Texas Sharon's Bluedaze http://www.texassharon.com Fracking News Sat, 18 Apr 2015 15:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Dear Representative Phil King http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/17/dear-representative-phil-king/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/17/dear-representative-phil-king/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 01:58:43 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14903 Representative Phil King wrote a letter to the FW Weekly in response to their article “Home Rule Under Fire.” I’m pretty sure he was talking about me in his letter. Among all the misrepresentations about fracking he made some about me. Phil King received $41,501 in bribe money this session from the industry. This is […]

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Representative Phil King wrote a letter to the FW Weekly in response to their article “Home Rule Under Fire.” I’m pretty sure he was talking about me in his letter. Among all the misrepresentations about fracking he made some about me. Phil King received $41,501 in bribe money this session from the industry.

This is my response to Phil King.

Dear Representative Phil King,

I met with you a few weeks ago in your Austin office with a group of concerned citizens. At that time, you remarked that you knew all about me. Despite that remark, I have explained my story to you more than once. Here it is again in the hopes that you will stop misrepresenting who I am and my role in trying to help people in Texas who are suffering impacts from fracking activities, including your own constituents.

I am a 5th generation Texan. I am a mother and a gun owner who can ride, rope and who is a damn good shot. I love the land and I love my state.

In 1996, I moved to 42 acres in Wise County. In 2002, I wrote operators asking them to drill on my land. But, as drilling expanded all around me, I saw the impacts firsthand. My water turned black and my air turned brown. When the impacts were unbearable, I moved to Denton.

Just as I was moving in, Range Resources decided to drill 5 wells across the street from a park, neighborhood, and hospital. I think any reasonable person would agree with us that a major industrial mining activity 200′ from residents and parks is not a good idea. I started working on a volunteer basis with Cathy McMullen and a few other moms to get a more protective ordinance.

We worked for over 5 years to try and get a more protective ordinance. The city sent us to the state were we pleaded for help from elected officials including you, Mr. King. We were told by the state to solve the problems at the local level.

When an operator tried to drill multiple wells 200′ and less from a neighborhood, the city tried to file an injunction but was unsuccessful in stopping that drilling. Children got off the school bus with big trucks zooming through the neighborhood and drilling rigs belching fumes. ONLY THEN, after every other avenue failed us for over 5 years, did the residents in Denton decide to ban fracking.

Do you hear me, Mr. King? YOU FAILED US. Texans are not going to lie down and let the industry run over us.

In May of 2011, Earthworks hired me to work in Texas. That’s when I went from a volunteer to a paid position.

You have continued to misrepresent my position and involvement in helping people in Texas although you know the truth.

I do understand the Texas way of life, Mr. King. I know that everything is bigger in Texas and now, thanks to you, Mr. Phil King, that also applies to our government.

Sharon Wilson

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Fracking Nanny State Bill Passes Texas House http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/17/fracking-nanny-state-bill-passes-texas-house/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/17/fracking-nanny-state-bill-passes-texas-house/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:53:00 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14897 Proving that everything IS bigger in Texas, even the government, the Fracking Nanny State Bill, HB 40, has passed the House in a crushing and shameful vote of 122 Yeas, 18 Nays. Earthworks Statement: Today’s passage of CSHB40 makes clear that, even when it comes at the expense of democracy, the Texas Legislature works for […]

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Proving that everything IS bigger in Texas, even the government, the Fracking Nanny State Bill, HB 40, has passed the House in a crushing and shameful vote of 122 Yeas, 18 Nays.

Earthworks Statement:

Today’s passage of CSHB40 makes clear that, even when it comes at the expense of democracy, the Texas Legislature works for the oil and gas industry and not ordinary Texans.

Legislators who voted for this bill just voted against democracy. Texas has a proud history of citizens determining their own fate. It’s called local control, and the Texas House just voted to end it. If this becomes law, Texans will be forced to live with whatever the oil and gas industry considers “commercially reasonable”. It imposes state authority where cities should have the right to decide. And Texas regulators’ track record of ignoring community impacts is as long as it is shameful.

CSHB40 is big government at its worst.

Bill author Drew Darby in a take no prisoners approach rejected all amendments to the Fracking Nanny State Bill, even an amendment that would protect school, day cars and churches.

Here is the record of votes. Remember it.

See how much fracking bribe money your legislator received to get this bill passed.

  • Drew Darby was paid $64,251 to get the Texas Fracking Nanny State Bill, HB 40, passed.
  • Phil King was paid $41,501.
  • Myra Crownover was paid $42,001 to vote against the majority of her constituents.
  • Jim Keffer was paid $183,301.
  • Chris Paddie was paid $43,975
  • Joe Strauss was paid $1,022,322

More updates later…

 

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TCEQ REFUSED TO RESPOND WHILE THIS AIR POLLUTION TRAVELED 20 MILES http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/13/tceq-refused-to-respond-while-this-air-pollution-traveled-20-miles/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/13/tceq-refused-to-respond-while-this-air-pollution-traveled-20-miles/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:11:32 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14830 Oil and gas has taken over Texas and no one is coming to help. The amount of air pollution boiling out scared me! Marathon’s Sugarhorn facility is a chronic offender so I knew I would see emissions. I always see emissions at the Sugarhorn. But I was not prepared for what I saw that day […]

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Oil and gas has taken over Texas and no one is coming to help.

The amount of air pollution boiling out scared me!

Marathon’s Sugarhorn facility is a chronic offender so I knew I would see emissions. I always see emissions at the Sugarhorn. But I was not prepared for what I saw that day in Karnes County as I looked through the FLIR camera.

I immediately called the TCEQ for help.

I remember, as a child, watching disasters play out on TV. When there was a disaster, the government showed up to help people. I was comforted by that. I grew up believing that bad things might happen but someone would come.

There is a disaster in progress and no one is coming. With HB 40, the Texas Legislature intends to turn over every Texas neighborhood to fracking. We must stop waiting for help to come and find a way to help ourselves.

State regulators take no action while residents and climate suffer from ongoing emissions.

No one was home when I called the TCEQ on March 6, 2014, to report the massive release. The nice young man on the phone told me they were all in a workshop that day. He promised to have someone call me. No one called.

When I returned to the Sugarhorn the next day, the release was worse. I called the nice young man again. He immediately recognized me and asked me to hold.

TCEQ Region 13 Air Section Manager, George Ortiz, got on the line. I described what I was seeing and expressed my fear that something was terribly wrong. He already knew that I lived in Allen, Texas, a fact I had not disclosed to the nice young man. Ortiz refused to investigate the event.

I was there at the behest of the people who live near the Sugarhorn. They feel the state is not responsive to their complaints. They are suffering life altering health impacts. Marathon’s Sugarhorn is a chronic and serious offender. Yet, the TCEQ refused to investigate because I am not a resident.

If a traveler reports a robbery while passing through a town, are the police obligated to respond? Or, does the thief get away?

My job is helping people and it’s a great job. I’ve been trying to help the people in Karnes for several years but there has been no improvement in their lives. That’s a bitter pill for them and for me.

I’m a stubborn woman. “Bullheaded” is the term my mother used. On my resume, I list “tenacious” as a strength. I am determined this state malfeasance will be exposed. In the meanwhile, the Texas Legislature plans to mandate that all Texans welcome fracking to their backyards with H.B. 40. They are placing the health and safety of all Texans in the hands of the oil and gas industry.

Data shows long-term exposures for Eagle Ford Shale residents

TCEQ dismisses any exposures by claiming they were only a short-term exposure so no toxicological impacts are expected. We now have nearly 2 years worth of videos and other data to show these emissions are significant and ongoing. The residents have received long-term exposure.

The most recent canister sample showed benzene 10 times over the long-term limit.

The CDC defines long-term exposure as one year or more – CDC

The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. (Long-term exposure means exposure of a year or more.) Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.

TCEQ critique of short-term exposures

“A TCEQ spokesman went on to criticize the methodology employed by Shale Test, stating “it is not scientifically appropriate” to compare short-term test results against long-term thresholds.”

TCEQ bolsters their position by refusing to take air samples or even investigate.

The Air Pollution that Traveled 20 Miles.

A professor from Texas A&M contacted me several months after my visit to Karnes. He knew I was working with residents in Karnes and wondered if a video might exist of a release or malfunctioning flare might exist. He said there was a spike of hydrocarbons on the TCEQ air monitor around March 6th. The air monitor is in Floresville, over 20 miles from the facility in Karnes. MAP

Well yes! Such a video does exist.

Dr. Gunnar Shade is a chemist at Texas A&M. He can fingerprint the emissions that spike on the TCEQ air monitors.

MoneySlide

Dr. Schade’s Conclusions:

Very large hydrocarbon pollution:

  • not upset pollution but “business as usual”
  • similar reactivity than most polluted Houston
  • effects on regional ozone are unequivical

Regular pollution plumes:

  • emissions are widespread
  • inversions are common
  • health/nuisance effects are documented

This “business as usual” is not only bad news for everyone downwind, it’s also bad news for the planet. Methane is the most powerful Greenhouse Gas, 86 times more powerful than CO2. Actual measurements show that methane levels in our atmosphere are way too high. Methane concentrations in our atmosphere have skyrocketed from 400 ppb to 1800 ppb. We need to stop methane releases.

Additional information:

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UPDATE: Texas Railroad Commission to rename Arlington gas well blowout well http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/12/texas-railroad-commission-to-rename-arlington-gas-well-blowout-well/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/12/texas-railroad-commission-to-rename-arlington-gas-well-blowout-well/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 14:49:27 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14844 Boots & Coots, a Halliburton well control services company, has been working through the night to get control of an Arlington gas well blowout in a neighborhood. So far, attempts to get control have been unsuccessful. This is the first blowout in a neighborhood since Rep. Drew Darby filed HB 40, a bill to “preempt […]

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Boots & Coots, a Halliburton well control services company, has been working through the night to get control of an Arlington gas well blowout in a neighborhood. So far, attempts to get control have been unsuccessful. This is the first blowout in a neighborhood since Rep. Drew Darby filed HB 40, a bill to “preempt most regulation of oil and gas operations by cities and all other political subdivision.”

CLICK HERE and Tell your Representative to keep fracking control local

NOTE: Part of this is satire, hence the satire tag. The irony is people can’t tell the difference between satire and reality regarding Texas’ lame regulatory agencies.

Texas Railroad Commission to rename neighborhood blowout wells.

The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) has announced a new naming system for neighborhood oil and gas wells that experience blowouts. Commissioner Craddick issued a prepared statement:

The oil and gas industry is king in our great state and will rule in every Texas neighborhood. We expect to see more frequent minor upsets such as the one in the Arlington neighborhood as regulations loosen. In honor of those neighborhoods that survive, the Commission has developed a new system of renaming neighborhood blowout wells.

The minor upset at Vantage Energy’s Lake Arlington Baptist Church well where hazmat crews are on the scene, has caused neighborhood evacuations, a no fly zone, and is currently attended by over 40 fire fighters and Boots & Coots. The latest update from the Arlington Fire Depart Facebook page:

“City of Arlington crews, Vantage Energy and Boot and Coots, a well control company, worked through the night to resolve a gas well incident located in the LABC gas well in Southwest Arlington. Boots & Coots well control attempted to re-plug the gas well at 4:00 a.m., but was unsuccessful in their attempt. Boots and Coots will be bringing in additional resources to replace the gas wellhead as quickly and safely as possible. While there has been no gas released to this point, the possibility exist that a release could occur. All citizens are asked to stay away from the area impacted by this gas well incident.”

The well that is now experiencing a blowout will become the “Drew Darby Blowhole #1.” Darby who lives in San Angelo, Texas where there is no drilling within the city filed HB 40 that takes local control away from cities and hands control over to the oil and gas industry.

The “Shannon Ratliff Blowhard” has been chosen for the next neighborhood blowout well renaming. Ratliff is the former Exxon attorney who authored the bill. As Ratliff indicated during his testimony for HB 40, (starts at 1:04:41) he expects his business to pick up as cities are slammed with litigation (1:19:10) if they try to protect citizens with setbacks or other controls.

1:19:10 Rep Criddick question: What about the legal aspect in this, the lawsuits? I mean, obviously no one seems to know—you may know because you wrote it—but no one seems to know what commercially reasonable is… Goes on to joke about how Ratliff may be in great demand because no one knows what commercially reasonable means.

Ratliff replies: Well you always try to build that in any bill.

The third name in line is “Todd Staples Pomposity” for glaringly obvious reasons.

Fact or fiction:

Several weeks ago neighbors reported hearing a loud explosion at the Arlington well and experiencing horrible odors. The reason given, according to neighbors, was a problem with well integrity or a casing rupture. Upon further questioning, the information flow dried up but, reportedly, one email confirming the will integrity issue still exists. Update: see the email here.

Neighbors observed the fracking company exiting the site and all was quiet until a new fracking company, the current one that was fracking when the blowout started, set up on site.

Here is a map of the location. Children have to walk around the frack site to play sports on the adjacent field.

Blowouts are serious

The residents in Denton learned firsthand about blowouts and decided one was enough.

A blowout in Palo Pinto County in December 2005 ignited, blowing a 750-crater in the ground and burning for several days.

The City of Arlington has established a website with updates:

At 4 a.m. Sunday Boots & Coots well control attempted to re-plug the gas well, but was unsuccessful in their attempt.Boots & Coots is bringing additional well control equipment to the scene. A new control effort plan has been developed.
At 8 a.m. this morning Boots & Coots, Vantage Energy, and Arlington Fire Department will work together to begin a new well control effort.

– See more at: http://www.arlington-tx.gov/news/2015/04/12/update-on-gas-well-incident-in-arlington-neighborhood/#sthash.9GNCoi05.dpuf

 UPDATEEvacuation area widened. As another attempt to gain control of the well takes place.

This is what a blowout with a loss of flowback control looks like:

IMG_1117

According to the investigators, it took almost two weeks before this “frac water” stopped flowing out of the wellbore, and another week for the well to be plugged. The investigation did not determine the underlying cause of this accident. Source

Vantage Energy has been fined nearly $1 million for environmental violations in Pennsylvania. Their new slogan: Cutting corners give us an adVantage.

UPDATE: Gas Well Incident Resolved
Evacuation Lifted

Arlington, TX – The gas well incident at the LABC site on Little Road has been resolved. At 2:45pm Sunday, crews from Boots & Coots, a well control company, and Vantage Energy, the well operator, were able to seal the well, which had been leaking fracking material since Saturday afternoon.

UPDATE: Thank you to the Arlington first responders for keeping every safe!

“The drilling incident comes just days before a proposed state law, House
Bill 40, comes up for debate in the Texas Legislature on Tuesday. The bill
that would bolster state control over urban drilling had to be rewritten
after city officials complained during a contentious hearing in Austin that
it limits local government influence over urban drilling. The bill limits
local control to surface activities such as noise abatement and trucking.
Attempts to ban drilling would not be allowed. Shortly before the well was
brought under control, Crowson met with elected state official Sunday
afternoon at an Arlington fire station to reaffirm the need for cities to
maintain local control.

“I’m concerned there is a potential that local control may be lessened. It
is exactly local control that keeps the local community safe,” Crowson said.
“We are partners with the industry. The fire code is a life safety standard
that every business and industry follows in the community. Just ensuring we
have the ability to keep these places safe and maintain the ability to
partner with the industry will be in everyone’s interest long term.”

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/arlington/article18334295.
html#storylink=cpy

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Thoughts on the Corporate Takeover in Texas: A Battle Cry http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/08/thoughts-on-the-corporate-takeover-in-texas-a-battle-cry/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/08/thoughts-on-the-corporate-takeover-in-texas-a-battle-cry/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 01:09:20 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14824 A guest editorial with thoughts on the corporate takeover in Texas. by Eagle Ford Ellie with original emphasis. (Ed Ireland, BSEEC, says there just isn’t any opposition in the Eagle Ford Shale. Wrong again, Ed.) Thanks to Earthworks and Sharon Wilson in the Barnett Shale region North Texas for this summary below, of the incredible […]

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A guest editorial with thoughts on the corporate takeover in Texas.
by Eagle Ford Ellie with original emphasis.

(Ed Ireland, BSEEC, says there just isn’t any opposition in the Eagle Ford Shale. Wrong again, Ed.)

Thanks to Earthworks and Sharon Wilson in the Barnett Shale region North Texas for this summary below, of the incredible and blatant corporate takeover (i.e. complete control) of small towns and cities and the public health and safety risks to citizens and their families.

How? Just take a look at Sharon’s report on HB40 by Rep. Darcy of San Angelo (Earthworks “box” below). And this is only one of these bills. There are over 10 of them in the works. The oil and gas lobbyists are really earning their money this session.

CLICK HERE and Tell your Representative to keep fracking control local

Thoughts on the Current Situation in Texas: A Battle Cry

If ever there were a quiet, tyrannical new Monarchy-in-disguise, in the making with the full support of the legislators who wrote, sponsored and/or voted for this bill, this is it. Was your Representative among them? (Hats off to those who stood their ground and acted to support the right of local government and their communities. These are the real patriots.)

This is the stuff that should be reserved for horror movies. George Orwell’s novel “1984” has nothing over “2015 in Texas’ 84th Legislature.” All while Texans sleep or watch their sports channels, their state government is making it possible for oil and gas corporations to set up an oil rig on that empty lot in your quiet neighborhood if there is shale under it and the Tx RR Commission has issued them a permit. What an irreversible shock that would be at half-time break!

Don’t bother to call your City Councilman or Mayor. This bill and others like it in both the House and the Senate will have tied their hands, if this legislature and its oil and gas campaign legally-unlimited-amounts contributors have their way.   And with no apologies to you and your family. They think we all owe it to them because they are so rich and powerful, control much of the wealth of the state and nation., and well—have us over an oil barrel to boot.

What do you think of that? Are you going to let that happen?

If you think this is hysterical hogwash, then talk to Barnett Shale citizens, like the family who looked out their window one morning to see an oil well site being prepared 150 feet behind their home in what was once a quiet suburban neighborhood, or parents whose children attend a school with an oil and gas well operation across the street from their schools. Or ask the young organic farmer family who had to leave their farm in Texas behind and move to Virginia because of the oil and gas company’s toxic emissions invading their air. It ruined their business. If that happened in the country, what will it be like for residents inside a small town or city, where we live much closer together??

Bear in mind that

  • cancer causing emissions like benzine are known to originate from condensate and oil storage tanks associated with them.  
  • diesel particulate emissions cause or aggravate asthma in both children and adults, besides being very bad for heart and COPD patients
  • drilling involves loud machinery operating 24 hours per day from 7 to 10 days, fine sand blowing off site, 24 hour industrial lighting, and constant 18 wheeler truck traffic hauling sand, water and waste off site–unless, of course, their hoses will be allowed to hook up with the fire plug down the street while the city sells them water
  • big rig trucks hauling heavy equipment, rigs, sand, fracking tanks, etc. will destroy city and town streets, and the infrastructure of water, gas and sewer lines under them (and if county judges’ fighting for road repair funding in the legislature is any predictor) to be repaired by city residents’ tax money, not the oil and gas company who destroys them
  • there is always the danger of a blowout, explosion, fire or accident involving worker fatalities.
  • compressor stations with their giant fans are very noisy, run all hours of the day and night, and leak toxic emissions from the products in the pipelines associated with them
  • and if your local little league field is their prime target remember, “tough luck” is their motto

Did I forget anything?? Oh, yes, if you try to protest, expect them to pull out their own friendly bargaining instrument, a baseball bat called “eminent domain” or their Tx RR Commission Permit to convince you to forget it. And all this in the name of national security, patriotism and protecting your family. “9/11″ is their battle cry. But with “defenders” like this, who needs enemies??

So the truth is out: it is clear that these legislators only wore the garb of “conservative” in order to seize power, and are now revealing their true character as betrayers of the people’s right to govern themselves, of public safety and health to favor the big money of their sponsors and campaign contributors–big oil and gas.

They are definitely NOT conservatives, and neither are they against big government. They are enthroning their own big government takeover in towns and cities across Texas. If ever there were wolves in sheep’s clothing, they are sitting in many Senate and House committees’ chairs in the current legislature.

Do we even care, anymore??   Your children’s health, safety and lives are at stake. I would bet that you, the citizens of Texas and the USA, care passionately.

On the other hand, I have heard of many true conservatives who were once big “drill, baby, drill” chorus members and who are now so mad and disgusted with the oil and gas industry’s arrogance and disrespect for their land and lives, that they are now pushing totally sustainable wind, solar and geothermal energy resources.  

So, perhaps with the blatant takeover of local communities’ lives they hope to accomplish with these bills, they are digging their own industry’s oily grave.   Perhaps their own unbridled greed that led to a glut will cause the industry to drown economically in their own oil tanks. Is this the “Common Sense” that they appeal to so often to justify their actions. What happens to all the jobs of the ordinary working people now that they have put themselves out of the drilling boom business?

But there’s a sunny side to this Legislative Dark Age and one thing is sure: we don’t have to take this, anymore!!!

By promoting these bills, they are actually helping us see the advantages of having sustainable energy resources. They are also helping to save clean energy industries’ public relations budgets a lot of money by driving true conservatives away from fossil-based fuels and into the sustainable energy market. And maybe their legislative servants are legislating themselves out of a job.

To date, the oil and gas industry has amounted to a monopoly of the energy market. Perhaps this is why their power grab is so shameless and arrogant. Perhaps it is time to trim their tail feathers a bit. After all, one of the mottoes of the business world is “Competition is good for business”. Unless, of course, you prefer monopoly of the market place and control of prices.

Honestly speaking, is all their money truly worth this abuse of our right as Americans and as Texans to freely govern ourselves in our local communities

Is this industry, so dangerous for workers, for town and city-dwellers, for public health, for road maintenance, for clean water, land and air, really the best we can do for job creation? Bet not. They just like to try and make us think so. And the Wild and Wooly West shoot-‘em-up towns never saw such skilled snake oil salesmen–no, make that shaleoil salesmen.

If this current effort at tyranny in the form of this bill and others like it move through this current legislature and finally succeeds in the form of new laws, then it calls for war at the ballot boxes in the next state and national elections. What if we all just simply said to ourselves: “The candidate who takes the most oil and gas campaign money is the one I do NOT vote for” ? Better yet, “The one who takes NO oil or gas money is the one I vote for because I know they are free to vote for what is best for me and my fellow citizens, not corporate powers.

Because the values those who “owe” big money are endangering and destroying are not Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist or Independent partisan values; they are basic American values to the very core.

Even if the industry and their legislative actors win this “84th Legislature’s war of the bills”, they just might lose the bigger war if they do not return to American principles of democracy and local control.   It should, after all, be your vote that elects the next ones, not oil and gas money that buys them.

Our democracy and true conservatism and good American business principles are at stake. And unless we are willing to fight for these traditional Texas values, we will no longer be a free people in free communities, in control of our own local government.

And you thought the EPA was your worst enemy.

Wake up and think again.

The Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have not acted in your interests, either. Ask the people who have complained to them time and time again, with the results being only a slap on the wrist to the air polluters making them sick.

Ask the people who have protested disposal injection wells in the back yard or solid waste disposal wells across the road or next to their ranches and seen them permitted, anyway, in defiance of common sense agreement by faithful stewards of the land, water and air for generations.

Consider this a wake-up call to all Texans who love our freedom and democracy, our land, our homes, our families, our clean air, safe drinking water, our community’s health and safety and our chemical-free farmland in which to grow our food.

Time to turn off the TV, roll up your sleeves and fight for your freedom with your phone calls and at the ballot box–again.   Why?

  • At least you can tell your grandchildren that you tried to save our democracy and our domestic tranquility.
  • At least you can tell them you fought for a healthy Earth and secure homeland to pass along to them.
  • Most of all, your conscience will be free to rest well, knowing you will have acted like a loyal American and true conservative.
  • We owe it to each other as fellow Americans and Texans, and to those who founded and preserved our democracy and freedom for us in previous generations. Now it’s our turn.

Let’s do our homework!

Eagle Ford Ellie

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New Report: Mismanaged fracking waste http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/02/new-report-mismanaged-fracking-waste/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/02/new-report-mismanaged-fracking-waste/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2015 13:54:31 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14803 Mismanaged fracking waste is public health risk “…our analysis shows that states aren’t keeping track of this waste or disposing of it properly. States must take realistic, concrete steps to better protect the public.” ~Nadia Steinzor, Earthworks. Fracking Waste Threatens Communities Demand action to protect communities from dangerous wastes How much fracking waste is there? […]

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Mismanaged fracking waste is public health risk

“…our analysis shows that states aren’t keeping track of this waste or disposing of it properly. States must take realistic, concrete steps to better protect the public.” ~Nadia Steinzor, Earthworks.

Fracking Waste Threatens Communities

Demand action to protect communities from dangerous wastes

How much fracking waste is there? The American Petroleum Association says 1.2 barrels of waste is created for each foot drilled. There are around 20,000 wells in the Barnett Shale with a depth of about 8,000′ and a horizontal leg of a mile of more. Where is all that waste going?

Press Release: Washington, D.C., April 2nd — A new report shows that states ignore the risks of sometimes hazardous oil and gas waste despite EPA’s exemption of such waste from federal oversight based on “adequate” state management. Wasting Away: Four states’ failure to manage oil and gas waste in the Marcellus and Utica Shale examines how Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York neither regulate oil and gas development wastes as hazardous, nor can assure the public that they are protected from exposure to hazardous waste.

“Drilling waste harms the environment and health, even though states have a mandate to protect both. Their current ‘see no evil’ approach is part of the reason communities across the country are banning fracking altogether,” said Bruce Baizel, co-author of the report and Earthworks’ Energy Program Director.  “States have a clear path forward: if the waste is dangerous and hazardous, stop pretending it isn’t and treat it and track it like the problem it is.”

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Kansas: “immediate danger” to public safety from fracking earthquakes http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/01/kansas-immediate-danger-to-public-safety-from-fracking-earthquakes/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/04/01/kansas-immediate-danger-to-public-safety-from-fracking-earthquakes/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:07:20 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14798 Kansas finds “immediate danger” to public from fracking earthquakes. It is time for other states to step up and protect the public from fracking earthquakes. But Texas lawmakers take a giant leap backward with HB 40. As reported by Mike Soraghan for EnergyWire Subscription required at this time. Will update when free link is available. […]

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Kansas finds “immediate danger” to public from fracking earthquakes.

It is time for other states to step up and protect the public from fracking earthquakes. But Texas lawmakers take a giant leap backward with HB 40.

As reported by Mike Soraghan for EnergyWire
Subscription required at this time. Will update when free link is available.

Kansas has linked their earthquakes to fracking waste disposal.

BLUFF CITY, Kan. — Regulators in Kansas have imposed sharp restrictions on oil and gas activity in two southern counties in response to increased earthquakes in the area.

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) cited an “immediate danger” to public safety as the reason for limiting the pressure that can be used to inject wastewater into disposal wells and the volumes that can be injected.

In the meantime, Big Oil in Oklahoma is trying to shush scientists who try to link earthquakes to fracking.

Also in the meantime, Texas regulators refuse to see the link between fracking and fracking earthquakes. And the Texas Legislature is stripping away local control of fracking leaving cities with no ability to mitigate impacts.

“They’re hurting a lot of people,” Smith said of oil companies and their wells. “They’re doing incremental damage to so many homes.” EnergyWire

More fracking earthquake news:

 

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BREAKING: Texas Legislature tells inconvenient truth about HB 40 http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/31/breaking-texas-legislature-tells-inconvenient-truth-about-hb-40/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/31/breaking-texas-legislature-tells-inconvenient-truth-about-hb-40/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 01:27:53 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14787 The Texas Legislature tells inconvenient truth! An alert about H.B. 40 came in my inbox yesterday. It told an inconvenient truth about the bill authored by the oil & gas industry and filed by Rep. Drew Darby. ApplicationsAdministrator@tlc.state.tx.us ApplicationsAdministrator@tlc.state.tx.us>Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 5:31 PM To: TXsharon Texas Legislature Online Bill Alert 84(R) HB 40 […]

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The Texas Legislature tells inconvenient truth!

An alert about H.B. 40 came in my inbox yesterday. It told an inconvenient truth about the bill authored by the oil & gas industry and filed by Rep. Drew Darby.

ApplicationsAdministrator@tlc.state.tx.us ApplicationsAdministrator@tlc.state.tx.us>Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 5:31 PM
To: TXsharon

Texas Legislature Online
Bill Alert
84(R) HB 40
Relating to the express preemption of regulation of oil and gas operations and the exclusive jurisdiction of those operations by the state.
3/30/2015 H Reported favorably as substituted
Darby-preempt most regulation of oil and gas operations by cities and all other political subdivisions

That’s a clear summary of the bill and it’s not telling us anything we didn’t know by reading the bill. Like I told Darby at the hearing, we are experts at spotting fracking loopholes.

Darby said he does not intend to keep cities from using setbacks or tampering with ordinances already on the books.

“This is not a nuclear option. It’s an attempt to bring some common sense to this issue,” he said. “There’s plenty of opportunity to address those concerns.” Texas Tribune

Bullshit.

Someone smarter than I am wrote this:

The pre-amble of HB 40 should be removed or altered to make the legislative intent more balanced towards cities. As written, it:

  • It creates a standard of pre-emption that is not founded in Texas law. It’s full of terms like “exclusive jurisdiction” “occupies the field” and “expressly pre-empts.” In fact, there’s a long history of case law that describes the relationship between state RRC and local rules. This preamble would VASTLY deviate from that caselaw.
  • Instead, Section 1 cobbles together the most stringent legal tests for preemption in a string of legalese that is stacked heavily in favor of industry.
  • Because it establishes legislative intent, any close questions are virtually certain to be determined in favor of allowing the oil and gas activity.
  • There are going to be a LOT of close questions. Any city rule, even things like zoning and especially Dallas’ extensive noise ordinances, would have to pass a series of tests to determine whether the ordinance is “commercially reasonable.” Any litigation over this determination would use the legislative intent- as expressed in this pre-amble – to make the final call.

Inconvenient truth.

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TEXAS FRACKING RAPE IN AUSTIN TODAY http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/30/texas-fracking-rape-in-austin/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/30/texas-fracking-rape-in-austin/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:07:48 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14765 I was told by someone that the imagery and text in this post might need a Trigger Warning. I didn’t know what that was so I looked it up. Some psychologists are concerned with the use of trigger warnings as avoidance and others feel the trigger warning is a trigger. The imagery is my logo […]

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I was told by someone that the imagery and text in this post might need a Trigger Warning. I didn’t know what that was so I looked it up. Some psychologists are concerned with the use of trigger warnings as avoidance and others feel the trigger warning is a trigger.

The imagery is my logo that I have used since 20049 [started the blog in 04 got the logo on 09]. To me, it perfectly depicts what is happening in Texas. but your mileage may vary (YMMV) People wear t-shirts with this imagery and I intend to continue using it. Having been a victim, I understand it’s about power. Fracking victims I have worked with describe it as a rape. It is a violation of justice and it is despoiling the land. Victims usually suffer PTSD.

Tell your Representative to keep fracking control local

Texas Fracking rape takes place today in Austin

Rep. Drew Darby is legislating Texas fracking rape today, as he has vowed to pass HB 40 out of committee. The bill passed out of committee on a 10-1 vote.

The oil & gas industry THROUGH our elected officials are shoving fracking down the throats of Texans. HB 40 leaves Texans feeling powerless with no ability to feel safe in their own homes. They are left dehumanized and completely helpless against the powerful oil & gas industry because they are in the way of profits. If feeling helpless to protect yourself against power is not a form of rape, what is?

timTweet

Be watching as the House Energy Resources Committee passesd HB 40, a bill that STRIPS control from cities allowing the oil & gas industry to RAPE people living there.

Substitute language for HB 40 was released today but there is no real improvement.

Last week the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee voted to pass SB 1165, the companion bill, with no amendments.

These Texas Senators voted to STRIP control away from Texans.

Troy Fraser – aye
Craig Estes – aye
Brian Birdwell – aye
Bob Hall – aye
Kelly Hancock – aye
Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa- absent – Democrat
Eddie Lucio, Jr. – absent – Democrat
Robert Nichols
Carlos Uresti – aye – Democrat
Kel Seliger – aye
Judith Zaffirini – aye – Democrat

UPDATES

HB 40, passed out of committee today on a 10-1 vote. Only Rafael Anchia voted against. Gene Wu voted present.

Darby — San Angelo 512- 463-0331
Paddie – Marshall 512- 463-0556
Anchia – Dallas 512- 463-0746 – D
Canales – Edinburg 512- 463-0426 D
Craddick — Midland
Dale — Cedar Park, Leander, Round Rock 512- 463-0696
Herrero — Corpus Christi 512- 463-0462 D
Keffer – Eastland 512- 463-0656
King – Weatherford 512- 463-0738
Landgraf – Odessa 512- 463-0546
Meyer – Dallas 512- 463-0367
Wu – Houston 512- 463-0492 D
Debbie Riddle – Harris (part) – (512) 463-0572

Press Release:

At bidding of oil and gas industry, state’s long-held tradition of local control on track to be reversed.

Earthworks * Denton Drilling Awareness Group * Earthjustice * Natural Resources Defense Council

PRESS RELEASE: 30 MARCH 2015

CONTACTS: Cathy McMullen, Denton Drilling Awareness Group, (214) 632-3735, cathymcmullen@live.com
Sharon Wilson, Earthworks, (940) 389-1622, swilson@earthworksaction.org
Kathleen Sutcliffe, Earthjustice, 212-845-7380, ksutcliffe@earthjustice.org
Kate Kiely, Natural Resources Defense Council, 212-727-4592, kkiely@nrdc.org

Texas House Energy Resources Committee Approves CSHB40, Guts Community Rights

At bidding of oil and gas industry, state’s long-held tradition of local control on track to be reversed

Austin, TX – Today the Texas State House Energy Resources Committee approved a controversial measure that guts the rights of communities to protect themselves from impacts of oil and gas operations within their borders. Ignoring objections from cities around the state, Committee members approved the Committee Substitute for HB40. Rep Anchia voted against, Rep Wu voted present, all others members attending voted for.

The bill was introduced in direct response to an ordinance approved by the citizens in Denton, TX, in November 2014 to ban hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) within city limits. CSHB 40 not only reverses the results of that election but also attacks the longstanding rights of every town and city in the state that has passed an oil and gas ordinance. Although the Committee Substitute makes small changes to the original HB40 that give more weight to ordinances passed 5+ years ago, all existing and future local oil and gas ordinances would still have to meet with state approval. The Denton fracking ban would be legislatively overturned, along with other relatively strong city ordinances.

“In the past, towns have been able to decide for themselves whether they wanted drilling operations next to homes, day care centers, churches, or hospitals. Not anymore. Politicians in Austin think they know better than us what’s good for our towns. That’s just not right,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group President Cathy McMullen.

Texas has had one of the country’s longest standing traditions of local control over oil and gas land use, and cities throughout the state have adopted setback requirements to create buffer zones between drilling rigs and homes, schools, parks, and hospitals.

“Our state Legislators talk a good game when it comes to cracking down on ‘big government,’ but this law flies in the face of everything they supposedly believe. The politicians in Austin just told every town in Texas, ‘we know better than you what’s right for your town.’ And all because the oil and gas industry got mad that people in Denton decided to stand up for themselves,” said Sharon Wilson, Texas-based organizer with Earthworks.

The City of Denton is fighting a lawsuit brought against it by the oil and gas industry over its ordinance. Until today, attorneys for the city felt fairly confident their ordinance would stand. The Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks have intervened in the case in support of the city.

“It looks like the Texas House Energy Resources Committee does not want the case to reach the court. The Committee has taken matters into their own hands, capitulating to the greedy but powerful oil and gas industry at the expense of their own constituents’ health and well-being,” said Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg, who is co-counsel for the citizen groups and successfully defended the town of Dryden, NY, in a similar court case. The law firm of Brown and Hofmeister is local counsel for the groups.

“The people of Denton exercised their democratic right to keep a risky industrial process out of their community—and now big oil and their friends in high places are trying to take it away,” said Daniel Raichel, attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and co-counsel for the groups. “The interests of a powerful industry should never take priority over the health and safety of American families. Texans should be able to keep dangerous activities and chemicals away from their homes, schools, and hospitals—just as hundreds of other communities across the country have already done.”

— END —

For more information:

***
Earthworks is dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.

www.earthworksaction.org
Twitter: earthworks
Facebook: earthworksaction

This email was sent to <>
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Earthworks · 1612 K St., NW · Suite 808 · Washington, DC 20006 · USA

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Texas frackquakes this past week http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/28/texas-frackquakes-this-past-week/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/28/texas-frackquakes-this-past-week/#respond Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:33:36 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14754 This past week there were several Texas frackquakes but I was too busy with the unnatural disaster in Austin to mention those. I’m taking a few minutes to get caught up This past week in Texas frackquakes M2.8 in Western Texas on March 21, 2015. Event Page I wonder if there’s any fracking in this […]

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This past week there were several Texas frackquakes but I was too busy with the unnatural disaster in Austin to mention those. I’m taking a few minutes to get caught up

This past week in Texas frackquakes

M2.8 in Western Texas on March 21, 2015. Event Page

I wonder if there’s any fracking in this area? /sarcasm

  • 34 km (21 mi) WNW of Fort Stockton, Texas
  • 110 km (68 mi) SW of West Odessa, Texas
  • 118 km (73 mi) SW of Odessa, Texas
  • 149 km (92 mi) SW of Midland, Texas
  • 529 km (328 mi) W of Austin, Texas

M2.6 in Northern Texas on March 23, 2015. Event Page

Lots of fracking around these parts.

  • 2 km (1 mi) NW of Venus, Texas
  • 12 km (7 mi) S of Mansfield, Texas
  • 12 km (7 mi) WSW of Midlothian, Texas
  • 17 km (11 mi) SE of Rendon, Texas
  • 249 km (154 mi) NNE of Austin, Texas

M2.9 in Western Texas on March 28, 2015. Event Page

  • 22 km (14 mi) NW of Fort Stockton, Texas
  • 104 km (64 mi) SSW of West Odessa, Texas
  • 111 km (69 mi) SW of Odessa, Texas
  • 142 km (88 mi) SW of Midland, Texas
  • 515 km (319 mi) W of Austin, Texas

At the hearing for H.B. 40 the Fracking Loophole Bill, so many crazy, out-right lies were told. One young woman packed her 3 minutes full-up with crazy. She said there was no science to link earthquakes with fracking or injection of fracking waste. Um, FALSE. Thankfully Sister Elizabeth spoke next and straightened out some of the crazy. See, that’s why they are called Texas frackquakes.

A word about Oklahoma frackquakes

Is it just me or do the Oklahoma frackquakes seem to be growing in magnitude? They had a M4.2 on the 19th, M4.0 on the 23rd and quite a few over M3.5.

