Hidalgo County is a long way from Fort Worth but the problems caused by operators drilling for natural gas are identical.
“The thing that was bothering us was there was a lot of light, and there were fumes, like oil or gas. And the noise, it was this continuous motor going all the time,” said North McAllen resident Blanca Conde. “After a while we got used to it — we just ignored it.”
Tom Wilkins and Eli Botello, “two prominent and exceedingly wealthy residents,” are fighting back. Botello fought back in 1999 when Fina moved a well closer to his property. That suit was settled for an “undisclosed amount.”
Shell bought Fina’s interest and is now accelerating drilling in the area and into the neighborhoods. The city ordinance requires a distance of 400′ between homes and wells.
“These are high-pressure lines. Do you know what that means if a truck goes off the road and runs into one of the wells?” Botello said.
“There would be a massive explosion. I have the knowledge and I know how to protest. And, because of my developments here, I know most of the City Commission.”
Good luck, McAllen folks!