AUSTIN -- State Representative Tony Dale, Cedar Park, has been elected as Secretary of the newly created House Energy Caucus (HEC). This caucus, which includes Members of the House, will study and address issues related to traditional and alternative energy sources, as well as the energy industry's effect on the rest of the state.
"I look forward to taking a leadership role on energy issues," Dale said. "The energy industry is critical to the overall economic health of our state, and this caucus will work to see that Texas remains a national leader in energy production and innovation."
"Energy production is a critical part of our state's economy and vital to our national security," the HEC Chair State Representative Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said addressing the members during the organizational meeting. "The importance of this production is never lost on the communities supplying the men, women, and businesses supporting the oil patch, the mine, or renewable fields spread over most of our state."
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas is first in the nation in production of oil, natural gas, and wind energy. Texas coal and lignite production is also a key supplier for energy demands. As technological capability and demand has increased, the growth and expansion of these forms of energy production has affected all areas of the state, including central Texas, where the energy industry has brought significant job growth. Companies like National Oil Well Varco, Tolteq, Corvalent, EEstor and 3Ps Solutions have created well-paying primary jobs in southwestern Williamson County.
The House Energy Caucus will provide educational opportunities and information on policy issues regarding traditional energy production such as oil, gas, and coal, as well as alternative energy including biomass, wind and solar power, and emerging technologies like clean coal/coal gasification. In addition, the HEC will also identify, research, and build coalitions to help resolve social and infrastructure issues faced by areas of the state experiencing significant impacts from increased activity related to the energy industry.
"The Caucus will help to educate its members on the impact to energy production of legislation addressing water, transportation and workforce development needs," Rep. Darby said. "This state's energy industry is revitalizing our state through innovative technologies and significant economic investment and I want to see that continue."
"Energy is a vital, growing industry in Williamson County, and this leadership post will help me advocate for constituents who work in the energy sector," Dale said. "In addition, strong energy policies will benefit all of my constituents, and my role in this caucus will give me an immediate policy impact during my first term in the Legislature."
Dale was elected to the House in November 2012. He is a small business owner and veteran of the U.S. Army who previously served on the Cedar Park City Council. He represents western Williamson County, including the communities of Cedar Park, Leander and Brushy Creek, as well as parts of north Austin.