From a reader:
No, the Texas Railroad Commission does not regulate Trains, Planes and Automobiles; it regulates the GREED for the Texas Oil and Gas Industry!!
In the last few years in North Texas we have seen the BOOM of the BARNETT SHALE GAS FIELDS. We have all seen the TV ads by Tommy Lee Jones and Chesapeake Oil & T. Boone Pickens, telling us how great the benefits of Natural Gas is for the Texas economy.
What they haven’t told you are the devastation the Barnett Shale has done and is doing to the Texas Environment!!
If you don’t have a Gas Well yet, then take a drive in Wise, Tarrant, Johnson or Hill counties in the rural areas. Not Ft. Worth, they have regulated the drilling somewhat, but in the country. You might have seen the drilling rigs up for 6 to 8 weeks, but look at the completed wells! You will recognize them by what looks like storage tanks in the fields surrounded by a fence. Listen to the NOISE the compressors make. Notice the PONDS of Drilling Sludge. Those big Tanker Trucks you see, that are speeding and destroying your streets and roads, Notice they have big HWP permit numbers! HWP, “HAZARDOUS WASTE PERMITS”. The TV ads tell us we are SAFE, NOT TO WORRY! Why do these truck have these PERMITS?
Notice the PIPELINES being laid. Notice where fences have been cut, trees torn down, and the pipe above ground, (that can be tampered with by anyone who chooses to do so and ask a Property Owner if they were threatened with Eminent Domain? Ask them how their Peace and Quiet have been disturbed and if they would Sign a Lease now with what they have learned? Ask the towns people of Dish, Texas what they think about the pipelines!
Notice what seems to be Large Storage Tanks, sometimes as many as 10 sitting together. These are Water reclamations farms or where they inject the Drilling Salt Water back into the ground from those trucks you see. Ask the people in Grandview what happened to their Water Wells and their animals!
Notice the Compressor Stations and the Noise and Visual effect it has on Property Owners close to them!
They tell us not to worry about what is called “NORM”(Normal Occurring Radioactive Material) being pumped out of these wells, that it won’t hurt us. Again notice the trucks hauling this waste with the HWP Permits!
Go see a “LANDFARM or MUDFARM”, this is where they dump all the Toxic Sludge from the pits at the drilling sites. These farms require Commercial Permits, however they can take 100 acres and divide it into 30, 3 acre cells and get what is called
a “MINOR PERMIT”, they say they don’t have to Notify the Adjacent Landowners to issue a MINOR PERMIT! My home is 50 feet from a 100 acre Landfarm across the road!
Ask a mineral owner who is in a Gas Pool, how long it took to receive their first Royalty Check. Was it within 120 days from the first on line sale? Are they being paid the correct amount according to the “RULES”?
Ask a SURFACE OWNER who doesn’t have the mineral rights, what happened to their Property and what was their rights?
Check on what has happened to Property Prices around these sites. Would you want to live next to one of them?
As a property owner and mineral owner, I have found out that the “TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION” REGULATES the PROPERTY OWNERS and NOT THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY!
When you complain to the TRRC in Austin, you are told you have to contact the DISTRICT OFFICE. DISTRICT 5 in Kilgore controls the DFW area. When you tell them that the Gas Companies are violating the rules, they tell you that they know what they are doing and don’t concern yourself.
When you complain to the Federal EPA in Dallas, they contact the “TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY” and they are told that the TCEQ DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION OVER THE TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION!
When you complain to the “TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL” they forwarded your complaint to the TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION.
When you complain to your State Senator, he contacts the TCEQ and is told to contact the TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION and by the way, he is chairman of Environmental Quality!
Yes fellow TEXANS, we are being “RAILROADED” by our own TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION!!
Itasca, Texas 76055
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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I don’t want to know this stuff, but I have to read it because I live part of the year in Bradford County, PA, on the Marcellus Shale. I’m already sick about the future of PA. Inspite of the horror Mr. Ross relates here, I am still grateful to him and all Texans who are writing about their situations and what they have experienced at the hands of the TRC and the gas industry. At least we can’t say we had no idea, and there may be a few things we can still do to reduce the devastation.
How true, how true. This is a good posting. I agree wholeheartedly and it's really even worse than stated. This agency is a VERY RUTHLESS and corrupt agency, being funded with tax money and working 100% of the time for O&G. And the TCEQ operates and co-operates with the RRC to do damage to individuals. Much need to be done.