Texans are embracing the benefits of natural gas – even though temporary changes in the daily traffic flow within their communities often becomes a hot topic of conversation. When you know what to expect in the short-term, it’s easier to remind ourselves of the long-term goals for our energy future. Here are some of the most noticeable changes you can expect to see as our natural gas production ramps up:
Road impacts are becoming an increasingly visible issue in the Eagle Ford and other areas of very active natural gas and oil development. The Texas Department of Transportation recently formed a task force made up of a spectrum of stakeholders, including industry and county representatives, to work on proactive approaches to help county governments deal with these impacts. All of this oil and natural gas development will result in new revenue streams to these counties and other local taxing jurisdictions. Texas is one of very few states in the nation that allows these taxing entities to levy ad valorem taxes not only on our plant and equipment, but also on the value of our reserves in the ground. One of the main reasons this feature of the Texas tax system exists, is to help counties deal with these road impacts.
Heavy truck traffic and road safety is becoming an increasing matter of concern in the Eagle Ford and other parts of Texas. Safety performance is a large part of each company’s annual performance evaluation. Companies practice safety every day, and encourage their contractors to raise their safety standards to each company’s own level.
It can take some time for the infrastructure to catch up to the traffic load early in a play’s development, and development companies look for ways to work collaboratively with local officials to minimize impacts on the community.
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