Welcome to today’s grab-bag of unrelated topics.

The climate avengers are clever in the way they demonize the industry. They give zero credit for technological advancement. Truth is, the industry’s use of technology is constantly evolving, resulting in improved performance and, not secondarily, lessened environmental impact from operations.

One example: Scientists from The Ohio State University are working on a project to convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products, including electricity, without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The papers were published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Further to the point: Here are relevant portions of a recent presentation by ConocoPhillips’ Chief Technology Officer Greg Leveille to TIPRO members showing technological breakthroughs that have  improved natural gas production processes while also using less water and emitting lower amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Why is this important?

Jude Clements in Forbes identifies five practical reasons (there are more) why the Green Nude Eel is not workable. He predicts that fossil fuels will be with us for a long time to come. That is a better alternative than importing LNG to the East Coast from our president’s putative BFF, or bringing oil  into California from, as they say, people who want to kill us have killed us.

And all the while the avengers are out-trillioning one another to prove their green bona fides.

What is the Legislature about to do to Texas royalty owners?

The short answer is, cutting them out of a cause of action for unpaid royalties.

On the legislative front, we have House Bill 3372, gliding quickly and stealthily through the current legislative session. The bill would amend Section 91.402(b) of the Texas Natural Resources Code to deprive payees of a common law cause of action for breach of contract against the payor who withholds payments under 91.402(b).

The Bill is in response to the 2018 ruling of the Supreme Court of Texas in ConocoPhillips Company et al v. Koopmann. (Reported by me, but not so much on this topic)

The Koopmanns sued Burlington for failure to pay royalties due under an oil and gas lease. Burlington argued that the Koopman’s exclusive remedy was under Chapter 91 of the Natural Resources Code, citing Section 91.402, allowing a payor to withhold royalty payments without interest when there is “a dispute concerning title that would affect distribution of payments.” Section 9.404(c) established a cause of action in favor of royalty owners for nonpayment of royalties required in section 91.402. Burlington argued that by this statute the Legislature intended that a royalty owner’s only cause of action for failure to pay royalties is under section 91.404(c). The court disagreed. The statute did not clearly indicate legislative intent to abrogate a common-law cause of action. Thus the Koopmanns were entitled to sue for breach of contract.

This legislation would overrule Koopmann. Royalty owners, be advised.

What does it portend? Passage could mean fewer Cadillacs, surely no pink ones, and no Mercurys.