Landgraf pushes for oilfield highway improvements

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) this week participated in two legislative committee hearings charged with evaluating the effects of oil and gas production on Permian Basin highway infrastructure.

"An increase in oil and gas production is always a good thing for Texas, but with it comes significant challenges to local infrastructure in the oil patch," Landgraf said. "There is a significant strain put on our roads that create huge repair costs and public safety concerns, so I'm glad that my colleagues were able to hear about these issues that really aren't faced in other parts of the state."

The Texas House Committee on Transportation met Tuesday to evaluate the impact energy exploration and production have on state and county roads and make recommendations on how to improve road quality in areas impacted. The Texas House Committee on Energy Resources, of which Landgraf is a member, met Wednesday to evaluate the evolution of frac sand mining in the Permian Basin and how it may impact county infrastructure and oil and gas development.

"Increased oilfield and sand mine activity means that more traffic is traveling on Permian Basin highways. Our region has two percent of the state's population, but we have ten percent of the fatal automobile accidents. That has to change, and I took the lead in these hearings to improve our highways to save lives, make travel safer and to keep West Texas open for business," Landgraf added.

Among those providing testimony before the committees were Winkler County Judge Charles Wolf and officials from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Department of Public Safety.