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Featured, from left: Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, on Thursday, January 22, at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Texas’ oil and gas industry and the state’s efforts to fight and prevent crime will be directly affected by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who on Wednesday, February 4, was chosen to continue serving on the two State House committees which first deal with those vital aspects of life in the Lone Star State. Canales was reappointed by Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, as the only Valley state representative to the House Committee on Energy Resources and the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. “Texas is one of the the world’s largest energy producers and it contributes significantly to our state’s economy and way of life, so the work of the House Committee on Energy Resources Committee will have a tremendous influence on the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources,” the House District 40 lawmaker said. Equally important, in his role on that legislative panel, Canales will continue to expertly monitor – and shape state laws and policies – to promote the beneficial impact of two enormous energy producing regions, the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Burgos Basin in northern Mexico, on the state, especially for the Valley. “The Rio Grande Valley is centrally located between Eagle Ford Shale, which has produced billions of dollars worth of jobs, revenue, and taxes for Texas, and the Burgos Basin on the other side of the border, which, once in full production, will have a $1 trillion dollar economic impact over 10 years for Mexico,” Canales said. “By helping provide the skilled workforces, building up the transportation systems, and handling the distribution of energy to the rest of the nation and world, the Valley will be a key to the continuing economic development of Texas.” As for his role on the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, Canales said his focus will be on supporting measures to help the state’s law enforcement entities in their battle against crime and help protect Texans from the scourge of criminals. “I am dedicated to helping provide the laws and powers to our police and courts that will make it easier for them to punish criminals, especially the violent cowards who prey on the most vulnerable in our families,” said Canales, who is an attorney. “All law-abiding Texans, especially innocent children, victims of domestic violence, mobility-impaired residents, and senior citizens, have a champion in me.”

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Texas’ oil and gas industry, war on crime legislation to be shaped by Rep. Canales through his House committee appointments

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Texas’ oil and gas industry and the state’s efforts to fight and prevent crime will be directly affected by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who on Wednesday, February 4, was chosen to continue serving on the two State House committees which first deal with those vital aspects of life in the Lone Star State.

Canales was reappointed by Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, as the only Valley State Representative on the House Committee on Energy Resources and the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

“I am honored by the confidence that Speaker Straus has shown in my work in the Texas Legislature,” Canales said. “Regulating the state’s oil and natural gas industry is vital, not only because we need to promote this crucial sector of our state economy, but also because we need to protect the environment as we build upon Texas’ global leadership role in the production of energy.”

Mexico is opening up its state-run energy monopoly to private investment, which will provide new opportunities for the Rio Grande Valley. Canales has served as a leader in advocating for Texas investments in the Burgos Basin of Northern Mexico, which features massive energy fields that will need U.S. technology and Texas know-how to develop.

“Texas is one of the world’s largest energy producers and it contributes significantly to our state’s economy and way of life, so the work of the House Committee on Energy Resources Committee will have a tremendous influence on the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources,” the House District 40 lawmaker said.

VALLEY POISED TO BECOME EPICENTER LINKING MAJOR ENERGY RESOURCES

Equally important, in his role on that legislative panel, Canales will continue to expertly monitor – and shape state laws and policies – to promote the beneficial impact of two enormous energy producing regions, the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Burgos Basin in northern Mexico, on the state, especially for the Valley.

“The Rio Grande Valley is centrally located between the Eagle Ford Shale, which has produced billions of dollars worth of jobs, revenue, and taxes for Texas, and the Burgos Basin on the other side of the border, which, once in full production, will have a $1 trillion dollar economic impact over 10 years for Mexico,” Canales said. “By helping provide the skilled workforces, building up the transportation systems, and handling the distribution of energy to the rest of the nation and world, the Valley will be a key to the continuing economic development of Texas.”

As part of his leadership for the state, in late September, Canales, along with the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, hosted a rare joint legislative hearing at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance which drew positive and international attention to the Valley as a developing player in the energy industry.

The public hearing featured the House Committee on Energy Resources, on which Canales served and continues to be a member, and the House Committee International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs.

PROTECTING THE INNOCENT AND FIGHTING CRIMINALS

As for his role on the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, Canales said his focus will be on supporting measures to help the state’s law enforcement entities in their battle against crime and help protect Texans from the scourge of criminals.

“I am dedicated to helping provide the laws and powers to our police and courts that will make it easier for them to punish criminals, especially the violent cowards who prey on the most vulnerable in our families,” said Canales, who is an attorney. “All law-abiding Texans, especially innocent children, victims of domestic violence, mobility-impaired residents, and senior citizens, have a champion in me.”
During the legislative session in 2013, Canales passed landmark legislation, with widespread support, that requires criminal confessions to be made in the language best understood by the defendant.
Many notable legal cases have involved a defendant signing a confession in English even though they could not understand or read what they were signing.
“Manuel Vélez of Brownsville was released from prison after unjustly spending nine years for a crime which he did not commit,” Canales illustrated. “But he had signed several confessions, written for him in English, which he was unable to read or understand.”
VALLEY MONITORING MEXICAN SHALE SUMMIT

The potential of the Mexican energy fields south of the Valley continues to generate widespread state, national and international interest, Canales noted.

“Christi Craddick, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, and Antonio Garza, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, are among the most well-known speakers who are confirmed to participate in the Mexico Shale Summit, to be held in San Antonio on Tuesday, February 17, and Wednesday, February 19, to provide expert updates on the Burgos Basin and how it will affect us in the Valley and Texas,” he said.

Among the gathering’s goals, according to organizers of the event, “are to bring together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and C level executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on the opportunities associated with Northern Mexico and Gulf Coast onshore. Gain extremely valuable industry insight as well as develop strategic relationships necessary to increase your probabilities of success in this new and historic market opportunity.”

