Don’t let oil & gas drillers mess with
Dear Fellow Texans,
I know you love Texas. And we are writing today because the oil & gas industry is “Messing with Texas” and we need your support to reform oil and gas practices in the Lone Star State, before it is too late.
A destructive new drilling boom threatens communities
In Fort Worth, amid the lush prairie hills and the Trinity River corridor, more than 1,100 oil and gas wells have been drilled within the city limits! 100 new wells are being permitted every month. Some experts predict as many as 7,000 wells could be drilled within city limits. And more than 9,000 wells have been drilled in surrounding
counties — with 5,000 more already approved.
This drilling boom is due to the discovery of the Barnett Shale formation, a prolific source of natural gas, roughly 8,000 feet below the surface. The pace of drilling to date has outstripped the ability of landowners and local governments to address the environmental and public health impacts that haunt other oil and gas producing regions like Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.
We urgently need you to join our cause and help level the playing field in favor of Texans like you.
What does this mean for your community?
Drilling for gas means a spider web of gas wells, disposal wells, compressor stations, pipelines, processing facilities and traffic. With this development comes toxic emissions, water contamination, water disposal issues, safety concerns, and noise issues. The impacts to people’s health from living downwind or downstream from drilling and processing is significant, and homeowners are already wrestling with declining property values as neighborhoods and rural communities are turned into industrial drilling zones.
- In Fort Worth, pipelines and wells are being located and drilled just feet from residences. Open spaces, such as the Tandy Hills, Greenbelt and other endangered, native prairie lands are turning into industrialized landscapes and drilling is encroaching upon drinking water supplies such as Lake Worth.
- In Parker County and across the Barnett Shale drilling region, massive amounts of precious water are being used to drill the wells and residents worry about the quality, quantity and future of their water resources.
- In Wise County, toxic and unfenced oil and gas waste pits dot the landscape, engines from drill rigs, trucks and compressors spoil our air quality, and massive pipeline projects create industrial noise in once quiet communities.
A solution: the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project
We are writing to invite you to join an exciting new project aimed at preventing and reducing the negative impacts of this unchecked drilling – the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project!
Over the last year, organizations and information outlets such as Bluedaze, CREDO, Fort Worth CANDO, the League of Women’s Voters, PARCHED and the Sierra Club, have been getting information about gas development into the hands of residents, weighing in on our local gas drilling ordinance, and protecting the future of our neighborhoods by petitioning for gas drilling to be limited to industrial areas. In
the course of this work, we have partnered with EARTHWORKS’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP), an organization with more than 20 years expertise and experience working with communities to prevent and reduce the impacts caused by mineral development.
As energy corporations have pushed to open up more areas across the country to oil and gas exploration and development, OGAP has worked to bring local, state and federal reforms to protect water and landowner rights. Their efforts helped pass the strongest surface owner protections in the United States last year in New Mexico and Colorado, and we want the same protections here for Texans.
If we are successful in forming a Texas chapter of OGAP, we will work to:
- establish strong local and state oil and gas regulations in Texas;
- ensure that where oil and gas resources are developed, companies utilize best practices to prevent and reduce their impact;
- protect key areas threatened by energy development such as the LBJ Grasslands and urban green space;
- end industry exemptions to our nation’s environmental and public health laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act; and,
- advocate for an energy future that is based on clean, safe and renewable energy sources.
Will you please make a contribution to this important work and join our cause today?
Holding energy companies responsible and accountable for their impacts is a daunting task in this era of urban drilling and peak fossil fuels. I am confident that as we face the rampant development of the Barnett Shale, we need on-the-ground expertise and engaging OGAP is a critical and savvy step for North Texas.
Thank you so much for your time and concern about our great state. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sharon Wilson, Bluedaze and
Gwen Lachelt, Director, EARTHWORKS’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project
P.S. Please consider making a gift to OGAP of $35 or more to support this effort. If you’d like to review a provisional budget that provides details on expenses for Texas OGAP, or in discussing anything else relating to this initiative, don’t
hesitate to contact us — Gwen (970) 259-3353 or Sharon (940) 389-1622.