Texas Sharon's Bluedaze http://www.texassharon.com Fracking News Wed, 01 Apr 2015 01:27:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 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 2004. 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?

Be watching as the House Energy Resources Committee passes 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
Eddie Lucio, Jr. – absent
Robert Nichols
Carlos Uresti – aye
Kel Seliger – aye
Judith Zaffirini – aye

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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State Defines “Prudent and Reasonable” Fracking Operator http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/26/state-defines-prudent-and-reasonable-fracking-operator/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/26/state-defines-prudent-and-reasonable-fracking-operator/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:06:29 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14710 Monday, people from many areas of Texas converged in Austin to oppose H.B. 40 and H.B. 539. H.B. 40  is the Fracking Loophole Bill and H.B. 539 is the Punishment Tax Bill. H.B. 40, as written, will overturn almost a decade of my work in the Barnett Shale. That’s hard to swallow, but this dumb strategy by […]

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Monday, people from many areas of Texas converged in Austin to oppose H.B. 40 and H.B. 539. H.B. 40  is the Fracking Loophole Bill and H.B. 539 is the Punishment Tax Bill.

H.B. 40, as written, will overturn almost a decade of my work in the Barnett Shale. That’s hard to swallow, but this dumb strategy by the Texas GOP will produce lemonade.

Today I watched much of the testimony on H.B. 40  and H.B. 539 again. This time I had my waders handy but they weren’t much help because the bullshit flowed right over the tops. The hearing was 8 brutal hours long and filled with ignorance and lies. Thanks to everyone for hanging in there. Below are some random and not so random thoughts about the hearing and an update on H.B. 40.

The state thinks Devon Energy is a “prudent and reasonable” fracking operator.

RemingtonDuring testimony and discussion about The Loophole Bill, Devon Energy was used as the poster child for the “prudent and reasonable” loophole in the bill. Devon as the model “prudent and reasonable” fracking operator is scary. And this highlights the problems with our legislators making law where they are not fully informed.

Devon is not a good model of a “prudent and reasonable” fracking operator and here are two of many examples:

Fracking hell: What it’s really like to live next to a shale gas well is an investigative report by The Guardian about what happened in a Ponder, Texas neighborhood.

Nausea, headaches and nosebleeds, invasive chemical smells, constant drilling, slumping property prices – welcome to Ponder, Texas, where fracking has overtaken the town. With the chancellor last week announcing tax breaks for drilling companies, could the UK be facing the same fate?

The Guardian report has a 9 minute video of the neighbors describing their experiences when Devon drilled some wells 300′ from their homes. Behind these neighbors’ homes was a huge, vacant field. There was no reason to drill so close to homes. But there was no way to stop them. And, while Devon claims ad nauseum that they are willing to negotiate, regular people report they have had little success at those negotiations.

The Denton Record Chronicle has done extensive reporting about Devon’s bad behavior in Ponder. Ponder drilling site too close for residents’ comfort

Resident Melissa Holt told the council that the residents expected the council to respond to their concerns.

“We complain and the city doesn’t respond,” Holt said, adding that instead, company representatives came out to talk to residents. “They were arrogant, sarcastic and condescending. We elected the city officials to represent the city, not Devon Energy. As of this date, there has been no response to Veronica’s letter. We deserve better.

Devon must scorch the earth in Denton.

Despite the fracking ban, the city must update their gas well ordinance to deal with existing wells. They also need to update in the event the ban is overturned. So, the never-ending task of tinkering with the Denton gas well ordinance continued Tuesday night at a council meeting. I didn’t go because I was giving a presentation to the City of Irving Green Advisory Board.

I watched the meeting online because I just can’t get enough bullshit. Chance Wilson spoke for Devon. [An aside: Chance is no relation but I know him because he went to school with my oldest son when we lived in Wise County. Shame on you Chance.]

If you’re keeping score: The council admitted that Devon has had three meetings with the city regarding the most recent proposed gas well ordinance amendments. Residents have had zero meetings with the city regarding the proposed gas well ordinance amendments.

In trying to plan for new development that accommodates gas will drilling, the city came up with co-locations where operators can drill multiple wells from one pad site to access all their minerals. That way the city can still have development for neighborhoods. You know, neighborhoods, where the people live.

But that doesn’t work for Devon. They claim it will prohibit them from accessing their minerals.

