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  85R5032 JAM-F
 
  By: Nevárez H.B. No. 1168
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the mineral use of land that has been subdivided for
  energy development resulting in the generation of electricity.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 92.002, Natural Resources Code, is
  amended by adding Subdivision (5) to read as follows:
               (5)  "Qualified subdivision for energy development"
  means a tract of land of not more than 640 acres that:
                     (A)  has been subdivided in a manner authorized by
  law by the surface owners for energy development resulting in the
  generation of electricity by a plant or industrial facility; and
                     (B)  contains one or more operations sites within
  the tract and provisions for road and pipeline easements to allow
  use of the operations sites.
         SECTION 2.  Section 92.003, Natural Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 92.003.  CREATION OF SUBDIVISION. The surface owners
  of a parcel of land may create a qualified subdivision or a
  qualified subdivision for energy development on the land if a plat
  of the subdivision has been approved by the railroad commission and
  filed with the clerk of the county in which the subdivision is to be
  located.
         SECTION 3.  Section 92.004(a), Natural Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The railroad commission shall adopt rules governing the
  contents of an application for a qualified subdivision or a
  qualified subdivision for energy development.  An application must
  be accompanied by a plat of the subdivision showing the applicant's
  proposed location of operations sites and road and pipeline
  easements.
         SECTION 4.  Section 92.005, Natural Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 92.005.  USE OF OPERATIONS SITE. (a)  An owner of a
  possessory mineral interest within a qualified subdivision or a
  qualified subdivision for energy development may use only the
  surface contained in designated operations sites for exploration,
  development, and production of minerals and the designated
  easements only as necessary to adequately use the operations sites.
         (b)  The owner of the possessory mineral interest may drill
  wells or extend well bores from an operations site or from a site
  outside of the qualified subdivision or qualified subdivision for
  energy development under the surface of other parts of the
  qualified subdivision or qualified subdivision for energy
  development if the operations do not unreasonably interfere with
  the use of the surface of the qualified subdivision or qualified
  subdivision for energy development outside the operations site.
         (c)  This section ceases to apply to a qualified subdivision
  if, by the third anniversary of the date on which the order of the
  commission becomes final:
               (1)  the surface owner has not commenced actual
  construction of roads or utilities within the qualified
  subdivision; and
               (2)  a lot within the qualified subdivision has not
  been sold to a third party.
         (d)  This section ceases to apply to a qualified subdivision
  for energy development if, by the third anniversary of the date on
  which the order of the commission becomes final, the surface owner
  has not commenced actual construction of roads or facilities for
  use in generating electricity within the qualified subdivision for
  energy development.
         SECTION 5.  Section 92.006, Natural Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 92.006.  AMENDMENT, REPLAT, OR ABANDONMENT.  All or any
  portion of a qualified subdivision or qualified subdivision for
  energy development may be amended, replatted, or abandoned by the
  surface owner.  An amendment or replat, however, may not alter,
  diminish, or impair the usefulness of an operations site or
  appurtenant road or pipeline easement unless the amendment or
  replat is approved by the commission in accordance with Section
  92.003 [of this code].
         SECTION 6.  Not later than January 1, 2018, the Railroad
  Commission of Texas shall adopt rules necessary to implement
  Chapter 92, Natural Resources Code, as amended by this Act.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2017.