the debate and said that the proposals being made are “out of touch” and have not been thought through well enough to allow them to help the district. He went on to say that there would also be a poor effect on the economy.
There have been a number of years that have been described as drought years and add this to a number of earthquakes there have been concerns raised about the amount of water that the drillers are using.
As part of his plan, Brown aims to help the agency stop freshwater fracking as early as 2020 and while this will be good news for those worried about the water levels, it will not be for those who will face higher costs to continue their work
It is known that there is a so called Rainy Day Fund and that $50 million should be taken from this to enable research to be carried out as well as provide grants for companies who will bring forward the plans and technology that will allow frack water to be reused. It is also hoped that there would be ways found that would allow drilling without the same amount of water being used. Brown also believes that there could be tax credits given for those who could prove they were recycling their waste water.
The election for Commissioner is going to take place in November and whoever wins will join the existing commissioners David Porter and Christi Craddick on the panel that regulates the industry