Texans forced to travel to state capital for fracking earthquake answers
Regulators tell quake-impacted community they’ll get no relief
Austin/Azle, Jan 21 – Today 50 residents of the Azle/Reno area traveled to Austin to compel the Texas Railroad Commission to publicly declare how they were going to address the issue of fracking-related earthquakes. Thirty quakes have occurred in the area since fracking wastewater injection wells began.
Despite scientific authorities linking fracking wastewater injection wells to earthquakes, including the United States Geological Survey and the National Academies of Science, the Railroad Commission announced at the meeting that they would not take action to protect the public until after their seismologist had studied the issue in Texas.
“In other states where fracking wastewater injection wells have been shut down, earthquakes disappear,” said Reno Mayor Lynda Stokes, whose town has been damaged by the recent earthquakes. She continued, “This isn’t rocket science. Common sense tells you that fracking waste disposal is playing a big role in this. Don’t make us guinea pigs while you study.”
“If Texas regulators want to show they’re not owned by the oil and gas industry, the Railroad Commission needs to protect impacted people and stop fracking wastewater disposal while the study occurs,” said Earthworks’ Texas organizer Sharon Wilson. She continued, “Otherwise the study is just another excuse to delay and hope the issue goes away.”
Azle/Reno area residents rode the 8 hours back and forth to Austin in a rented bus because Commissioners (the Texas regulators of the oil and gas industry, not railroads) failed to answer citizens’ questions in Azle earlier this month.
“This is a property rights issue, pure and simple,” said Barbara Brown of Reno, Texas. “The most profitable industry in the country is damaging our homes. And the Railroad Commission is not only allowing it, they’re forcing homeowners to pay the damages.”
Earthworks fact sheet: Earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing
Video of Reno, TX Mayor Lynda Stokes addressing the Texas Railroad Commission
Earthworks is dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.
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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Cathy McMullen says
Guess who is the biggest contributor to Barry Smitherman’s campaign for Attorney General? Mr. Smitherman look absolutely petrified tonight on channel 11 news making comments about the RRC lack of commitment to protect the citizens of Texas. I felt the shaking in the Capitol all the way in Denton. Good job to all the citizens who traveled to Austin. I am proud of you.
Sharon Belvin says
Not too long ago, there were several of these small quakes near Midlothian and Cleburne. I haven’t heard of any lately in that area. Did they stop using the wastewater injection wells around there? If so, that would be a good example.
You guys made us proud yesterday! For one day, I could say “I have friends in Austin that care about what’s happening!” Thank you!
They did stop the injection and now there is a class action suit happening.
Sharon Belvin says
Not sure if 1,000 examples would make things clear to them. They’re stalling as long as they can so they can continue to rack in the profits. They know.