On Wednesday, the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus held a policy briefing in Austin. The invitation was to “Stakeholders.”

Speakers will discuss Texas geology, the economic success of the state, and innovations in the oil and gas industry. We also will hear from local stakeholders and regulatory agencies about issues that may impact legislation. Since increased oil and gas production benefits the entire state, your participation is critical during the 84th Legislative Session.

But there was no real way for stakeholders to participate. Except for two participants who were only given about 3 minutes to speak, the entire briefing was dominated by industry cheerleaders. See the head cheerleaders on the Agenda.

With the exception of Sister Elizabeth and Hugh Fitzsimons, the entire briefing downplayed and ignored the real impacts experienced by those who live near fracking. And they do so at their own peril.

Two important scientific documents were released yesterday.

From an email:

Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy released a working paper analysis, statistical evaluation of the approximately 400 peer-reviewed studies to date on the impacts of shale gas development. In short, they examined what percentage of papers indicated risks/adverse impacts versus no indication of risk.

I’m going to bullet the key highlights:

  • 96% of all papers on health indicate risks/adverse health outcomes;
  • 95% of all original research studies on air quality indicate elevated concentrations of air pollutants;
  • 72% of original research studies on water quality indicate contamination;
  • and there is a recent explosion in the number of peer-reviewed publications, with approximately 73% of all available peer-reviewed papers published in the past 24 months and a current average of one paper published each day.

Second, Concerned Health Professionals of New York released a second edition of the Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings of risks and harms of fracking. At 103 pages and with 448 citations, it compiles and concisely summarizes the most important findings. Although the second edition comes only 5 months after the first, it’s about 30% longer now with more than 80 new entries.

Together, these two make a very decisive scientific case against fracking. See the joint press release, with quotes from PSE and doctors and scientists from CHPNY, and good summaries.

The science is finally starting to catch up with fracking.

Industry is doing itself no favors by continuing to downplay and ignore impacts. When you downplay and ignore impacts, Denton happens.

Remember, Denton residents only sought a ban after trying for 5 years to find some way they could live with fracking. Industry bullied them and the state ignored them. Even after the ban passed, Railroad Commission Chairman, Christi Craddick, insulted us by suggesting that we were simply ignorant and needed to be educated.BULLSHITMETER34343

“We missed as far as an education process in explaining what fracking is, explaining what was going on. And I think this is the result of that, in a lot of respects, and a lot of misinformation about fracking,” Craddick said.
Dallas News

I’m sure industry doesn’t want to see more cities pass a ban on fracking in Texas but they don’t get it that we are fully educated and will reject their propaganda. After spending no telling how much money showering the city with mailers and even running advertisements during the Cowboy football game, Denton still voted to ban fracking. We mailed out just 2 postcards. There is just no way the industry can credibly say that our supposed “misinformation” outweighed theirs.

It’s the industry and the state who needs educating.

So, let us educate you on how to avoid additional fracking bans.

For Starters:

  • Stay out of our backyards, neighborhoods, parks and schools.
  • Clean up your own messes.
  • Keep your product in your pipes.
  • If you break it, you buy it.
  • When we draw a line, don’t cross it.

These are pretty basic rules but the fracking industry won’t follow rules. This is an industry that ignores rules and runs over people. It’s an industry that creates enemies.

“I had never had somebody just run over me like this. I’m an American, I have property, I have rights. And here comes corporate America saying, ‘No, we’re just going to do what we want.’ I had lived a sheltered life until that moment.” – Eric Ewing, Weld County resident. LINK

Eric Ewing is another life-long Republican who always supported the oil and gas industry. As fracking expands so does the opposition.

This is an industry that will pay millions for hired guns to harass people and distort the truth rather than pay thousands to protect a community from their toxins.

What Steve Everley and his ilk don’t get, is who I am and what I do.

My name is Sharon Wilson and I’m an organizer. I work with people to protect themselves from fracking. Which really means I help people. It’s the greatest job in the world.

I help people only when they ask for my help. Denton asked for my help. And Denton residents gave money to Earthworks so I could continue helping them.

File this under “Stuck on Stupid.”



Brace yourself. This irony will burn.

On the same day it was revealed that Texas Railroad Commission inspectors who try to enforce the rules get fired, Christi Craddick issued a press release declaring the commission will “explore” the need to focus on urban inspections.

That kind of entertainment can only be found in Texas.


And it must be my best day ever because a reporter called me for comment. I couldn’t say ass so I said fanny.


