A new bi-partisan caucus has formed in the Arkansas Legislature. The Fayetteville Shale Caucus is made up of 16 legislators (there are others joining) that want to protect the economic well-being of the Fayetteville shale from potentially damaging legislation.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported today that "there have been 27 bills filed that would affect natural gas drilling in the state, many of them by Rep. Kathy Webb of Little Rock."
The article also printed this statement issued from the Caucus:
“We all have issues that our constituents want addressed. Sometimes, however, people file bills with good intent that effect the lives and jobs of people not in their district. It’s become pretty clear the Fayetteville Shale Play has become a target for a lot of recent legislation. The Fayetteville Shale is an economic engine that we must protect. Our goal is to protect the economic impact of the affected counties while working with the industry folks to encourage good corporate citizenship. We think we can do that without a ton of legislation. Hopefully, the people will appreciate the bi-partisan cooperation and the unity between members of different chambers.
We, and many of our colleagues, agree that we need to send the right message to the business community that we appreciate their business and can find ways to work pro-actively through issues. The Fayetteville Shale Play is important to the long-term economic future of our districts and also the State ofArkansas. We are confident this will be a constructive working group that will strengthen the relationship between this important industry and the people of Arkansas.”
Members of the Caucus include:
State Representative Mark Biviano (R-Searcy)
State Representative Robert Dale (R-Dover)
State Representative Jane English (R-North Little Rock)
State Representative Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia)
State Representative Andrea Lea (R-Russellville)
State Representative Josh Johnston (R-Rose Bud)
State Representative Stephen Meeks (R-Greenbrier)
State Representative David Meeks (R-Conway)
State Representative David Sanders (R-Little Rock)
State Representative Tommy Thompson (D-Morrilton)
State Representative Linda Tyler (D-Conway)
State Senator Gilbert Baker (R-Conway)
State Senator Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe)
State Senator Michael Lamoureux (R-Russellville)
State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow)
State Senator David Wyatt (D-Batesville)