Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project Launches,
Releases Oil & Gas Development Best Practices Platform
EARTHWORKS formally launched its Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) via telephone conference on today at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. At the launch, Texas OGAP will release its campaign platform, DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas. We will also introduce the lead Texas OGAP Organizer, Sharon Wilson, along with other key experts on the impacts of oil and gas development on health, communities and the environment. The new EARTHWORKS campaign will work throughout Texas to prevent and minimize the impacts caused by energy development.
EARTHWORKS’ nationally-recognized Oil & Gas Accountability Project was created in 1999 to work with communities to prevent and reduce the impacts caused by energy development. In its first decade, OGAP boldly challenged the notion that natural gas is clean energy by exposing the industry practice of hydraulic fracturing, the widespread use of toxic drilling chemicals and the oil and gas industry’s sweeping exemptions from U.S. environmental laws. OGAP has built a national network of diverse organizations addressing drilling issues and has pushed for the passage of precedent-setting laws and regulations protecting landowner rights, special places and public health from Alaska to New Mexico and beyond. OGAP’s 2005 publication, Oil and Gas at Your Door? A Landowner’s Guide to Oil and Gas Development, is considered the preeminent resource for landowners and communities facing drilling in their backyards.
EARTHWORKS staff and board members have worked with Texans since the Barnett Shale drilling boom sparked citizens to demand greater oversight of oil and gas activities in the region. For the past year, we’ve been coordinating with a volunteer steering committee of rural and urban residents to form Texas OGAP and develop DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS.
Working with concerned Texas citizens, Wilma Subra, a chemist and MacArthur Genius Award recipient, who is also a board member of EARTHWORKS, recently conducted a health survey in DISH, Texas, and presented the results to the DISH Town Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ): http://www.earthworksaction.org/publications.cfm?pubID=439. This work has already resulted in a new TCEQ same-day response policy to odor complaints from oil and gas facilities. Citizen pressure has also successfully persuaded the agency to begun air quality monitoring in the Fort Worth region, where over 1,100 wells have been drilled within city limits.
Texas OGAP will work with communities statewide to prevent and minimize the impacts caused by energy development. EARTHWORKS has 27,000 members nationwide, and maintains offices in California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Texas and Washington, D.C.
Watch for more information.