Oklahoma is about to temporarily shut down some wells due to frackquakes.

“It appears quite likely most of the seismicity we’re seeing in northern and north-central Oklahoma is most likely due to this wastewater disposal,” Holland said. “It’s hard to explain this as a natural variation.”

That’s a bold statement considering industry’s pressure to keep Oklahoma scientists mum about the frackquakes.

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Fracking blowouts happen: will you be protected? http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/27/fracking-blowouts-happen-will-you-be-protected/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/27/fracking-blowouts-happen-will-you-be-protected/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:03:45 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14733   Right now in Austin the oil & gas industry is working through the Texas Legislature to strip away the decades old right of Texas cities to protect their citizens. These elected officials are completely out of touch with the reality of real people because they spend all their time with the oil and gas […]

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Right now in Austin the oil & gas industry is working through the Texas Legislature to strip away the decades old right of Texas cities to protect their citizens. These elected officials are completely out of touch with the reality of real people because they spend all their time with the oil and gas lobby. They are trying to solve a problem before they even know what questions to ask.

During Monday’s testimony for H.B. 40, the Fracking Loophole Bill, I asked Energy Resources Committee Chair, Rep. Drew Darby why he wasn’t asking real people questions like they do the lobbyists. He admitted that he doesn’t even know what to ask:

Darby: Ms Wilson, to answer your question, I don’t think any of us know where to start asking some of these questions.

Rather than listening to the people until they know where to start asking questions, rather than butting out and leaving it up to local control, they are forcing fracking down the throats of cities with a one size fits all solution. There is talk about making Fort Worth a model for all Texas cities.

Fracking blowouts happen: will you be protected?

When it comes to urban drilling, some Texas cities have learned the hard way from the most brutal teacher, experience. Wise cities learned from watching.

Is there anyone so wise as to learn from the experience of others? ~Voltaire

When XTO had a blowout in a Forest Hill neighborhood, killing one man and causing the evacuation of 500 homes, Fort Worth doubled their setback from 300′ to 600′ but residents didn’t think that was enough.

Eunice Givens, vice president of government affairs for the Highland Hills neighborhood association, said Tuesday that the council had knuckled under to gas companies. Her neighborhood abuts Forest Hill, and her son’s family in Forest Hill was forced to evacuate Saturday. She said the clouds of gas aggravated her granddaughter’s asthma.

“What about our rights as homeowners? What about our rights as taxpayers?” she said. “You have created a Frankenstein’s monster in this city, and you are clueless as to how to control it.”  Star-Telegram

Other cities watched what happened in Fort Worth and decided to be more prudent.

The oil & gas industry is working through the Texas Legislature to force reasonable and prudent Texas cities to be like Fort Worth.

The City of Denton also experienced a blowout.

The blowout went on for hours before the city or state were notified.

Homes were evacuated.

“They told her not to turn on the lights or anything, just grab her purse and go,” Brewer said. “My daughter was so upset that she forgot to buckle the baby’s carrier into the car seat.”

[…]

They told me I couldn’t have animals within 1,000 feet of houses,” Brewer said. “But now there’s a rig within 1,000 feet of houses out here.” Denton Record Chronicle

Flights were diverted at the nearby airport. In the end, it was much worse than we thought.

How close is too close and who gets to decide?

  • Do you want the oil & gas industry deciding?
  • Do you want lawmakers who don’t even know what questions to ask deciding?
  • Do you want Fort Worth to decide?
  • Or, do you want local control to prevail?

The mission is to SAVE YOUR CITY. These are still your marching orders. Get on the phone and stay on the phone.

Email for authors and sponsors of HB 40:

Trent.Ashby@house.state.tx.us
Cecil.Bell@house.state.tx.us
Dwayne.Bohac@house.state.tx.us
Giovanni.Capriglione@house.state.tx.us
Travis.Clardy@house.state.tx.us
Tony.Dale@house.state.tx.us
Drew.Darby@house.state.tx.us
Sarah.Davis@house.state.tx.us
Allen.Fletcher@house.state.tx.us
Dan.Flynn@house.state.tx.us
James.Frank@house.state.tx.us
Rick.Galindo@house.state.tx.us
Ryan.Guillen@house.state.tx.us
Patricia.Harless@house.state.tx.us
Bryan.Hughes@house.state.tx.us
Jason.Isaac@house.state.tx.us
Kyle.Kacal@house.state.tx.us
James.Keffer@house.state.tx.us
Mark.Keough@house.state.tx.us
Phil.King@house.state.tx.us
Matt.Krause@house.state.tx.us
Brooks.Landgraf@house.state.tx.us
Jodie.Laubenberg@house.state.tx.us
Jeff.Leach@house.state.tx.us
JM.Lozano@house.state.tx.us
Mando.Martinez@house.state.tx.us
Andrew.Murr@house.state.tx.us
Rene.Oliveira@house.state.tx.us
Chris.Paddie@house.state.tx.us
Gilbert.Pena@house.state.tx.us
Debbie.Riddle@house.state.tx.us
Matt.Rinaldi@house.state.tx.us
Scott.Sanford@house.state.tx.us
Matt.Schaefer@house.state.tx.us
Ron.Simmons@house.state.tx.us
David.Simpson@house.state.tx.us
Stuart.Spitzer@house.state.tx.us
Drew.Springer@house.state.tx.us
Jonathan.Stickland@house.state.tx.us
Senfronia.Thompson@house.state.tx.us
Tony.Tinderholt@house.state.tx.us
Scott.Turner@house.state.tx.us
Jason.Villalba@house.state.tx.us
James.White@house.state.tx.us
Molly.White@house.state.tx.us
Paul.Workman@house.state.tx.us
Bill.Zedler@house.state.tx.us


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