EPA: Protect our air from fracking pollution!

by TXsharon on December 8, 2014

in Alert, EPA

Protect your health by Holding Your Breath?

No! Tell EPA to protect clean air from fracking pollution!

RickPhoto taken by Julie Dermansky

The EPA is deciding whether to require to the oil and gas industry to clean up its air pollution including methane and along with it carcinogens like benzene.

To us, the answer is obvious. Yes!

EPA needs convincing, though. Which is why we’ve launched the Citizens Empowerment Project.

Thanks to generous Earthworks supporters like you, we got FLIR certified and bought a FLIR infrared camera — the kind used by industry and government agencies to detect otherwise invisible air pollution.

With it, we went to fracking impacted communities and made a new video showing some of the pollution that oil and gas impacted residents are forced to live with at home, in school, and elsewhere.

Watch this video to see for yourself fracking’s air pollution you normally can’t see with the naked eye. Then take action!

TAKE ACTION: Watch our new video and tell EPA to protect our air from toxic fracking pollution!

Thank you,

Sharon Wilson


M3.4 frackquake in North Texas near Mansfield

by TXsharon on November 30, 2014

in earthquakes

Saturday, a few minutes before midnight, there was a M3.4 earthquake in North Texas near Mansfield, in the fracking zone.

From the Event Page, we see that it was a shallow quake withing the frackquake zone.  depth=2.8km (1.7mi)

32.493°N 97.118°W

6km (4mi) NNW of Venus, Texas
8km (5mi) SSE of Mansfield, Texas
11km (7mi) W of Midlothian, Texas
14km (9mi) SE of Rendon, Texas
253km (157mi) NNE of Austin, Texas

As you can see from the map, there has been quite a bit of fracking in the area.

11-29-14 quake2

For more information about induced seismicity see the earthquake category.


I need to recap the recent bad news for fracking because it’s coming fast and furious and I will need to find it later.

First, listen to my favorite fracking song. The Trade by Anne Hills.


Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger
Anthony Ingraffea argues that fugitive methane emissions turn natural gas from a climate benefit into yet another strike against fossil fuels.
—By Chris Mooney for Mother Jones
Fri Aug. 15, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

About an hour of an audio interview of Tony Ingraffea talking about fracking.

For those who say we can regulate our way around this, just give us time and we’ll fix the problems—I’m sorry. We’ve had 100 years of commercial oil and gas development at very large quantities, around the world. Time is over. We’ve damaged the atmosphere too much, and it would take too long, it would take decades and billions of dollars, to begin to fix the problems that we know have existed for decades. And by then, it will be too late.

Ingraffea admits we will need fossil fuel for a while but we need to use it for specialty uses where we haven’t figured out an alternative like fuel for planes.


The Downside of the Boom
North Dakota took on the oversight of a multibillion-dollar oil industry with a regulatory system built on trust, warnings and second chances.
By DEBORAH SONTAG and ROBERT GEBELOFF for the New York Times NOV. 22, 2014

Very cool graphics. Sad story that reminds me of just about everywhere they have tried fracking. Ingraffea’s quote from above applies well here. Fracking at this magnitude cannot be regulated.


Also from the New York Times, forced pooling gone wild, money laundering, political intrigue, bribery and the impact on people and the environment of North Dakota.

Where Oil and Politics Mix
After an unusual land deal, a giant spill and a tanker-train explosion, anxiety began to ripple across the North Dakota prairie.
By DEBORAH SONTAG New York Times NOV. 23, 2014

Outsiders, he explained, simply need to be educated out of their fear of fracking: “There is a way to explain it that really relaxes people, that makes them understand this is not a dangerous thing that we’re doing out here, that it’s really very well managed and very safe and really the key to the future of not only North Dakota but really our entire nation.”

Like the people in Denton, some in North Dakota feel they have quite a good education in fracking and all the destruction and misery it brings.


TCEQ memo proves toxic chemicals are being released in the Eagle Ford Shale
Barry Davis, KENS November 20, 2014

Once again, TCEQ investigators find hazardous air pollution at such high levels they fear for their safety. This time the TCEQ didn’t evacuate like they did before. This time they donned respirators, and they still had health impacts. Welcome to our world.

The TCEQ sent investigators down to look at the facility after numerous complaints from a nearby homeowner. Several times during the three day investigation, the Mobile Response team had to put on respirators and documented instances where they both had “adverse health effects” including “moderate to severe skin irritation.”

The people in this story have been suffering for a long time with no relief from the TCEQ.


