Bluedaze: Drilling Reform Texas Sharon Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:26:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fracking Impacts Downplayed at Texas Oil and Gas Policy Briefing Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:26:10 +0000

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On Wednesday, the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus held a policy briefing in Austin. The invitation was to “Stakeholders.”

Speakers will discuss Texas geology, the economic success of the state, and innovations in the oil and gas industry. We also will hear from local stakeholders and regulatory agencies about issues that may impact legislation. Since increased oil and gas production benefits the entire state, your participation is critical during the 84th Legislative Session.

But there was no real way for stakeholders to participate. Except for two participants who were only given about 3 minutes to speak, the entire briefing was dominated by industry cheerleaders. See the head cheerleaders on the Agenda.

With the exception of Sister Elizabeth and Hugh Fitzsimons, the entire briefing downplayed and ignored the real impacts experienced by those who live near fracking. And they do so at their own peril.

Two important scientific documents were released yesterday.

From an email:

Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy released a working paper analysis, statistical evaluation of the approximately 400 peer-reviewed studies to date on the impacts of shale gas development. In short, they examined what percentage of papers indicated risks/adverse impacts versus no indication of risk.

I’m going to bullet the key highlights:

  • 96% of all papers on health indicate risks/adverse health outcomes;
  • 95% of all original research studies on air quality indicate elevated concentrations of air pollutants;
  • 72% of original research studies on water quality indicate contamination;
  • and there is a recent explosion in the number of peer-reviewed publications, with approximately 73% of all available peer-reviewed papers published in the past 24 months and a current average of one paper published each day.

Second, Concerned Health Professionals of New York released a second edition of the Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings of risks and harms of fracking. At 103 pages and with 448 citations, it compiles and concisely summarizes the most important findings. Although the second edition comes only 5 months after the first, it’s about 30% longer now with more than 80 new entries.

Together, these two make a very decisive scientific case against fracking. See the joint press release, with quotes from PSE and doctors and scientists from CHPNY, and good summaries.

The science is finally starting to catch up with fracking.

Industry is doing itself no favors by continuing to downplay and ignore impacts. When you downplay and ignore impacts, Denton happens.

Remember, Denton residents only sought a ban after trying for 5 years to find some way they could live with fracking. Industry bullied them and the state ignored them. Even after the ban passed, Railroad Commission Chairman, Christi Craddick, insulted us by suggesting that we were simply ignorant and needed to be educated.BULLSHITMETER34343

“We missed as far as an education process in explaining what fracking is, explaining what was going on. And I think this is the result of that, in a lot of respects, and a lot of misinformation about fracking,” Craddick said.
Dallas News

I’m sure industry doesn’t want to see more cities pass a ban on fracking in Texas but they don’t get it that we are fully educated and will reject their propaganda. After spending no telling how much money showering the city with mailers and even running advertisements during the Cowboy football game, Denton still voted to ban fracking. We mailed out just 2 postcards. There is just no way the industry can credibly say that our supposed “misinformation” outweighed theirs.

It’s the industry and the state who needs educating.

So, let us educate you on how to avoid additional fracking bans.

For Starters:

  • Stay out of our backyards, neighborhoods, parks and schools.
  • Clean up your own messes.
  • Keep your product in your pipes.
  • If you break it, you buy it.
  • When we draw a line, don’t cross it.

These are pretty basic rules but the fracking industry won’t follow rules. This is an industry that ignores rules and runs over people. It’s an industry that creates enemies.

“I had never had somebody just run over me like this. I’m an American, I have property, I have rights. And here comes corporate America saying, ‘No, we’re just going to do what we want.’ I had lived a sheltered life until that moment.” – Eric Ewing, Weld County resident. LINK

Eric Ewing is another life-long Republican who always supported the oil and gas industry. As fracking expands so does the opposition.

This is an industry that will pay millions for hired guns to harass people and distort the truth rather than pay thousands to protect a community from their toxins.

What Steve Everley and his ilk don’t get, is who I am and what I do.

My name is Sharon Wilson and I’m an organizer. I work with people to protect themselves from fracking. Which really means I help people. It’s the greatest job in the world.

I help people only when they ask for my help. Denton asked for my help. And Denton residents gave money to Earthworks so I could continue helping them.

File this under “Stuck on Stupid.”


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Today in irony from the Railroad Commission of Texas Tue, 09 Dec 2014 20:57:28 +0000

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Brace yourself. This irony will burn.

On the same day it was revealed that Texas Railroad Commission inspectors who try to enforce the rules get fired, Christi Craddick issued a press release declaring the commission will “explore” the need to focus on urban inspections.

That kind of entertainment can only be found in Texas.


And it must be my best day ever because a reporter called me for comment. I couldn’t say ass so I said fanny.

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EPA: Protect our air from fracking pollution! Mon, 08 Dec 2014 20:48:40 +0000

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Protect your health by Holding Your Breath?

No! Tell EPA to protect clean air from fracking pollution!

RickPhoto taken by Julie Dermansky

The EPA is deciding whether to require to the oil and gas industry to clean up its air pollution including methane and along with it carcinogens like benzene.

To us, the answer is obvious. Yes!

EPA needs convincing, though. Which is why we’ve launched the Citizens Empowerment Project.

Thanks to generous Earthworks supporters like you, we got FLIR certified and bought a FLIR infrared camera — the kind used by industry and government agencies to detect otherwise invisible air pollution.

With it, we went to fracking impacted communities and made a new video showing some of the pollution that oil and gas impacted residents are forced to live with at home, in school, and elsewhere.

Watch this video to see for yourself fracking’s air pollution you normally can’t see with the naked eye. Then take action!

TAKE ACTION: Watch our new video and tell EPA to protect our air from toxic fracking pollution!

Thank you,

Sharon Wilson

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M3.4 frackquake in North Texas near Mansfield Sun, 30 Nov 2014 07:52:23 +0000

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Saturday, a few minutes before midnight, there was a M3.4 earthquake in North Texas near Mansfield, in the fracking zone.

From the Event Page, we see that it was a shallow quake withing the frackquake zone.  depth=2.8km (1.7mi)

32.493°N 97.118°W

6km (4mi) NNW of Venus, Texas
8km (5mi) SSE of Mansfield, Texas
11km (7mi) W of Midlothian, Texas
14km (9mi) SE of Rendon, Texas
253km (157mi) NNE of Austin, Texas

As you can see from the map, there has been quite a bit of fracking in the area.

11-29-14 quake2

For more information about induced seismicity see the earthquake category.

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Several days worth of devastating fracking news Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:27:01 +0000

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I need to recap the recent bad news for fracking because it’s coming fast and furious and I will need to find it later.

First, listen to my favorite fracking song. The Trade by Anne Hills.


Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger
Anthony Ingraffea argues that fugitive methane emissions turn natural gas from a climate benefit into yet another strike against fossil fuels.
—By Chris Mooney for Mother Jones
Fri Aug. 15, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

About an hour of an audio interview of Tony Ingraffea talking about fracking.

For those who say we can regulate our way around this, just give us time and we’ll fix the problems—I’m sorry. We’ve had 100 years of commercial oil and gas development at very large quantities, around the world. Time is over. We’ve damaged the atmosphere too much, and it would take too long, it would take decades and billions of dollars, to begin to fix the problems that we know have existed for decades. And by then, it will be too late.

Ingraffea admits we will need fossil fuel for a while but we need to use it for specialty uses where we haven’t figured out an alternative like fuel for planes.


The Downside of the Boom
North Dakota took on the oversight of a multibillion-dollar oil industry with a regulatory system built on trust, warnings and second chances.
By DEBORAH SONTAG and ROBERT GEBELOFF for the New York Times NOV. 22, 2014

Very cool graphics. Sad story that reminds me of just about everywhere they have tried fracking. Ingraffea’s quote from above applies well here. Fracking at this magnitude cannot be regulated.


