WEST TEXAS (KWES) - A new bill signed into law will not only help the environment but bring more people to work.
"This is going to allow the Permian Basin to continue to be not only the economic engine of Texas but the world's leading producer of natural gas," said State Representative Brooks Landgraf.
The Texas Fuels bill, signed by Governor Greg Abbott, will require state agencies with 15 or more state vehicles to run on natural gas rather than conventional gas or diesel. The vehicles would be purchased without cost to taxpayers but instead use funds under the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan.
"There's over a billion dollars sitting in that account, that money is sitting on the sidelines," said Landgraf. "What that legislation I sponsored in the House will do is it will take that money out of the sidelines and put it to work for the people of Texas."
The Energy Information Administration said Texas is the top state to consume and produce the most natural gas. With this bill, Landgraf said it would grow the natural gas market in West Texas, which could open more jobs.
"Regardless of where oil is fluctuating, natural gas is going to have new markets as a result of this legislation. When you have new markets for natural gas, you'll have more drilling, more production," he said. "You're going to have jobs that otherwise won't be here in the Permian Basin."
The Texas Fuels Bill will go into effect in the next few months. Landgraf said he expects to see job growth sometime next year.
"The Permian Basin not only has plentiful of natural resources, but we also have some of the hardest working people in the country. I think when you have that combination of oil and gas underneath the ground here and hardworking West Texans, I think the sky's the limit for West Texans."