Texas Drilling Brings Health Complaints, but Little Enforcement

The commission said it was stepping up enforcement in both shale regions. Although its inspectors have been sickened at least twice, it does not believe airborne emissions from oil and gas drilling pose a threat to human health.

The TCEQ has only issued 6 fines in the past 2 fiscal years. That’ll teach ‘em to mess with Texas!


From Marketplace:
The problem with fracking
by Scott Tong
Monday, November 24, 2014 – 08:31

“I’ve seen it personally firsthand,” says Ed Hirs, managing director of the Houston-based oil and gas firm Hillhouse Resources. “We’ve had wells on production since 2009, 2010 that have been plugged and abandoned here in 2014, because they are not producing enough to cover their cost.”

His firm barely profited in shale, he says. So it returned to drilling old-school conventional oil, where a good well returns $5 or even $10 for each dollar invested.

Fracking for shale oil, he says, is a fad, like that scene where the cruise ship tilts to one side.

“They all ran to the shale side of the boat,” says Hirs, who teaches economics at the University of Houston. “That was the fashion of the day. We see this in other industries as well.”


My favorite article brings stories from Weld County Colorado.

Breaking Ground: Hydraulic Fracturing in Weld County, Colorado
This is a website where the story of fracking in Weld County is told in several chapters.

“I had never had somebody just run over me like this. I’m an American, I have property, I have rights. And here comes corporate America saying, ‘No, we’re just going to do what we want.’ I had lived a sheltered life until that moment.” – Eric Ewing, Weld County resident

I was in Weld County in September with the FLIR camera and had the pleasure of meeting Eric Ewing. He is surrounded by all kinds of facilities, each spewing all manner of hazardous and toxic pollution that affect his family’s health.

“You can see clouds of exhaust and pollution floating around out here and you can smell it too.” – Eric Ewing, Weld County resident

This is a video of a processing plant near his home.

“When I moved here, I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s fine, drill in my backyard,’” Ewing said. “I don’t want to be one of those guys. Well, now they’ve done my backyard, my side yard, my other side yard and now my front yard, and I say, ‘Just keep it out of my house,’ and they won’t even keep it out of my house.”

This is a Noble Energy well near his home.

“I have a sore throat, headaches, hypertension, my eyes burn, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, and nausea,” Ewing said. “My daughter has a rash and open sores. It can’t be a coincidence based on the amount of oil and gas activity around here.”

Eric’s children can no longer play in their yard.


The latest from Denton:




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Some comments about the M3.3 earthquake in Irving

November 23, 2014

I no longer report every frackquake that happens in this area. Who can keep up with them all? And unlike in the beginning when anyone suggesting a link to fracking and earthquakes was shouted down, now days it’s an accepted fact. But the M3.3 quake in Irving last night and a few responses on Twitter […]

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Texas: Our Democracy at Risk

November 19, 2014

Texas legislature: put your money where your mouth is Tell Phil King that if he tries to overturn the Denton fracking ban, he IS big government Texas Representative Phil King was elected promising to fight big government and protect local control. “We should always trust people over big government. Local control and limited government must […]

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More hazardous gases detected at fracking facility in Denton.

November 18, 2014

On October 18, 2014, Cathy McMullen and I took air samples at the EnerVest drill site on Masch Branch and Hampton in Denton, Texas. Wind direction was ENE at 4.5 mph. The downwind sample detected 18 toxic and hazardous gases and methane. Benzene was detected over the TCEQ’s Air Comparison Monitoring Value for long-term exposure. […]

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Frack Free Denton: Moving forward to the next phase

November 16, 2014

We won! In a landslide vote, a solidly Republican city that tried for years to find a way to live with fracking voted to ban it because they have learned that fracking is not compatible with a healthy city. And it’s common sense that healthy neighborhoods and a healthy city make a healthy economy. Now […]

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Verified: Fracking 200′ from homes is protection Texas Railroad Commission style

November 13, 2014

People in Denton tried for years to find a way they could live with fracking. We tried to negotiate with industry for reasonable rules that would keep their fracking pollution from trespassing onto our property and into our children’s bedrooms. We got no help from the local or state government or from the state regulatory […]

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Denton fracking ban: Media takes the Jim Crow bait

November 8, 2014

To all the media who thought the sketchy press release from the oil and gas industry and an anecdotal rumor from one student was news, here is your assignment —–> The industry’s typical plan of attack–bullying, scare mongering and burying the city with misinformation–backfired, so they are looking for some way to explain away the […]

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