Also from the New York Times, forced pooling gone wild, money laundering, political intrigue, bribery and the impact on people and the environment of North Dakota.

Where Oil and Politics Mix
After an unusual land deal, a giant spill and a tanker-train explosion, anxiety began to ripple across the North Dakota prairie.
By DEBORAH SONTAG New York Times NOV. 23, 2014

Outsiders, he explained, simply need to be educated out of their fear of fracking: “There is a way to explain it that really relaxes people, that makes them understand this is not a dangerous thing that we’re doing out here, that it’s really very well managed and very safe and really the key to the future of not only North Dakota but really our entire nation.”

Like the people in Denton, some in North Dakota feel they have quite a good education in fracking and all the destruction and misery it brings.


TCEQ memo proves toxic chemicals are being released in the Eagle Ford Shale
Barry Davis, KENS November 20, 2014

Once again, TCEQ investigators find hazardous air pollution at such high levels they fear for their safety. This time the TCEQ didn’t evacuate like they did before. This time they donned respirators, and they still had health impacts. Welcome to our world.

The TCEQ sent investigators down to look at the facility after numerous complaints from a nearby homeowner. Several times during the three day investigation, the Mobile Response team had to put on respirators and documented instances where they both had “adverse health effects” including “moderate to severe skin irritation.”

The people in this story have been suffering for a long time with no relief from the TCEQ.


Texas Drilling Brings Health Complaints, but Little Enforcement

The commission said it was stepping up enforcement in both shale regions. Although its inspectors have been sickened at least twice, it does not believe airborne emissions from oil and gas drilling pose a threat to human health.

The TCEQ has only issued 6 fines in the past 2 fiscal years. That’ll teach ‘em to mess with Texas!


From Marketplace:
The problem with fracking
by Scott Tong
Monday, November 24, 2014 – 08:31

“I’ve seen it personally firsthand,” says Ed Hirs, managing director of the Houston-based oil and gas firm Hillhouse Resources. “We’ve had wells on production since 2009, 2010 that have been plugged and abandoned here in 2014, because they are not producing enough to cover their cost.”

His firm barely profited in shale, he says. So it returned to drilling old-school conventional oil, where a good well returns $5 or even $10 for each dollar invested.

Fracking for shale oil, he says, is a fad, like that scene where the cruise ship tilts to one side.

“They all ran to the shale side of the boat,” says Hirs, who teaches economics at the University of Houston. “That was the fashion of the day. We see this in other industries as well.”


My favorite article brings stories from Weld County Colorado.

Breaking Ground: Hydraulic Fracturing in Weld County, Colorado
This is a website where the story of fracking in Weld County is told in several chapters.

“I had never had somebody just run over me like this. I’m an American, I have property, I have rights. And here comes corporate America saying, ‘No, we’re just going to do what we want.’ I had lived a sheltered life until that moment.” – Eric Ewing, Weld County resident

I was in Weld County in September with the FLIR camera and had the pleasure of meeting Eric Ewing. He is surrounded by all kinds of facilities, each spewing all manner of hazardous and toxic pollution that affect his family’s health.

“You can see clouds of exhaust and pollution floating around out here and you can smell it too.” – Eric Ewing, Weld County resident

This is a video of a processing plant near his home.

“When I moved here, I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s fine, drill in my backyard,’” Ewing said. “I don’t want to be one of those guys. Well, now they’ve done my backyard, my side yard, my other side yard and now my front yard, and I say, ‘Just keep it out of my house,’ and they won’t even keep it out of my house.”

This is a Noble Energy well near his home.

“I have a sore throat, headaches, hypertension, my eyes burn, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, and nausea,” Ewing said. “My daughter has a rash and open sores. It can’t be a coincidence based on the amount of oil and gas activity around here.”

Eric’s children can no longer play in their yard.


The latest from Denton:




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Some comments about the M3.3 earthquake in Irving Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:17:20 +0000

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I no longer report every frackquake that happens in this area. Who can keep up with them all? And unlike in the beginning when anyone suggesting a link to fracking and earthquakes was shouted down, now days it’s an accepted fact. But the M3.3 quake in Irving last night and a few responses on Twitter requires that I revisit the issue with some random facts and opinion.

We have known for 60 years that injection can induce earthquakes.

Injection is injection, folks. Fracking wastewater injection, injection for enhanced recovery and fracking itself, which is also injection, have all been linked to earthquakes. For fun, scientists used to inject fluid and try to predict the magnitude of earthquake the injection would cause. See Healy, et al., 1972.

WasteWater injection:

  • Wastewater injection has produced quakes of M4 and M5.
  • M3 to M5 quakes have been scientifically linked to wastewater injection wells in: Arkansas (M4.7), Colorado (M5.3), Ohio (M3.9), Oklahoma (M5.7), and Texas (M4.8).

Fracking injection:

  • Fracking intentionally cracks rock/shale.
  • Fracking has produced quakes of M2 and M3.
  • Oklahoma in 2011 – 116 quakes from M0.06 to M2.9 occurred near a well being hydraulically fractured.
  • British Columbia 2009 to 2011 – 38 quakes from M2.2 and M3.8 caused by fracking fluids injection into a fault.

Other induced quakes:

  • 18 M3 > quakes in Snyder area may have been triggered by CO2 injections.
  • Eagle Ford Shale – 62 probable quakes, complex geography, seismic activity associated with injection and extraction.

guinea pigThe scary things about induced earthquakes:

The scariest things about these induced earthquakes is that this is an experiment and no one knows what will happen next.

  • Induced seismicity may be delayed for many years,
  • may not end for years after injection ends and
  • may occur many miles from the injection point.
  • The maximum possible magnitude of induced earthquakes is unknown.

Who profits and who pays?

Homes in Texas are built to withstand wind not earthquakes. Small earthquakes that would not be noticed in California, can cause expensive damage to homes in Texas and most Texans do not have earthquake coverage. The media normally reports that no “significant” or “major” damage was caused by these frackquakes. Significant and major are relative terms as the people in the frackquake zones have learned. Families who have foundation damage, cracks in ceiling and walls, or doors and windows that no longer close, find the repairs are expensive and often out of reach. They are stuck with a big mortgage for a damaged home.

The industry’s response is the same whether your water is fouled, you air polluted or your home has structural damage: “You can’t prove we did it.”

For most Texans property ownership is how we achieve the American Dream:

  • work hard
  • invest in property
  • sell that property for a profit
  • invest in more property
  • eventually retire to smaller property and augment retirement with profits from property investments.

That’s why private property rights are a huge issue in Texas. What we have learned about fracking during this “boom” is how our private property value and our enjoyment of our property can be damaged by fracking:

  • trespass of smelly, hazardous and toxic air pollutants onto our property that diminish our ability to enjoy our property and can cause health impacts,
  • trespass of fracking chemicals into our water diminishing the quality and sometimes poisoning it beyond use,
  • trespass of bright lights and noise that make it difficult or impossible to sleep,
  • danger in our neighborhoods, damage to our roads and trespass of dust from truck traffic and
  • structural damage to homes from frackquakes

Americans who find themselves in fracking zones simply because of where they live geographically are being sacrificed for the supposed good of the collective whole. But there are now an estimated 15 million Americans who live near fracking.

I’ve said this many times: The opposition grows in direct proportion to industry’s expansion. This should be a wake-up call to industry and our government that something needs to change. Instead they threaten us when we use democracy to protect our property and families. How much longer can this go on?

Note: The facts in this blog post are rock solid. If you want to explore further there are good resources such as the impeccably sourced paper, “Fracking Industrialization and Induced Earthquakes” and Earthworks report on frackquakes, On Shaky Ground.

Update: there was a M2.5 frackquake this afternoon in the same area. Event Page

Update 2: there was a M2.3 frackquake very early this morning. Event Page

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Texas: Our Democracy at Risk Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:40:48 +0000

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Texas legislature: put your money where your mouth is

Tell Phil King that if he tries to overturn the Denton fracking ban,
he IS big government

Denton-vintage-CalvinTexas Representative Phil King was elected promising to fight big government and protect local control.

“We should always trust people over big government. Local control and limited government must be the first resort, not the last.” —

He is well on his way to breaking his promise, and becoming the biggest hypocrite in Texas in the process.

Because, now that Denton’s voters have banned fracking by ballot initiative, Rep. King wants to prevent other cities from doing the same, and maybe overturn Denton’s ban in the process.

Denton’s ban vote was a landslide. The people who know fracking best – there are over 270 fracked wells in Denton, some only 200 feet from homes – said no.

And the voters who did so were majority Republican, and elected Republicans in the same election. Before Denton’s ban, King was for small government. Now he says citizens shouldn’t be able to decide how, when, where, or even if fracking happens in their cities.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Rep. King to respect democracy! Tell him principles are what you believe in, even when people disagree with you.

Thank you!

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More hazardous gases detected at fracking facility in Denton. Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:21:44 +0000

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On October 18, 2014, Cathy McMullen and I took air samples at the EnerVest drill site on Masch Branch and Hampton in Denton, Texas. Wind direction was ENE at 4.5 mph.

The downwind sample detected 18 toxic and hazardous gases and methane. Benzene was detected over the TCEQ’s Air Comparison Monitoring Value for long-term exposure.

Canister #AC00848 – Downwind – 11:30am

Methane 3.2 ppm

1. Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12) 0.42 ppb
2. Acetone 3.6 ppb
3. Trichlorofluoromethane 0.20 ppb
4. n-Hexane 25 ppb
5. Benzene 1.5 ppb
6. Cyclohexane 5.0 ppb
7. n-Heptane 9.0 ppb
8. Toluene 3.7 ppb
9. n-Octane 4.7 ppb
10. Ethylbenzene 1.4 ppb
11. m,p-Xylenes 3.9 ppb
12. o-Xylene 1.6 ppb
13. n-Nonane 5.9 ppb
14. Cumene 0.36 ppb
15. n-Propylbenzene 0.97 ppb
16. 4-Ethyltoluene 1.1 ppb
17. 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene 0.88 ppb
18. 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene 3.0 ppb

To learn how a mix of chemicals, even at low levels, can effect your health, see Chemical toxicology in the fracking zone and Study: Co-exposures of two chemicals at safe levels doubles chances of cancer.

The upwind sample detected three toxic and hazardous gasses and methane.

Canister #003497 – Upwind – 11:35am

Methane 3.9 ppm

1. Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12) 0.42 ppb
2. Acetone 4.8 ppb
3. Trichlorofluoromethane 0.20 ppm

Map of sampling locations:


The TCEQ will dismiss this air test saying it is a one-time exposure so health effects cannot be expected. But we have FLIR videos that show these kinds of emissions are occurring over the long-term in Denton. We also have numerous air samples where benzene and other hazardous gases were detected over TCEQ limits.  Most of this air testing was done by citizens or at their expense. Neither the city nor the state have implemented any kind of air monitoring program. This testing shows a pattern of long-term exposure for the citizens of Denton that is consistent with findings in other areas.

Scientific studies from research groups are finding much larger volumes of toxic air pollutants near oil & gas operations than state and federal regulators estimate, and people living near these operations are having health impacts.