Key points about the Mexican energy fields south of the Valley include:

• The Ministry of Energy in Mexico has estimated a $100 billion in investment is needed over the next 10 years to develop Mexican shale resources.

• The prolific Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas extends south across the border into Mexico’s Burgos Basin and accounts for two-thirds of Mexico’s shale gas resources, which are estimated to reach approximately 600 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas and ranks 6th largest in the world.

• Mexico is also estimated to have 13 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil resources and ranks 8th largest in the world. With the development of Eagle Ford in Texas and the ongoing energy reform, many believe that Mexico could replicate the success.

The Mexico Shale Summit is a unique and highly focused Mexico Energy industry event bringing the relevant players together to discuss the opportunities associated with entering the Mexican energy market. With its geographic location, proximity to Texas, and strategic and stable relationship with the United States, Mexico is in a favorable position to receive the much anticipated foreign investment.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) assessment of world shale gas resources, Mexico has an estimated 545 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas resources–the sixth largest of any country examined in the study.

Most of Mexico’s shale gas resources are in the northeast and east-central regions of the country. The Burgos Basin, which accounts for the majority of Mexico’s technically recoverable shale gas resources and parts of the Eagle Ford shale play are considered to be Mexico’s most promising prospect and a prolific source of natural gas production.

The Eagle Ford Formation extends into northern Mexico’s Burgos Basin where it is known as the Boquillas Formation, and has an average thickness of 200 meters. Total organic content (TOC) is estimated to average 5%. Technically recoverable hydrocarbons are estimated to be 343 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 6.3 billion barrels of tight oil.

The national oil company Pemex first began exploring in 2010-2011. Pemex has an exploration program in progress until 2015.In April 2013, Pemex started producing the nation’s first shale gas well, just south of the US border. The well was completed in the equivalent of the Eagle Ford Formation.

HOUSE SPEAKER: APPOINTMENTS REFLECT STRENGTHS, EXPERTISE OF LAWMAKERS

According to the rules that the 150-member House of Representatives unanimously adopted during the first week of the legislative session, there are 38 standing and procedural committees in the House.

“With only 118 days left in the legislative session, we have a lot of important work ahead of us,” said Straus. “With these assignments, I have placed members where I believe they can have the greatest impact on issues that directly relate to our economy and our future. I want to thank members in advance for their work.”

Straus also created two select committees. Of those 40 committees, 24 will have new chairmen, including 10 Members who chaired different committees during the 83rd Legislature.

Canales highlighted the importance of his committees to the Texas in general and to the Valley specifically.

In 2013, 61 proposals were assigned to the House Committee on Energy Resources, with 24 measures being approved by that panel for action by the full Legislature.
In 2013, 322 proposals were assigned to the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, with 165 measures being approved by that panel for action by the full Legislature.
The duties of the House Committee on Energy Resources follow:

ENERGY RESOURCES. The committee shall have 13, (up from11 in 2013) members, with jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to:

(1) the conservation of the energy resources of Texas;
(2) the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources;
(3) mining and the development of mineral deposits within the state;
(4) the leasing and regulation of mineral rights under public lands;
(5) pipelines, pipeline companies, and all others operating as common carriers in the state;
(6) electric utility regulation as it relates to energy production and consumption;
(7) identifying, developing, and using alternative energy sources;
(8) increasing energy efficiency throughout the state;
(9) the coordination of the state’s efforts related to the federal designation of threatened and endangered species as it relates to energy resources in the state; and
(10) the following state agencies: the Railroad Commission of Texas, the Office of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commissioner for Texas, the Office of Interstate Mining Compact Commissioner for Texas, the State Energy Conservation Office, and the Office of Southern States Energy Board Member for Texas.
The duties of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence follow:

CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE. The committee shall have seven (down from nine) members, with jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to:

(1) criminal law, prohibitions, standards, and penalties;
(2) probation and parole;
(3) criminal procedure in the courts of Texas;
(4) revision or amendment of the Penal Code; and
(5) the following state agencies: the Office of State Prosecuting Attorney and the Texas State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.

“The work ahead is too important for this to be a status-quo session,” Straus said. “These appointments will allow some of our committee chairs to bring their perspectives and leadership to a fresh set of issues, and that new thinking will benefit the entire House. Many other Members are also moving into new positions of responsibility, and I am very confident in the work they’re going to do.”

In making his appointments, Straus considered the needs and priorities of rural and urban areas in every region of the state, as well as the diversity of the House membership.

“These assignments reflect the makeup of the House,” Straus said. “They also reflect a collaborative and results-oriented culture that has worked very well in recent years. The House is a place that encourages Members to find common ground and build consensus around serious solutions.”

Although committees begin meeting about a month after the Texas Legislature returned to work on January 13, according to the Texas Constitution, the House cannot consider legislation during the session’s first 60 days unless that legislation relates to an emergency item designated by the governor.

“Our committee structure allows every member to play a meaningful role in the House’s work,” Straus said. “I look forward to working with all Members to address the challenges and opportunities facing our state.”

More details on the committee make-up are available online at:

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS BY MEMBER
http://www.house.state.tx.us/_media/pdf/member.pdf

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS BY COMMITTEE
http://www.house.state.tx.us/_media/pdf/committee.pdf

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Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, represents House District 40 in Hidalgo County. HD 4o includes portions or all of Edinburg, Elsa, Faysville, La Blanca, Linn, Lópezville, McAllen, Pharr, San Carlos and Weslaco. He may be reached at his House District Office in Edinburg at (956) 383-0860 or at the Capitol at (512) 463-0426.

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