The Texas Railroad Commission continues to enable the Big Gas Mafia to steal from Texans. The most recent case of personal property theft in the Barnett Shale happened to Grand Prairie residents. No one can tell this torturous story as thoroughly and cleverly as the Westchester Gasette. And they even included a video of a sequined TRC Chairman, Elizabeth Ames Jones, singing with a feather boa.
At the Big Gashole PR Convention I attended recently, the code word of the day was “transparent.” They talked a lot about being transparent but there was little consensus on what that word really means or how transparent is transparent.
Michael Kehs – VP Strategic affairs & PR, Chesapeake Energy CHK, made fun of people who are concerned about the environment. He called us names like Bananas. :/
He also said: • Prove worthy of public trust & talk about who we are. We are not outsiders. We live and work here.
Ah, no, actually you don’t live here. And, the very few who do live here don’t live that close to gas wells–not close like us. That was confirmed in a conversation with another CHK PR person.
To prove just how clueless these PR Gasholes are: Kehs admitted that industry practices can be “annoying” but he thinks the only people “annoyed” are the ones not participating in the money side.
Color me annoyed. And I know plenty of other folks who are participating in the money side who are equally annoyed.
But this post is about the people who could participate in the money side but they have made a choice–for whatever reason–to hang onto their personal property for the time being. And what does CHK do to those people? They file a Rule 37 so the Texas Railroad Commission can enable them to steal private citizen’s personal property.
The FW Weekly shines a light into the opaque world of Chesapeake Energy’s “transparency.”
Notice: Public Beware
State agency decisions on public notices draw criticism.
By Dan McGraw
Last year, Chesapeake Energy filed a request with the Texas Railroad Commission for what’s called a Rule 37 exception, to allow it to take natural gas without paying for it from property owners who have not signed leases. The exception involved the University West neighborhood. Chesapeake had run a notice of their request in the Star-Telegram, and 13 homeowners filed protests.
A week later, Chesapeake withdrew its request but refiled a few weeks later. This time they posted a public notice in the Commercial Recorder, the paper that contains mostly court filings and has a circulation of less than 5,000. None of the homeowners protested, because none had read the notice, since none of them had even heard of the Recorder. The Rule 37 exception was approved, and drilling began a few months later.
Just last week, the 12-page Recorder carried four public notices in the paper on waivers sought by drilling companies
That is Chesapeake Energy CHK proving worthy of public trust. That Chesapeake being transparent.
Note to Gasholes:
The reality is they can’t afford to be transparent and they know it. But, if they use the word transparent often enough, if they make it bold and red–transparent–or put it in all caps–TRANSPARENT— maybe they will fool someone into thinking they are the Good Guys.
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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We need FEDERAL regulation on all of this gas business. The State of Texas, The RRC and the local city govt’s (such as Fort Worth) are doing a horrible job. They’re too deep in the pockets of the gas drilling industry to make unbiased opinions. I wish all of Texas would follow the example of Southlake. Tell Chesapeake (and the others) to go ______ themselves!
Actual Good Neighbor says
I just groan at the constant shell game these guys play. What rules they cannot create or have legislated for them, they twist the ones they cannot. One does not have to be an Industry attorney to read right through this one: Law requires public notice of Rule 37 filings. “No problem”, says the gashole. Just post in the rag that no one reads or has little chance of seeing. Gashole then meets the requirement of the law of the public posting. Spin, wash, rinse, repeat. Note that the spin cycle always comes first.
Make no mistake about it–the RRC is nothing but a taxpayer funded ENABLER for O&G and other energy entities! They do a good job of fooling the public into believing that they are somekind of REGULATOR. The word “railroad” is not in their name by mistake–if you are an odinary citizen, the RRC will run over you like a choo-choo train running 90 miles per hour.
Westchester Neighbor says
So, actually, if the name fits, they should keep it. “The Railroad Commission” is a totally appropriate name for this crew. They “railroad” anyone who stands in the way of fossil fuel extraction. Choo-Choo!!!