Researchers assess emissions from Colorado oil and gas fields
By Mark Jaffe, 11/16/2014
The Denver Post

What researchers are finding is that the levels of chemicals such as benzene and toluene, which may pose health risks, can be higher around oil and gas sites than in big cities.

If you live in the gas patch or care about climate, please read the entire article. Here are a few things that jumped out at me.

A University of Colorado study measured levels of benzene, a known carcinogen, over the Front Range oil fields seven times higher than state estimates.

A study in Utah’s Uintah Basin, also by CU scientists, found benzene levels above a long-term exposure health standard in three-quarters of the 329 air measurements made.

“We are looking at emissions that are significantly larger — perhaps 50 percent larger,” than state estimates, said NOAA’s Tans.

Bottom up (measurements taken on the ground) can pinpoint the source of the leaks but scientists who do top down (measurements taken from the air above facilities) say bottom up studies consistently underestimate emissions.

The EnerVest rig foreman explained to a news reporter and me that the gas buster removes gas from fluids and mud that have been used downhole while drilling in the formation. EnerVest was allowing this gas to vent from the gas buster into the air, but routing the gas through a flare is a safer method.

Principle of Operation of Mud Gas Separator:
“The free gas then is moved into the flare line to reduce the threat of toxic and hazardous gases…”

As the rig foreman explained, they had a flare for the gas buster on site but chose to not connect it and use it.

Here is a FLIR video I took that shows the toxic and hazardous gases venting into the air from the gas buster at the EnerVest drill site.

Venting from the gas buster was not the only source of emissions from this rig as is clearly shown in the other FLIR videos.


“Responsible Drilling” like the unicorn is a myth.

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Frack Free Denton: Moving forward to the next phase Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:35:22 +0000

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We won!

In a landslide vote, a solidly Republican city that tried for years to find a way to live with fracking voted to ban it because they have learned that fracking is not compatible with a healthy city. And it’s common sense that healthy neighborhoods and a healthy city make a healthy economy.

Now you may be wondering: what’s next? Because we all know this ain’t over. Staying true to their threats and arrogant pattern of bullying communities, industry and the state filed lawsuits hoping to crush democracy. They have vowed to retaliate until Denton becomes nothing but tumbleweeds and crickets.

“The citizens of Denton, Texas have voted themselves into what will most definitely end up as the legal equivalent of a field of quicksand. The ground-rumbling they will hear won’t be earthquakes, but the stampede of lawyers running to the area to join in the plethora of lawsuits….

“The real losers here are the citizens of Denton who…. now face a future of nothing on their land but tumbleweeds and crickets.”
Chris Faulkner, the CEO of Breitling Energy

The quicksand metaphor was not a wise choice. Years ago I was riding along the beautiful Brazos River with some friends. One horse started bogging down in quicksand. The mare panicked and tried to rear on her hind legs and lunge out of the sand. Her thrashing only caused her to sink deeper. My friend never let go of the reins. She talked to the mare in a soothing voice until she became calm. When her weight was more evenly distributed the mare stopped sinking and floated on the sand until we were able to pull them both out with a rope.

In Denton we never let go of the reins. We distributed the weight evenly, talked each other through the roughest spots and if someone needed it, we threw them a rope. Quicksand doesn’t scare us.

The Denton Drilling Awareness Group is assembling a superior legal team that is already working on legal strategy to answer the lawsuits. An announcement about that will be coming soon.

In the meantime, we still have plenty of work ahead and we need every person to stay involved. Some people might say we need to “stay the course.” But having spent most of my life on a horse, I’m going to go with lyrics from a John Denver song sung by Chuck Pyle my favorite guitar pickin’ “Zen Cowboy.”

