FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2015
(AUSTIN) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and Rep. John Cyrier, R-Lockhart, today (Tuesday) were elected Chairs of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, a group of more than 30 legislators who focus on issues related to oil and gas development in the shale region. In addition to electing officers, members set goals for the caucus and discussed issues of mutual interest, including transportation funding, property rights and water.
"I am delighted to be the Senate Chair of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, especially because of the shale's tremendous economic impact on our district and state," said Senator Zaffirini, a member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and Vice Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee. "What's more, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my colleagues in championing legislation and funding that promote responsible development and address the region's unique opportunities and challenges."
"I am honored to serve as House Chair," said Rep. Cyrier, a member of the House Land & Resource Management Committee. "As the representative for Karnes County, the largest oil producing county in the state, I am deeply interested in the region's future. I look forward to working with my colleagues and constituents to address the challenges facing the Eagle Ford Shale region and to ensure its continued prosperity."
In 2012 Senator Zaffirini and other legislators organized the caucus, which champions short- and long-term solutions to the impacts of the shale on transportation, education, public safety, housing, the environment and other areas.
In 2013 when the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced a plan to convert certain paved highways in the shale to gravel, the caucus hosted a regional public meeting providing an opportunity for citizens and legislators to question high-ranking TxDOT officials and discuss potential solutions. As a result, the agency abandoned its original plan and partnered with communities to keep their roads paved.
Senator Zaffirini represents Senate District 21, which is in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale and includes the majority of rigs, the majority of production and the shale's highest-producing counties. She also is a member of the Energy Council.
Rep. Cyrier, who also serves on the House Agriculture & Livestock Committee, represents House District 17, which includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee counties.
THE EAGLE FORD SHALE LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS meets to elect officers and discuss mutual priorities. Members include (from top, L-R) Reps. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) and Tracy King (D-Batesville); Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), Senate Chair; and Reps. Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell) and John Kuempel (R-Seguin). Also shown are (bottom, L-R) Reps. Dennis Paul (R-Houston) and John Cyrier (R-Lockhart), House Chair; Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen); and Reps. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) and Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton).