Yesterday residents in Denton were treated to yet another mailer from the people who support “Responsible Drilling.” This one, from the wife of one of the two board members, was particularly offensive.

JudyJonesSee larger version HERE

The mailer reminded me of a quote I saw yesterday in a video about the BP spill.

“Somebody ought to feel something other than greed.”

The family depicted in the picture above is one of the rare Denton mineral owners who actually lives in Denton. Their minerals are valued at more than the entire Denton Independent School District.

  • Average annual mineral value held by DISD (from DCAD): $143,00
  • Annual mineral value held by Jones Family Trust (DCAD) : $169,000

So, while the Jones family sends out deceptive mailers leading Denton residents to believe schools will go bankrupt and park swings will break if a ban on fracking is passed, this family gains more from fracking than all the students in Denton schools.

The Jones family are big supporters of “Responsible Drilling” but, until yesterday they have failed to define what that means.

When asked in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal to describe his idea of “Responsible Drilling”, Bobby Jones the treasurer of Denton Tax Payers for a Strong Economy had this to say:

“I guess I don’t see where it falls on the oil companies,” said Bobby Jones who has a pad site within 300 feet of his home. “They haven’t done anything wrong.”

There you have it Denton voters! “Responsible Drilling” means more of the same and the “Responsible Drilling” supporters believe the “oil companies” have no responsibility and have done nothing wrong.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones, according to the complaints logged with the state, your Denton neighbors disagree.

Searching the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s complaints from last Halloween to this Halloween yielded hundreds of complaints. Here is a sampling from the Southridge neighborhood where fracking occurred on the Acme Brick site:

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

The complaintant states there is black smoke outside and there is a bad smell in their living room.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

STRONG ODOR FROM 9:15 AM THAT LAST APPROXIMATELY 15 MINUTES. ODOR INDUCES EXTREME HEADACHES.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

EXHAUST SMELL WAS SO STRONG THAT IT BURNED THEIR EYES.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

DUST IS GETTING IN EYES AND THROATS CAUSING ITCHING AND BURNING SENSATIONS OCCURRING BETWEEN THE HOURS OF ~6:00 AM-~7:00 PM.

A sampling of the complaints from the Meadows of Hickory Creek and Vintage nieghborhoods:

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

SORE THROAT, TROUBLE IN BREATHING, COUGHING AND HEADACHES DUE TO EMISSIONS FROM GAS WELL DRILLING SITE.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

SORE THROAT, FATIGUE, NAUSEA AND BAD HEADACHES DUE TO EMISSIONS FROM ALLEGED SOURCE.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

COMPLAINANT WAS WALKING IN NEIGHBORHOOD AND IS NOW EXPERIENCING BURNING LUNGS, SORE THROAT, COUGHING AND A DIFFICULT TIME THEIR CATCHING BREATH.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

THE COMPLAINANT ALLEGED THAT A LARGE ABOUT OF FUMES WERE BEING GENERATED BY THE FACILITY AND THESE EMISSIONS WERE CLEARLY VISIBLE. COMPLAINANT ALLEGES THAT THE FACILITY IS CAUSING HEADACHES, WATERY EYES, AND SINUS ISSUES. ALL OF WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN PREVIOUS ISSUES.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

NEARBY DRILLING RIG CAUSING STRONG CHEMICAL ODORS, EYES IRRITATION, AND HEADACHES.
THERE IS A FOG OF EMISSIONS IN THE AIR MAKING IT HARD TO BREATH

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

DIESEL FUMES. THE COMPLAINANT STATED THAT OUSIDE THE SMELL WAS VERY STRONG ALMOST MAKING THEM FAINT.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

FUMES THAT LEAVE A BITTER TASTE IN THEIR MOUTH AND THE FUMES HAVING A SULFURIC SMELL AND ROTTEN EGGS SMELL.

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

OVERPOWERING CHEMICAL ODOR WHILE WALKING OUTSIDE FOR 10 MINUTES, EXPERIENCED A PIERCING HEADACHE AND NAUSEA, THROAT IRRITATION, AND EYE BURNING

There are hundreds of complaints like these listed at the TCEQ website.

How about this? Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

How about this? This child has a fracking site 200′ from his bedroom. Does this look like “Responsible Drilling” to you?

Asthma

If you don’t want fracking in your backyard, vote FOR the proposition to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in the city limits of Denton.

UPDATE: While you’re here, don’t miss my conversation with Randy Sorrells at the polls in Denton.

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The fact that breathing hydrocarbons can be lethal should not surprise anyone. Breathing hydrocarbons kills babies and adult oilfield workers. What you may not realize is that these same hydrocarbons are in the air venting from the oil and gas facilities in your backyards.

I’ve blogged about Dustin before. When I have time to blog, all kinds of people contact me. Several people close to Dustin contacted me after my blog post. I understood how important the deposition was. You’ll have to read the article and connect some dots to know what all that means.

Dustin, like several other men in the story, was a flowback operator. Flowback is part of the completion process where the fracking fluid comes back up to the surface. They store this fluid in tanks onsite that have 16″ x 16″ vents on top because the flowback is so volatile it will blow up the tanks if not vented. That venting of flowback is bad news for neighborhoods. Here’s what it looks like:

This is across the street from Apogee Stadium in Denton

And this is in the Meadows of Hickory Creek neighborhood in Denton. You can clearly see that the fumes are crossing the fence-line and trespassing into people’s backyards.

Here is what I want you to understand:

“If the emissions are bad enough to cause death,” Subra said, “they have to be causing severe health impacts.”

The same thing that killed Dustin and these other men, “hydrocarbon poisoning due to inhalation of petroleum vapors,” is in the air around all these facilities.  Even industry’s own air testing confirms that. The question is not IF you will be exposed but how often and to what extent? Here’s why:

  • Permits in Texas allow these facilities to vent 25 tons per year of volatile organic compounds. (Other states like Colorado allow much less, but not good old Texas.) There are ways operators in Texas get around that permit requirement and vent even more.
  • All the tanks come with vents. The purpose of a vent is to _________?
  • These facilities are also allowed special get out of jail cards called “allowable emission events.”

Here is a video of a facility with three tanks and all three tanks are venting. Now you know what those pipes sticking up are. They are vents.

Imagine this behind your house. People in Denton, TX live less than 200′ from tanks like these.

And industry’s response when confronted with this fact of constant exposure is not to suggest improvements so neighbors won’t be exposed to petroleum vapors ,but rather to dismiss it because it’s permitted.

They call that “Responsible Drilling.”

When confronted with an even more egregious example…:

…the response is to attack the messenger.

It’s no wonder the opposition to fracking continues to grow. This industry is stuck on stupid.

stuckonstupid

Breathing petroleum vapors can kill you or make you sick. Duh!

UPDATE: Industry’s response to this post:

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I was doing a little poll watching in Denton this morning. It was a fine, cool morning unlike the previous days where I felt like I was melting. And the “Responsible Drilling” hired guns where not there misleading voters so things were quite pleasant.

I saw a man wearing a “Responsible Drilling” t-shirt and recognized him immediately from this video in which he goes on and on listing various farm animals but doesn’t seem to know much about fracking other than that he makes money from it. The man was Randy Sorrells a board member for Denton Taxpayers for a Strong Economy, the group opposing the ban in Denton and the group that accuses me of having ties with Russia.

Russian ties

I decided to ask him about that. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Hey, I want to ask you a question. Why do you have on your website that I am affiliated with Russia?

Sorrells: I don’t know.

Me: You don’t know why you accuse me of having ties to Russia? I don’t even know anybody from Russia.

Sorrells: All the studies I’ve read say that fracking is safe and my kids haven’t ever had one nosebleed.

Me: That is not what I’m asking you. I want to know why you say on your website that I am affiliated with Russia.

Sorrells: I don’t know. I didn’t put that up there.

Me: But it’s your website and you are a board member so you are responsible and I want it taken off.

Answer: I’ll look into it.

Like “Responsible Drilling,” saying I have ties to Russia is just something to say. It means nothing and there is nothing behind it. When asked for examples of “Responsible Drilling” the opposition, industry and our law makers do not offer one viable example.

UPDATE: to further illustrate this point.

I asked the nice man handing these pigs out at the polls what “Responsible Drilling” means. He said it means protecting the aquatic live when drilling in the ocean. I asked him what is means in Denton (where there is no ocean). He said he was out of work and this is just a job.

pig

pig2

This journalistic service brought to you by me because no “real” journalist–that I know of–has asked this important question.

You are welcome.

It’s irresponsible to lie to the residents of Denton.

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This is a very busy time for me with early voting in Denton. The “Responsible Drilling” hired guns at the polls are misleading voters about how to vote so they must be constantly watched. And today has been a busy day for some rather bad news for fracking. I’m popping in there with some random thoughts about today’s news.

First up:

New Report: FRACKING’S TOXIC LOOPHOLE: Thanks to the “Halliburton Loophole,” Hydraulic Fracturing Companies Are Injecting Chemicals More Toxic than Diesel

Using information from FracFocus, the Environmental Integrity Project found that the fracking industry is using chemicals with 10 to 50 times more benzene than diesel. Remember that only 1/4 teaspoon of benzene will contaminate an olympic sized pool of water. One example from Texas:

Between August 22 and 28, 2014, Blackbrush O&G, LLC, injected nearly 150,000 gallons of base fluid containing up to 9% benzene – or 14,300 gallons –into a well in Dimmit County, Texas. That is as much benzene as contained in 14.3 million gallons of diesel fluid with a maximum concentration of 0.1% benzene.

Next, we could have done something earlier but we pretended there was a debate and waited three years:

Energy Department: U.S. must act now on methane emissions

This is the same Energy Department whose leader, Dr. Chu, proclaimed the Howarth/Ingraffea study as not credible. Seems Chu was wrong and Howarth/Ingraffea were right. Too bad we wasted three years and allowed more methane to vent from the wells into the air.

ICYMI,

We released some FLIR videos yesterday taken in and around Denton that show the emissions are a chronic problem. Important to note that natural gas is methane. So Denton is doing it’s part to speed up the climate crisis. Think about that then vote FOR the ordinance to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in the city limits of Denton.

Industry likes to claim that FLIR videos only show hot air. Are we supposed to believe that industry, state and federal regulators are spending millions for cameras that show hot air? (rhetorical question) I made a home video that shows no hot air:

Texas received some Doctor’s orders from the top toxicologist in the state:

No running, no gardening and don’t walk your dog because you need to stay inside. No joke, Texas air is that bad.

Texas’ Top Toxicologist: EPA’s New Smog Regulations Unnecessary, Just Stay Indoors

Pièce de résistance

The last bit of news tells us that McCarthyism is alive and well in Denton, Texas. There are two video interviews of councilman Roden who busts some of the misinformation being circulated by all 2 of the “Responsible Drilling” advocates in Denton along with their buddies from industry.

Fracking is scary

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If you receive results from water testing and you don’t know what it means, I can help with that.

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Study: Higher concentration of gas wells means more hospital visits for residents

October 12, 2014

“Our studies indicate that over time an increasing number of wells is significantly correlated with inpatient rates of hospitalization,” Penning stated. The study has not been released yet but the results were revealed recently to a Senate Policy Committee meeting. Ruth McDermott-Levy, associate professor and director of the Center for Global and Public Health at […]

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Dirty tricks and deceptive polling anger Denton residents

October 11, 2014

The fracking industry is covering Denton in layers of slick, deceptive mailers and now they are doing more manipulative polling calls. All this is only serving to anger Denton residents. From Facebook: Just received a very interesting survey call. The industry folks must be nervous. The caller invoked Putin and Russia, and Al-qaeda and Al […]

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In the beginning: Fracking in Denton

October 9, 2014

In the beginning… Cathy McMullen evacuated Wise County because she was surrounded by fracking. She moved to Denton where she thought it would be safe. Shortly after Cathy, I evacuated Wise County because we were surrounded by fracking. We moved to Denton where we thought we would be safe. I didn’t know Cathy and she […]

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Update: The not from Denton Master Debater

October 3, 2014

Frack Free Denton has participated in a number of forums of which some are called “debates.” Because banning fracking in the City of Denton is a local issue about local control of a damaging, heavy industrial process that has been allowed in our backyards, only local Denton residents who are members of the Frack Free […]

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Oil & Gas Toxics Detected Near Playgrounds across the Barnett Shale

September 30, 2014

Hazardous Chemicals from Oil and Gas Development Detected Near Playgrounds across the Barnett Shale Carcinogen levels violate TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits Denton, TX, – Independent air tests at five separate playgrounds across the Barnett Shale have revealed hazardous chemicals associated with oil and gas development at all five. At three of the playgrounds, carcinogens were […]

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Documentation shows air pollutants from fracking in Denton.

September 24, 2014

Have you been reading the crazy comments in the online version of the Denton paper? No matter how the opposition tries to spin things, there is documented proof of air contamination and Dentonites are being exposed to a cocktail of nasty chemicals. Read about three examples and why this is so important to health at […]

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