Keep her steady cowgirl
Don’t let go of the reins
You are ready now girl
Never mind the growin’ pains

We won because we are a family. We can’t compete with the industry’s money but we have people, people who will…

  • build racer coffins and push and cheer the same,
  • show up with their kids at porch parties and polka rallies in the park,
  • gather to celebrate hanging banners, light show displays and participate in flash mobs
  • knock on doors and circulate information,
  • stand for hours in the blistering sun guarding the polls,
  • stand for hours in the freezing rain guarding the polls,
  • write letters,
  • do research, make maps and build spreadsheets and data input forms,
  • give their hard earned money and precious time,
  • do what it takes to keep their families and their city safe.

We won because we kept it local and found a message that resonated with young and old and everyone in between.

What we do now is more of the same.reins

  • We still need to write letters to the editor and op-eds, but we need to expand our reach to papers in all parts of Texas.
  • We still need blog posts based on research.
  • We must remind Phil King that he was elected on this promise “We should always trust people over big government. Local control and limited government must be the first resort not the last.” We will make it easy for you to remind him.
  • We need to make sure the city knows we aren’t going away and will support them in keeping their promise to vigorously defend legal challenges to the ban.
  • We need LOTS of people to visit your representative Myra Crownover in her office, by phone and letters so she can continue to support allowing the legal process to work.
  • We will all need to travel to Austin. We’ll get buses and make it fun for everyone. Bring the kids!
  • We need to keep highlighting all the negative impacts from fracking.
  • We need to keep fundraising.
  • We need you all to stay excited, engaged and to help spread our weight evenly.

Keep ‘er steady.

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Verified: Fracking 200′ from homes is protection Texas Railroad Commission style Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:36:07 +0000

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People in Denton tried for years to find a way they could live with fracking. We tried to negotiate with industry for reasonable rules that would keep their fracking pollution from trespassing onto our property and into our children’s bedrooms. We got no help from the local or state government or from the state regulatory agencies.

In a tweet, Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick reveals why we got no help from the agency she runs. She thinks she has been helping us.


The Texas Railroad Commission thinks there is no problem with fracking 187′ from a child’s bedroom, while the voters in Denton there there is.

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Denton fracking ban: Media takes the Jim Crow bait Sat, 08 Nov 2014 16:18:21 +0000

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To all the media who thought the sketchy press release from the oil and gas industry and an anecdotal rumor from one student was news, here is your assignment —–>

The industry’s typical plan of attack–bullying, scare mongering and burying the city with misinformation–backfired, so they are looking for some way to explain away the millions they wasted. And they want to accomplish this by putting out even more misinformation rather than the truth that they have too long ignored the serious impacts from their operations.

I think Denton Councilman Kevin Roden can set the record straight about the vote.

As Roden pointed out:

Their data is wildly inaccurate, claiming to cite voting data that doesn’t even exist such as supposed distinctions between “permanent residents” and non-permanent residents.

Does anyone else detect essence of Jim Crow in the industry’s over-the-top, inaccurate response? There was a time when only white males who owned property could vote. And the Tea Party would like to see the U.S. slip back into those days.

Number 3 from the 8 ways blacks and poor whites were kept from voting during the Jim Crow days:

3) Property tests: In the South one hundred years ago, many states allowed only property owners to vote.  Many blacks and whites had no property and could not vote.

I have anecdotal stories about voters from two weeks spent poll sitting during early voting and 12 hours doing the same on November 4th. Elderly voters voted for the ban, people with Greg Abbott stickers on their pickup trucks voted for the ban, industry workers voted for the ban saying they don’t think their industry should operate in neighborhoods.

The fact is that Denton is a predominately Republican city with about a decade of experience in trying to find a way to live with fracking. The people who know fracking best have learned that it’s not currently possible to live with it. So they crossed party lines and voted to keep it out of their backyards.

It is disappointing that more students didn’t vote. The legacy we are leaving them is not a pretty one. They have a vested interest and every right to cast a vote for their future.

It’ is even more disappointing that some are suggesting that the vote of a young person is somehow worth less than the vote of an elderly person.

Susan B. Anthony’s grave on November 4, 2014susan-b-anthony-grave


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