Commissioner Bush oversaw the first ever online sale of oil and gas leases at the GLO. Previously, anyone wishing to develop oil and gas reserves on Permanent School Fund land had to physically submit their sealed bid to GLO offices in Austin. By making the first substantial changes to the process since the 1950’s by putting the sale online, the GLO brought in more bidders and made more money. The Permanent School Fund made $20 million in 20 minutes and more than an additional $1500 per acre than during the last sale.
Commissioner Bush pushed back against the environmental lobby’s “sue and settle” racket. Commissioner Bush led a coalition of 32 states via the Western States Land Commissioner’s Association, an organization that manages more than 440 million acres of public school trust land and mineral rights. He is also supporting Sen. John Cornyn’s two bills to fix the problem. Here in Texas, environmentalists and trial lawyers exploit the Endangered Species Act to try and wreck oil and gas activity. They flood the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service with hundreds of supposed endangered animals for listing with little to no scientific evidence. When U.S. Fish and Wildlife fails to render a judgment in the legally required time, these groups sue the federal government. This tactic has cost the federal government $15 million since 2008.
Commissioner Bush is fighting back against mission creep at the EPA. Obama’s greenhouse gas regulations will increase the cost of energy production which will make all energy more expensive and have no meaningful impact on the climate. The EPA has also finalized tier 3 gas regulation to lower sulfur levels, which could add nearly 10 cents to the cost of every gallon of gas - all with no measurable improvement in air quality.
Commissioner Bush helped protect the private property rights of Texas companies by ensuring hydraulic fracturing is consistently regulated statewide. By doing so, Commissioner Bush fulfilled his duty as land commissioner to maximize the utilization of state mineral rights to fund the Permanent School Fund.
Commissioner Bush pushed back to make sure loopholes in mineral contracts weren’t allowing lessees to take advantage of Texas schoolchildren. By changing the rules on allocation wells, Commissioner Bush has assured oil and gas leases won’t sit underutilized during market corrections while those holding them hurt the Permanent School Fund by postponing operations and abusing the state’s mineral rights. Without this clarification of allocation well rules a fiscal note estimated the state would lose $4 billion over five years.
Commissioner Bush directed staff to automate generation of the GLO’s Oil and Gas Well Inventory. This database is critical to the GLO’s oil and gas leasing function, the primary revenue driver of the Permanent School Fund. Maintaining it manually requires time-consuming updates by GLO staff. Automating the well inventory process improved its accuracy, significantly reduced staff time needed to input data, and allowed staff to access the data more frequently.
Commissioner Bush joined the lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management to stop an illegal federal land grab that is at the expense of law abiding Texans and Texas schoolchildren. Commissioner Bush is pushing back against yet another example of this administration’s bureaucratic overreach and demanding the federal government stop its grab of Texas minerals and private property that has belonged to Texas families for generations.