Gas Industry Goes Unscathed This Session

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Texas lawmakers have just days until the end of the session, and the natural gas industry has emerged without a scratch.

"The gas industry has completely controlled the legislative process," said Rep. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth.

Burnam was among the lawmakers who filed bills aimed at tighter regulations for gas companies. Those bills addressed eminent domain, environmental and safety issues. "None of that's going to be addressed in this legislation," said Burnam.

Gary Hogan who sits on the Fort Worth Gas Ordnance Task Force said, "most people would see we are building ourselves into a catastrophe."

Burnam also wanted gas to be odorized at the wellhead, which he said would allow the highly combustible gas to be detected in the event of a leak.

Industry expert Ed Ireland said odorizing gas would be ineffective in an outdoor setting. "These companies have stockholders to answer to," said Ireland.

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