Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2547
By: Williams
Energy Resources


In 1985, the 68th Texas Legislature enacted legislation creating the
Geo-Technology Research Institute to assist in the development of the Texas
oil and gas industry.  Prior to the 76th Legislature, expansion of the
institute's charter may have been needed to address environmental and
information technology challenges facing today's oil and gas industry.
H.B. 2547 specifies that the research consortium where the institute is
located includes the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University,
Rice University, and the University of Houston.  This bill also modifies
the institute's duties to include analysis among basic and applied
research; deletes language addressing the exact direction of this research
and analysis; amends the availability of research results; and amends the
scope of the institute's authority to receive federal and state government
funds and its use of state funds.            


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 149.002, Education Code, to specify that the
Houston Advanced Research Center, a research consortium and the location of
the Geo-Technology Research Institute (institute), includes the University
of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Rice University, and the
University of Houston. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 149.004, Education Code, to require the
institute to conduct analysis, in addition to basic and applied research,
in geoscience, rather than geophysics, in geo-technology, and in related
fields.  Provides that this research and analysis includes the
implementation of technology and development of integrated databases,
rather than the discovery of new reserves and development of technology
that increases the production potential of oil and natural gas.  Requires
that results of the research be made available to state agencies, rather
than the General Land Office and the Railroad Commission of Texas, to other
public bodies and officials, to industry, and to private citizens, rather
than groups. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Sections 149.005(a) and (c), Education Code, to include
in the funds that the institute is authorized to receive from the federal
or state government, direct appropriations; an agreement under Chapter 771
(Interagency Cooperation Act) or 791 (Interlocal Cooperation Contracts),
Government Code; or a contract under Subtitle D (State Purchasing and
General Services), Title 10, Government Code, including funds received as a
vendor in a proprietary purchase made under Section 2155.067 (Proprietary
Purchases), Government Code.  Provides that the use of state funds by the
institute is limited to expenditures for basic and applied research and
analysis, excluding construction costs, rather than costs for construction,
operation, or maintenance of facilities. 

SECTION 4.Emergency clause.
  Effective date: upon passage.