I couldn’t help myself when I read the letter from a woman who supposedly lived in Texas and said we had such tight drilling regulations blah, blah, blah. After I vomited, I wrote this letter that was printed today.
Letters to the editor
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A worse fate
Cindy Ninesling wrote, “natural gas companies are bound by very strict federal regulations” (“Drilling Means Jobs,” Oct. 15 letters). This is not entirely true. The oil and gas industry enjoys broad exemptions from every one of our federal environmental statutes. Her letter also leaves a false impression that all is well with drilling in Texas.
The Trinity Aquifer in Texas now has a plume of toluene from a gas well blowout during a frack job. Several animals died from drinking the water and the residents are now left with unusable water. One family lost everything — business and home — because they couldn’t afford the expense of hauling water. The company responsible says there is no proof, although toluene is commonly used in drilling. A Cheney-era exemption from our Safe Drinking Water Act allows the drillers to escape responsibility because fracking is unregulated.
In DISH, Texas, a tiny town of 200, with several compressor stations and pipelines, three young women have suffered strokes, many people are sick and animals have died. A recent ambient air study showed toxins, carcinogens and neurotoxins at “amazing and very high levels.” There is no other industry in or near the town.
Unemployment is high in Texas. Many of the drilling jobs are only temporary. However, what good is a job if you lose your health or if your water and air are contaminated?
There are some things worse than unemployment. Ask the citizens of DISH and areas in the Barnett Shale.
The writer is a member of the steering committee of the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project.