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Oil and Gas Boom Damaging Texas Roads

October 12th, 2012

According to many local sources, the roads in Karnes County Texas are in desperate need of repair. Locals say the conditions of the roads are due to the increase of traffic caused by the oil and gas boom inside the county. Local authorities also say the increase in traffic accidents can be attributed to the vehicles brought on to the county roads by the gas companies. Further, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than $ 2 billion dollars in annual repair needs have accumulated across the state due to drilling activities.

Across a 20-county region of rural South Texas where oil and gas production has gone into a round-the-clock frenzy, officials are struggling to manage crumbling roadways on limited budgets. One DeWitt County official has spoken up and said the state should reinvest some of the tax money it receives into road repair funds.

Reportedly, DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler is trying to build a coalition of oil- and gas-producing counties and energy companies in advance of the 2013 legislative session. Sources say he hopes that the legislature will allocate a slice of the state's severance taxes, which are paid on oil and gas production, to help with repairs.

DeWitt County will collect around $3.6 million more in property taxes this year than last, but Fowler said that does not begin to address road needs. The county also has collected around $2 million so far through voluntary agreements with companies paying $8,000 per well toward road repairs.

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