In case you missed Brett Shipp’s special investigative report last night you can watch the video HERE.
The commissioners side with the oil and gas industry and against citizens again which is no surprise. They voted to grant a permit for an injection well at a very dangerous site on HWY 51. There will be over 100 trucks per day accessing that site.
Texas Third Appeals Court Justices held that “the Commission abused its discretion in failing to consider other factors in determining whether the injection well permit would be in ‘the public interest’.”
But, hey! They don’t care!
Justice Diane Henson went on to say the Commission’s “narrow interpretation of ‘the public interest’ could potentially allow the Commission to rubber stamp injection well permit applications despite legitimate public safety concerns.”
Justice Henson, along with all five other justices concurred, sending a strong message to the three Texas Railroad Commissioners.
Were they listening?
This past May when it came time to rule on the proposed injection well in Era, commissioners Michael Williams, Victor Carrillo and Elizabeth Ames Jones voted unanimously to grant the permit and not impede progress being made in the quest for natural gas.
“That would be the Barnett Shale the great source of a lot of good things for that region of this state,” said Jones, following the vote last May.
Commissioners declined to discuss their ruling with News 8 but according to their spokesperson and despite the appeals court decision, “The Commission has long maintained it lacks the jurisdiction to address traffic related issues when acting on injection well applications.”
Here’s Mark’s statement:
The true constituents of the current Texas Railroad Commissioners are not the people of Texas. Right now these GOP commissioners, led by my opponent Michael Williams, answer to the big oil and gas corporations. The people have barely been represented by the Commission in its history — and with the current one-party rule, it’s worse than ever. Against the overwhelming opposition of the people of the Era community in Cooke County, Texas Railroad Commissioners are foisting a saltwater injection well on the people — citing the “public interest” and thereby ignoring the desires of the people.
When Texas Railroad Commissioners take PAC money — Political Action Committee money — from big oil and gas corporations, they only hear the arguments from the corporate side, and the current commissioners have proven they will side with their financial backers and against the interests of the people every time. The commissioners are often only seeking higher political office (this is particularly true in the case of Michael Williams).
The public interest is what the public says it is and not what a multinational corporate behemoth says it is. I urge all three current Railroad Commissioners to return all oil and gas PAC money and listen to and obey the people when they say no to a saltwater injection well that could harm the environment and the health of residents — Texans are serious about protecting their families and their property. It’s time the people had someone on the Commission that listens to them and puts the real public interest first.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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