The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) applauded the passage of two bills in the legislature; one that rejects California-style fossil fuel restrictions and another that opposes Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)-centered investing.

House Bill 17 prohibits political subdivisions from discriminating against specific fuel sources like natural gas and coal. The RRC said this will ensure cities and counties cannot pass California-style ordinances that ban gas hook-ups in new buildings or homes.

“Winter Storm Uri exposed the importance of allowing individuals to have access to natural gas in their homes,” said RRC Commissioner Wayne Christian, noting that “99.5% of customers connected to natural gas maintained service for the duration of Winter Storm Uri, ensuring they had fuel to cook food and heat their homes.”

Senate Bill 13 prevents the state from investing in ESG financial products that boycott Texas energy companies.

“Extremists are coming after your retirement account vis-à-vis ESG investing,” Christian said. “Studies clearly show this investment strategy leads to poorer outcomes for investors, and for the State of Texas, divesting from fossil fuels would have a dramatic impact on our state’s economy and budget. As proponents of SB 13 have said, this sends a strong message to big business, that if you boycott Texas energy, Texas will boycott you.” 

“I would like to thank bill authors Sen. Brian Birdwell (HB 17/SB 13), Rep. Joe Deshotel (HB 17), and Rep. Phil King (SB 13) for their leadership on these issues,” Christian continued. “While the federal government picks winners and losers by propping up unreliable forms of energy with massive subsidies, Texas has demonstrated it prioritizes consumer choice and reliability more than virtue signaling to a small and loud group of woke political activists.”