Read real journalism not industry spin.
UPDATE: The way I’m reading all these documents, Range Resources has to comply with the order in exchange for the EPA dropping the order. They have to do extensive testing for the next couple of years.
I’m betting that the next thing we hear from the Lipsky’s will be a statement saying, “The matter has been settled and we can no longer discuss the matter.”
Never, ever believe industry spin and the industry and the Texas Railroad Commission are the same.
I will be updating this as I figure things out.
If you look at the vicious and aggressive rash of subpoenas Range Resources has issued to people who are not related to the case–LIKE ME--then it starts to make some sense that maybe this action will slow down some of that aggression.
Regarding David Porter’s call in his press release for the EPA to terminate Dr. Al Armendariz, EPA Region 6 Administrator:
How dare you? You have no clothes!
At the recent MIPA hearing in Austin, you wouldn’t or couldn’t answer even basic questions about drilling from the Barnett Shale residents who traveled so far to speak with you. Instead, you stood there and uttered not one word while your assistant answered their questions. To top that off, when a stakeholder in Laredo, a young scientist, tried to walk with you and ask questions, you threatened to have her arrested. Hereoped about that experience (pasted below) was printed in the Laredo paper:
Commissioner Porter’s actions and words tell area environmentalist different tales
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:33 AM CDT
To the editor:
After Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter’s speech at the Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Conference on March 2 in San Antonio, I introduced myself to him as a graduate student of environmental management at Duke University.
I asked if he would sit down and speak with me about environmental issues he is investigating with the Eagle Ford Task Force.
He politely sneered at me, responding “I won’t have any time today” — exactly what you would expect a politician to say when faced with questions he wants to dodge.
After my experience with him that day, it could not be more obvious: Commissioner Porter has no intention of protecting the environment.
Naively, I could not believe what I was hearing.
Thinking it would be okay to speak with him as we walked, I rattled on about how his Eagle Ford Task Force’s recent news release on groundwater use for hydraulic fracturing was based on an out-of-date Groundwater Availability Model (GAM). Porter began to grow uneasy and hurriedly said, “I don’t agree with you.”
I do not think that what I was saying was up for debate; it was simply an observation that merited explanation.
Nonetheless, I went on to mention the lack of data available to support conclusions he and the task force have made.
As I followed Porter, he looked at me with a puzzled face and said, “I don’t want to speak with you today.”
Confused by this, I said, “But you’re a manager; it’s your job to ensure transparency.”
I suppose I struck a chord because he then threatened to call security, saying that he thought I was harassing him.
His accusation took my breath away. I apologized, told him to have a nice day and left.
Here is a man, an elected official no less, who feels harassed when someone questions his conclusions.
The most obvious reason for this is that he has no understanding of the environmental issues he is so willing to make decisions about.
However, the “official” reason for his odd behavior, a PR rep informed me later, is that Porter recently received a death threat.
I must admit, that is a good excuse for his wanting to call security.
However, I do not think it is a good excuse for not wanting to speak with a fellow environmental steward.
After all, why did Porter attend the conference if not to discuss impacts of Eagle Ford Shale development?
Part of the railroad commission’s mission is to serve Texas through stewardship of natural resources and the environment.
Yet Porter’s behavior that day indicates that he does not care if he follows through with this mission.
In promoting the Eagle Ford Task Force, the commissioner has stated, “We must develop this shale responsibly, finding the proper way to develop these resources while ensuring environmental protection.”
Based on his actions, the commissioner’s alleged concern for the environment amounts to little more than rhetoric.
Safe Fracking Coalition
Master of Environmental Management Candidate 2012
Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment