The laws surrounding energy development in Texas have evolved over the past century, as Texas has been at the epicenter of the energy industry—and thereby, the center of energy law—since oil was discovered in Corsicana in 1894. Domestic, and even some international choice-of-law clauses, choose Texas law due to the Lone Star State’s dominance in the energy sector.
While Texas is often closely tied to oil and gas, its strong position in the energy market is not limited just to this industry. Texas is now the largest producer of wind energy and the seventh largest producer of solar energy in the United States. The plans to exponentially increase production of these alternative types of energy in the next five to ten years is reflected by the $2.5 billion dollars that has been invested in wind and solar development in Texas.
However, developing alternative energy sources creates an environment ripe for conflicts over land space as multiple parties seek to develop their respective forms of energy. While everything is bigger in Texas, things could start to feel significantly smaller if companies seek to produce several types of energy on the same, or close, area of land.
This Article discusses the advantages of Texas’s continued growth in energy development—both traditional and alternative forms—and how to address the inevitable competition for land space that will occur when development of different natural resources is pursued in the same area. The author will also suggest ways that landowners can seek to protect their surface estate and preserve the current uses, such as agricultural operations, on their land.
James D. Bradbury, Courtney C. Smith & Chandler Schmitz,
The Fight for Footprint: Energy Development and Competing Surface Use Issues,
Tex. A&M J. Prop. L.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/jpl.V6.I3.22