Chance used his emphatic and forceful voice with an underlying tone of threat when he said:

“We have consistently worked with municipalities, surface owners, and mineral owners in North Texas to be a good neighbor and in an effort to minimize any impact our operations have on the surface.”

This reminds me of the time when Range Resources made some silly claim about their good reputation. People wrote from all over disputing that claim. I’m the one people call with complaints about Devon and there are many.

Chance uses the Cole Trust as an example of Devon’s good “neighborness”. There are 15 pad sites on the Cole Trust and they need every one of those to “fully develop” the minerals. Devon is unable to develop a 640 acre unit from one pad site.

Devon wants an exception to the co-location and they want to draft the language in the ordinance that gives them the exception.

The bottom line according to Change:

To effectively drain the Barnett Shale, to produce the Barnett Shale effectively, you need, really, one well per 20 acres. And to do that on 640 acres, which is what the proposed ordinance suggests, we’d have to have 32 wells off of one pad site. We can’t effectively or safely drill 32 wells from one 5-acre site.

Say what?

Get out of Devon’s way little people!

Devon has 10,000 leased acres in the City of Denton. If they need one well every 20 acres, that’s 500 wells or a scorched earth.

I have attended years of council meetings all across North Texas where a Devon representative spoke. No matter what the regulation might be, even if it’s something Devon does routinely, they will oppose having it in writing. This is something we have witnessed at many council meetings.

Devon is not a good neighbor. That’s a platitude they issue with their emphatic and forceful voice with an underlying tone of threat . If you say it a million times, it’s doesn’t make it true.

Substitute to H.B. 40 coming soon.

The committee, especially Rep Darby expressed confusion and disbelief that people can see the giant loophole in H.B. 40.

But much of the day was spent parsing the confusing language of the legislation pertaining to what a city can and cannot do. The bill stipulates that local government is limited to regulating “only surface activity that is incident to an oil and gas operation” with ordinances that are “commercially reasonable” and don’t “effectively prohibit an oil and gas operation.” Elsewhere in the bill, “commercially reasonable” is defined as a “condition that permits a reasonably prudent operator to fully, effectively, and economically exploit, develop, produce, process, and transport oil and gas.”

Did you follow all that?  Texas Observer

Most of the city officials were too nice to come right out and tell the committee that oil & gas operators are bullies and are not “prudent and reasonable.” The Fort Worth attorney came closest when she said they had to keep amending their ordinance because the operators were not reasonable.

I heard yesterday there will be a substitute bill and Fort Worth officials are helping with the wording.

The State wants your city to be like Fort Worth

I was born in Fort Worth. Both my sons were born in Fort Worth. I loved Fort Worth long before I loved Denton. I loved the parks and museums, the fantastic restaurants and the red brick road and the kind, generous people. But you couldn’t melt me and pour me in Fort Worth now. They have turned it into a Dirty Ol’ Town.

The oil & gas industry loves Fort Worth and that’s the model the industry has instructed the Texas Legislature to use for all other Texas cities.

I want to revisit the Fort Worth air quality studies because there were many lies told about that in testimony.

The industry funded air study found the highest levels of formaldehyde measured anywhere on the planet besides Brazil, higher even than the Houston Ship Channel, were found in Fort Worth at gas well sites. Now, the industry repeats the lie over and over that Fort Worth air is safe and that lie goes unchallenged by the media and lawmakers. Thank you Lon Burnam for pointing this our in your testimony.

Another air study conducted by Fort Worth found benzene 94% of the time. There were many other problems with this air study. Two great sources for more information are an opinion piece by attorney Jim Bradbury, Fort Worth Air Study Has Gaps, and FW Weekly has a great analysis of the air testing in their article, Blowing Smoke: Fort Worth’s air quality study makes things as clear as smog.

68% of Fort Worth gas wells leak.

H.B. 40 and H.B. 539 Testimony

The nearly 9 hours of testimony for these bills is archived HERE.

I prepared 3 minute testimony for each bill with visuals.

When we arrived in Austin shortly after 11:00 AM, we learned that testimony on both bills would be 3 minutes total. I revised my comments several times while listening to the oil & gas lobbyists testify for hours before the real people got their turn. By the time my turn came 4 hours and 43 minutes into the testimony, the bullshit was so thick I began by saying “I wish I’d worn my waders.” The committee asked lobbyists endless questions but they had few questions for the real people who actually live with fracking. That steamed me so I brought it up at the end of the panel. At 4:57:30, Rep. Darby replied:

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

Listening to impacted Texans more and oil & gas lobbyists less would be a good start, Rep. Darby.

The panel that included Denton’s Mayor, Chris Watts, and city attorney, Anita Burgess, starts at 2:58. Burgess speaks against H.B. 539, calling it “City Pays” at 3:05. Watts speaks at 3:08:42. The committee grilled Watts. I thought the questions were excessive and meant to humiliate but Watts was patient and gracious. The questioning by Tom Craddick was so rude and ignorant that I transcribed it.

Craddick: Mayor, I’d like to ask you or your city attorney. Do you believe as the law stands today, if House Bill 40 did not pass, that it gives cities the right to ban fracking in the state?
Mayor Watts: We are currently under litigation in that regard so…
Craddick interrupts: I’m asking you as the Mayor of Denton and the city attorney, do you, representing the City of Denton believe that the way the law is written today, it gives you the right to ban fracking.
Mayor Watts: Mr Craddick, I will respectfully decline to answer that only because we as a city council did not adopt that. It went to a vote and it’s currently under litigation.
Craddick: Do you think that, if we passed House Bill 40, as it is written today, do you think that would change whether or not the city of Denton, or any other city in the State of Texas has the right to ban fracking.
Mayor Watts: In my opinion, if this bill passes as it’s written today, simply by section C that says: May not enact any ordinance that effects or otherwise … it very well …
(Clarification of the question and restatement.)
I think it would make it very unlikely that a city would be able to ban hydraulic fracturing.
Craddick: Okay, but you think that today, as the law is, as it is today, if you made an opinion on that, what about the law today, do you think it gives the cities the right to ban fracking?
3:35 Mayor Watts: Again, I respectfully decline to answer that because we are in litigation…
Craddick interrupts: How did you vote on it?
Mayor Watts: How did I vote on?
Craddick: On the proposal to ban fracking in front of the city council . Aren’t you…
Mayor Watts: I voted against adopting the ban and for sending it to the voters.
Craddick: Okay, so you passed the buck.
Mayor Watts: That’s certainly…you’re entitled to that, but no.
Craddick: Thank you. I am.
Mayor Watts: You bet.

So many things wrong with this exchange.

  1. The City of Denton did not ban fracking. Denton voters banned fracking with 59%, in a bi-partisan vote that included 70% of straight ticket Republican voters.
  2. Saying that Mayor Watts passed the buck shows how ignorant the state is in local matters and why they should butt out. The Denton City Charter requires a successful citizen initiative to either be adopted by city council or go to a vote. The mayor had no choice.
  3. The Texas Legislature does not understand how democracy works.
  4. Craddick is a bully but we knew that already.

Some other testimony you might enjoy: (If your testimony is not included and you want it to be, send me the time. I confess that I forgot to write down the times of some excellent testimony.)
Calvin Tillman 4:06:37
Cathy McMullen 4:09:56
Scott Anderson 6:22 – may be constitutional challenges.
Adam Briggle 7:14
Robin Schneider 8:28

Update and next steps.

The Energy Resources Committee will have a substitute to HB 40 out by the end of this week.

Because Rep. Darby seemed so profoundly confused about why people would object to the loophole terms “commercially reasonable” and “reasonable and prudent,” I decided to tweet 2 or 3 pictures daily showing that “commercially reasonable” and “reasonable and prudent” are fantasies in fracklandia. Here are the tweets:

Rep. Darby has banned me. I think that means he doesn’t care to know.
leave-local-control

We are formulating our next steps. No matter what the formulation, there will be many, many more people taking these steps with us.

Update: GAH! I forgot to report that the companion bill to H.B. 40, S.B. 1165, passed the Senate committee on a unanimous vote. The minutes for the meeting are not yet posted so I can’t verify the vote. These are the committee members. The senators who voted aye, voted to strip your rights to local control away and turn you over to the tender mercy of the Texas Railroad Commission.

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

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Fracking Marching Orders to Save Your City http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/22/fracking-marching-orders-to-save-your-city/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/22/fracking-marching-orders-to-save-your-city/#respond Sun, 22 Mar 2015 20:19:26 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14703 Monday Morning Fracking Marching Orders Fight back against the Texas Legislature’s “nuclear” attack on Texas Cities. H.B. 40 and H.B. 539 The oil & gas industry has pulled the strings of their Austin puppets. They are using the Denton fracking ban to make a power grab on Texas cities. H.B. 40, has a giant fracking […]

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Monday Morning Fracking Marching Orders

Fight back against the Texas Legislature’s “nuclear” attack on Texas Cities.

H.B. 40 and H.B. 539

The oil & gas industry has pulled the strings of their Austin puppets. They are using the Denton fracking ban to make a power grab on Texas cities.

H.B. 40, has a giant fracking loophole that will make the Texas Railroad Commission your city council in all matters to do with oil & gas.

H.B. 539 imposes a punishment tax on cities that attempt to protect their residents with drilling ordinances or zoning.

Option One:

Get up hella early and head to Austin to speak in opposition to H.B. 40 and H.B. 539 at the Energy Resources Committee public hearing in E2.010 at 2:00 pm.

You can save time when you arrive at the Texas Capitol to register by creating your public profile in advance

Option Two:

  1. CLICK TO TAKE THIS EASY ACTION: Write the Energy Resources Committee to stop this Austin power-grab.
  2. Call the Energy Resources Committee and tell they you are opposed to HB 40 and HB 539. Look over the bill authors and cosponsors. If your representative is on this list, call and tell them to drop their support. No Democrat should be supporting or voting for these bills!

HB 40 Authors:
Darby — San Angelo 713- 463-0331
Keffer – Eastland 713- 463-0656
King – Weatherford 713- 463-0738
Senfronia Thompson 713- 463-0720 – D
Rene Oliveira – Brownsville (512) 463-0640 – D rene.oliveira@house.state.tx.us

HB 40 Sponsors:
Trent Ashby – Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine, Trinity (512) 463-0508
Cecli Bell – Montgomery (part) Waller (512) 463-0650
Gilbert Pena, R-Harris County (512) 463-0460
Dwayne Bohac Harris County (512) 463-0727
Davis, Sarah – Harris (512) 463-0389
Allen Fletcher – Harris (part) (512) 463-0661
Patricia Harless – Harris – (512) 463-0496
Debbie Riddle – Harris (part) – (512) 463-0572
Travis Clardy – Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Rusk (512) 463-0592
Dale — Cedar Park, Leander, Round Rock 713- 463-0696
Dan Flynn – Hopkins, Hunt, Van Zandt – (512) 463-0880
James Frank – Archer, Baylor. Clay, Foard, Knox, Wichita (512) 463-0534
Rick Galindo – Bexar – (512) 463-0269
Bryan Hughes – Camp, Morris, Rains, Smith (part) Titus, Wood (512) 463-0271
Isaac – Blanco Hays – (512) 463-0647
Kyle Kacal – Brazos (part) Falls, Limestone, McLennan (part) Robertson
(512) 463-0412
Mark Keough – Montgomery (part) (512) 463-0797
JM Lozano – Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, San Patricio – (512) 463-0463
Mando Martinez – Hidalgo – (512) 463-0530 – D
Andrew Murr – Bandera, Crockett, Edwards, Kerr, Kimble, Llano, Mason, Medina, Menard, Real, Schleicher, Sutton – (512) 463-0536
Paddie – Marshall 713- 463-0556
Matt Rinaldi – Dallas (part) – (512) 463-0468
Scott Sanford – Collin (part)- (512) 463-0356
Jeff Leach – Collin (part) – (512) 463-0544
Scott Turner – Collin – (512) 463-0484
Jodie Laubenberg – Collin – (512) 463-0186
Matt Schaefer – Smith (part) – (512) 463-0584
Ron Simmons – Denton (part) – (512) 463-0478
David Simpson – Gregg, Upshur – (512) 463-0750
Stuart Spitzer – Henderson (part) Kaufman – (512) 463-0458
Drew Springer – Childress, Collingsworth, Cooke, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Fisher, Floyd, Garza, Hall, Hardeman, Haskell, Jack, Kent, King, Montague, Motley, Stonewall, Throckmorton, Wheeler, Wilbarger, Young – (512) 463-0526
Johathan Stickland – Tarrant (part) – (512) 463-0522
Tony Tinderholt – Tarrant (part) – (512) 463-0624
Bill Zedler – Tarrant – (512) 463-0374
Giovanni Capriglione Tarrant County (512) 463-0690
Matt Krause – Tarrant (part) (512) 463-0562
Landgraf – Odessa 713- 463-0546
Jason Villalba – Dallas (part) – (512) 463-0576
James White – Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Tyler – 512-463-0490
Molly White – Bell (part) – (512)463-0630
Paul Workman – Travis – (512) 463-0652

Energy Resources Committee:
Darby — San Angelo 713- 463-0331
Paddie – Marshall 713- 463-0556
Anchia – Dallas 713- 463-0746 – D
Canales – Edinburg 713- 463-0426 – D
Craddick — Midland
Dale — Cedar Park, Leander, Round Rock 713- 463-0696
Herrero — Corpus Christi 713- 463-0462 D
Keffer – Eastland 713- 463-0656
King – Weatherford 713- 463-0738
Landgraf – Odessa 713- 463-0546
Meyer – Dallas 713- 463-0367
Wu – Houston 713- 463-0492 – D
Debbie Riddle – Harris (part) – (512) 463-0572

Resources:

S.B. 1165

S.B. 1165 is the companion bill to H.B. 40

Option One:

Natural Resources & Economic Development will have a public hearing in E1.012 at 9:00 am on Tuesday. Go speak in opposition

You can save time when you arrive at the Texas Capitol to register by creating your public profile in advance

Option Two:

YOU MUST CALL AND REGISTER YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL ON MONDAY. The hearing starts first thing Tuesday morning.

S.B. 1165 Authors:
Troy Fraser (512)463-0124
Donna Campbell (512)463-0125
Kevin Eltife (512)463-0101
Eddie Lucio (512)463-0127 – D
Kel Seliger (512)463-0131

Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee Members:
Sen. Troy Fraser (512)463-0124
Craig Estes (512) 463-0130
Sen. Brian Birdwell (512) 463-0122
Sen. Bob Hall (512) 463-0102
Sen. Kelly Hancock (512) 463-0109
Sen. Juan Hinojosa (512) 463-0120
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (512) 463-0127 - D
Sen. Robert Nichols (512) 463-0103
Sen. Kel Seliger (512) 463-0131
Sen. Carlos Uresti (512) 463-0119 – D
Sen. Judith Zaffirini (512) 463-0121 – D

 

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The fracking loophole in H.B. 40 http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/19/the-fracking-loophole-in-h-b-40/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/19/the-fracking-loophole-in-h-b-40/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:44:11 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14681 There is a giant fracking loophole in H.B. 40! Representative Drew Darby’s bill, H.B. 40, has a giant fracking loophole that allows industry to just say no to any restrictions on their operations in our neighborhoods. “Commercially reasonable” is defined as a condition that permits a reasonably prudent operator to fully, effectively, and economically exploit, […]

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There is a giant fracking loophole in H.B. 40!

Representative Drew Darby’s bill, H.B. 40, has a giant fracking loophole that allows industry to just say no to any restrictions on their operations in our neighborhoods.

“Commercially reasonable” is defined as a condition that permits a reasonably prudent operator to fully, effectively, and economically exploit, develop, produce, process, and transport oil and gas.

“Commercially reasonable” is a giant loophole for industry that won’t be compatible with what is “residentially reasonable.” “Commercially reasonable” is similar to the loophole phrase, “if feasible” that is used in some drilling ordinances. We have found that it is never feasible to use whatever best practice comes before the “if feasible” loophole. Likewise, any setback, noise restrictions, alternate traffic routing, or limits on spewing and spilling, etc. will be found commercially unreasonable.

H.B. 40 will apply to Flower Mound, Dallas, Dish and even San Angelo where Darby lives. Every Texas city’s drilling ordinance becomes commercially unreasonable and the state takes over.

I have no idea what  “reasonably prudent operator” means.

H.B. 40 along with Phil King’s H.B. 539, a bill that punishes municipalities for trying to protect citizen health and safety from the neighborhood shale boom, go before the Energy Resources Committee Monday, March 23rd at 2:30 pm. These are two of a tsunami of bills filed in retaliation for Denton’s fracking ban and in fear more cities will follow. But the state and industry have only themselves to blame.

The state took no “reasonably prudent” action to protect citizens from reckless operators.

Denton residents asked the city for a more protective ordinance when Range Resources set up a rig 200′ from McKenna Park, a neighborhood and hospitals. The city cowered under industry’s threats of lawsuits so they told residents to seek help from the state. Denton residents traveled to Austin on several occasions and asked the state for help. The state told them it should be solved at the local level. After trying for over five years to find a way to live with fracking, Denton residents had exhausted every avenue but a ban. Democracy with a local ballot initiative was their last option.

There are no other cities in Texas trying to ban fracking. No other cities have the unique problem Denton had where the fire department issued drilling permits by plat. This allowed, as Ed Ireland of Barnett Shale Energy Education Council puts it, “unlimited wells in perpetuity” and operators could not be made to observe the city ordinance. Other cities can simply pass a drilling ordinance unless the state takes that right away.

The state and industry are using Denton as an excuse to make a big government power grab and strip away local control from all Texas cities.

CLICK TO TAKE THIS EASY ACTION: Write the Energy Resources Committee to stop this Austin power-grab.

Or call the committee members at the phones numbers listed here.

UPDATE: Here is the Texas Municipal League response to this bill and a letter telling why they oppose.

Does this look reasonably prudent?

RuggieroHouseCrop

 

 

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ALERT: HB 40 and HB 539 bills stop city regulation of oil and gas http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/16/alert-hb-40-and-hb-539-bills-stop-city-regulation-of-oil-and-gas/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/16/alert-hb-40-and-hb-539-bills-stop-city-regulation-of-oil-and-gas/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 21:55:41 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14666 One Size Doesn’t Fit All in Texas CLICK HERE:  Tell the Energy Resources Committee to keep fracking control local HB 40 and HB 539 will stop city regulation of oil and gas. Texans who want to protect their homes and families have worked for decades to regulate fracking in their backyards. That’s one of the […]

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One Size Doesn’t Fit All in Texas

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 5.50.27 PM

CLICK HERE:  Tell the Energy Resources Committee to keep fracking control local

HB 40 and HB 539 will stop city regulation of oil and gas.

Texans who want to protect their homes and families have worked for decades to regulate fracking in their backyards. That’s one of the reasons we have home rule.

Now politicians in Austin are trying to take home rule away from our communities.

After the people of Denton, TX voted to ban fracking, self-proclaimed “enemies of big government” introduced several bills to take away our right to govern ourselves.

HB40 not only retroactively reverses Denton’s fracking ban, but it also preempts local ordinances in cities across the state like Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie and College Station. It is set to have a hearing on March 23.

HB 539 would legalize a state assessment of damages to royalty owners and the state for any losses they determine are related to local oil and gas regulations. It’s a punishment designed to make sure cities can’t regulate oil and gas.

CLICK TO TAKE THIS EASY ACTION: Write the Energy Resources Committee to stop this Austin power-grab.

Help stop this big government power grab and protect our Texan value of local control!

Home Rule is a Texan value

HB 40

HB 539

Texas Municipal League press release: Oil and gas drillers go nuclear against homeowners

HB 40 and HB 2855, both by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), would expressly preempt most regulation of oil and gas operations by cities and all other political subdivisions.

“If this bill is passed, you could have a drilling rig operating right beside your back fence, your child’s day care center, your church or a hospital with all of the around-the-clock noise, hazardous materials, emissions and truck traffic that accompany drilling activity,” Sandlin said.

[…]

The proposed bills not only retroactively reverse the results of a city election and interfere with pending litigation in the City of Denton, but they also preempt local ordinances in numerous cities across the state like those in the cities of Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie and College Station. The bills also make it more difficult for homeowners and local citizens to voice their concerns by requiring that all local land use decisions be handled in Austin by the Texas Railroad Commission.

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Bills in Energy Resources Committee today http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/16/bills-in-energy-resources-committee-today/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/16/bills-in-energy-resources-committee-today/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:29:29 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14654 Here are the bills scheduled for a hearing today in the Energy Resources Committee. The meeting starts at 2:00 pm today so you need to weigh in before then. HB 497 Wu – Relating to the applicability of the law governing saltwater pipeline facilities located in the vicinity of public roads. HB 1184 Paddie – Relating to […]

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Here are the bills scheduled for a hearing today in the Energy Resources Committee. The meeting starts at 2:00 pm today so you need to weigh in before then.

HB 497 Wu – Relating to the applicability of the law governing saltwater pipeline facilities located in the vicinity of public roads.

HB 1184 Paddie – Relating to authorizing certain alternative fuel programs as eligible for local government energy savings performance contracts.

This bill gives financial incentive for natural gas vehicles. I oppose this bill.

HB 1331 King, Phil – Relating to the treatment and recycling for beneficial use of certain waste arising out of or incidental to the drilling for or production of oil or gas.

This bill is a get-out-of-jail-free card to operators that produce drilling waste. Here are my thoughts about this bill:

Chemicals used in production of oil and gas are shipped to the site in containers with hazard labels. Yet, because of loopholes in our federal environmental laws, the waste that contains those same chemicals is exempt from treatment as hazardous waste.

Despite the loophole, the EPA says oil and gas waste could present a hazard to human health. http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/industrial/special/oil/oil-gas.pdf

In addition, although they are relieved from regulation as hazardous wastes, the exemption does not mean these wastes could not present a hazard to human health and the environment if improperly managed

It is difficult for scientists to fully assess the hazards of this waste because some of the chemicals used are closely guarded trade secrets, which exempts them from disclosure. Science is just now figuring out what the waste contains.

“There is a huge diversity of chemicals in the produced water,” Luek says. “We have identified more than 10,000 mass spec peaks, which can be assigned more than 2,500 chemical formulas.”
http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i11/Figuring-Fracking-Wastewater.html

This article from Chemical and Engineering News has an annotated list of what scientist have found in waste. http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i11/Figuring-Fracking-Wastewater.html

Before we give the operators that produce this waste a free pass from responsibility and before we can call future use of the waste “beneficial”, we need to know what is in it and how much there is.

Please do not pass this bill out of committee.

Update: The committee is going to work on King’s bill. One concern is to make sure the company taking the waste is a legitimate company. The Railroad Commission representative said the companies would be permitted but we know how closely that agency watches. One man gave testimony about how his company treats the waste and, I have to admit, it sounded impressive.

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Fracking Nanny Bill H.B. 540 Tabled http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/12/fracking-nanny-bill-h-b-540-tabled/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/12/fracking-nanny-bill-h-b-540-tabled/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2015 02:22:50 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14622 Phil King’s Fracking Nanny Bill Tabled The State Affairs Committee tabled Phil King’s Fracking Nanny Bill, H.B. 540. Thank you to everyone who called, wrote and to the few who showed up to testify. The bill was tabled in committee. The committee did not appear to be impressed with this bill so I think it […]

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Phil King’s Fracking Nanny Bill Tabled

The State Affairs Committee tabled Phil King’s Fracking Nanny Bill, H.B. 540. Thank you to everyone who called, wrote and to the few who showed up to testify. The bill was tabled in committee. The committee did not appear to be impressed with this bill so I think it will die.

High Five Y’all!

You can watch the hour-long hearing and testimony for this bill HERE. It starts at 45:45 where King explains the bill. He talks about California a lot. Mentioning CA is supposed to be really scary to Texas.

King explains his bill

In CA the initiative and referendum has become a cottage industry. “You pay a group $100,00 and then they go and collect your signatures…these are widespread in California.”

Wait! That happened in Denton too! Only it was the oil and gas industry that paid a group misrepresent a petition and get signatures. I just happened to get them on video lying when they tried to get my signature. See: Caught on video: Petition circulators deceive Denton residents

Nationally in 2013 there were 892 municipal initiatives and referendums in the country. In 2012 there were 3,800…

That’s a decrease of 2,908 initiatives in just one year. When Rep. Turner questioned King about the number of initiatives in Texas, he admitted that there were only 41 over a 5-year period.

Here are some of the scary not-from-Texas initiatives King listed:

  • Fracking bans
  • GMO bans
  • Marijuana Legalization (over 70% of Texans are for regulated sale of marijuana)
  • Minimum wage – But Texas has a law that prohibits cities from establishing minimum wage by initiative so this does not apply to Texas. Nice try though.
  • Public pensions

Local Control Texas has a list of the most frequent uses for initiatives.

He says several times that the initiative stopped all drilling in the City of Denton which is not true.

He mentions Earthworks as a scary boogie man.

In many of these cases you have national interests such as Earthworks, which is a national organization fighting climate change and fossil fuel issues, which is exceptionally prominent and you’ve got groups like that that are actually funding part of the litigation defense.

That’s when I scribbled on my prepared comments to respond to his comment. Frack Free Denton spent $70,000 on their campaign. The industry spent well over one million dollars. The industry has unlimited funds for a legal defense. Denton citizens have pro bono attorneys. Argument falls down.

He says cities are overstepping and going around city councils, which is the second time I scribbled on my prepared comments.

At last, King gets down to the real issue: It’s just too hard for the fracking industry when different cities have different regulations.

Denton City Attorney explains Kings bill

At about 1:08, Anita Burgess gives her testimony. She begins by telling the committee that she is a recent student of the initiative process.

I am, in fact, probably the most recent student of the initiative process, the City of Denton having recently gone through the exercise of the initiative as a result of the ban in hydraulic fracturing, which did, in fact, ensued. As a result of this process, we have learned some things I would like to very, very briefly share with this committee.

I learned a lot about initiatives. A home rule city gets its power from the Texas Constitution. The city charter is the local constitution and it’s voted on by the citizens.

…in many instances, reserved to the citizens—not granted to them but reserved to them—through that constitution—that local charter—is the right of the initiative and the right of the referendum.

Denton’s charter does have some topics that have been withdrawn so would not be appropriate for an initiative but fracking is not one of those topics.

Then Burgess explains that as messy and inconvenient as democracy sometimes is, it’s still important.

Why is all of this important to this committee? The initiative is part of the constitutional power of the people. We believe it’s fundamental to our system of democracy and it’s an ultimate protection of our system of government. Is that convenient? Not always. But we don’t think democracy is always necessarily convenient. But we do believe it’s important to protect this very fundamental right.

Burgess said it should be up to the courts to decide if the issue is illegal and not the attorney general (AG). She said the executive branch, the AG, would be interfering with the legislative branch of a local government, which is improper.

And H.B. 540 would allow “prior restraint” where the AG can say a municipality may not hold an election, which is outside the AG’s powers. On the AG website it says the AG does not rule on what the law says but issues opinions with regard to the law.

Even our governor cannot veto a bill before it is enacted

Stay tuned

This is one bill, hopefully, down with many other bad bills to go. Friday is the last day to file a bill so we hope to have a complete list on Sunday.

YOUR Texas government does not want YOU to participate in YOUR government.

Many of these bills will be heard in the Energy Resources Committee, which meets on Monday morning at around 10:30. But we don’t know what bills will be heard by the committee until Sunday evening. So you only have a few hours to prepare and get down to Austin. I know it’s hard. They make it hard so you won’t do it. But freedom isn’t free and all that… Well be there to help you every step of the way.

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What could possibly go wrong with armor piercing fracking explosions? http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/10/what-could-possibly-go-wrong-with-armor-piercing-fracking-explosions/ http://www.texassharon.com/2015/03/10/what-could-possibly-go-wrong-with-armor-piercing-fracking-explosions/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:20:12 +0000 http://www.texassharon.com/?p=14617 Armor Piercing Fracking Explosions in Your Backyard? Today three men from the same family lost their lives when a pulling unit exploded in Upton County. It is unknown at this time what caused the explosion. But it could have been caused by armor piercing fracking explosions. What is known is that armor piercing explosives called […]

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Armor Piercing Fracking Explosions in Your Backyard?

Today three men from the same family lost their lives when a pulling unit exploded in Upton County. It is unknown at this time what caused the explosion. But it could have been caused by armor piercing fracking explosions.

What is known is that armor piercing explosives called “perf guns” are required for fracking. Here are some things I’ve learned about “perf guns.”

  • These armor piercing charges are used to blow holes through the steel casing pipe, cement casing and into surrounding shale. Sometimes the charges accidentally go off on the surface causing serious accidents.
  • One study limited to 3 suppliers prior to the shale BOOM, found 94 accidents, 49 injuries and 29 deaths due to perf guns.
  • Cell phones can set off a “perf gun.”
  • Pulling units lower “perf guns” in place and retrieve them.

Industry brags about how powerful “perf guns” are.

Energy Quote of the Day: Power of the Perf Gun:

Perforating unconventional oil & gas wells as part of the hydraulic fracturing process uses armor-piercing charges, Senior Petroleum Engineer for Wagner & Brown Billy Harris… Given the powerful nature of the explosives, some countries have strict regulations controlling their use.

Perf guns do really well on tanks and armored vehicles. Some folks are very sensitive about this.

Billy Harris, Sr. Petroleum Engineer, Wagner & Brown

Dose this sound like something you want in your neighborhood?

Does this sound like something you want traveling through your neighborhood?  “Perf guns have to be transported to the site.

PerfGun

Bonus questions:

Name the three main causes of induced seismicity (man-made earthquakes) according to industry studies:

  1. Underground explosions
  2. Injection
  3. Extraction

Which of the above is required for the shale boom:

  1. All of the above.

I hope the industry will take care of the families left behind.

The post What could possibly go wrong with armor piercing fracking explosions? appeared first on Texas Sharon's Bluedaze.

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