The City of Arlington, Texas has a Gas Drilling and Production (GDP) Ordinance that calls for a 600 foot setback to protect citizens from the many, documented dangers and health risks from living near gas wells, but under pressure from industry and those whose lives won’t be affected, the Arlington City Council issues one “Special Use Permit” (SUP) after another. The drilling ordinance was established to protect people. The SUP indicates that certain citizens are considered collateral damage and are disposable.
This is from one of Arlington’s disposable citizens, Gretchen , who has advanced emphysema and is waiting to learn if her life will be “drastically shortened by the dust and foul air”:
I attended a sickening council meeting last month. A ‘girl next door’ looking rep from one of the gas companies stood over a group of children who were getting awards for an art contest, sponsored by the gas drilling company. She tried to convey that they were just part of our caring community. Children aged five led the pledge of allegiance. Oh, and there was the prayer and even Jesus was dragged into the farce. It was hard not to puke.
The art contest was sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, of course. They did the same thing in Fort Worth: FWISD Caught In a Barnett Shale Web of Deceit. They are doing the same thing in the Marcellus Shale area where they have taken over the a local paper and are offering EdUKaShUn to the young people there: Chesapeake Energy, The Daily & Sunday Review announce major Newspaper In Education sponsorship. This is part of their propaganda campaign to fool the local people who will soon become disposable citizens just like Gretchen.
Each site looks like a bulls-eye. Those too close begged the council not to change the zoning distance from 600 to 300 feet. Those further out far outnumbered those up close, as they always will, and wanted the drilling AND the money. Too bad the prayer didn’t mention “Love thy neighbor as thyself” But, no one should have had to mention that. You can bet those far from the well would not have wanted the drilling right next to their houses. In the end, only one council member voted against letting drilling proceed too close to the objectors homes.
Now, the thumper trucks have tested the ground right next to me. I have half of one lung total breathing capacity, when it comes time for me to beg, “Not here, please.” I am sure it too will fall on deaf ears. In addition, I have asthma severe also. I am too sick to move away, and too sick to stay if they do this.
Someone should note that those who don’t have mineral rights to their property, did not get a discount either on their land, or on their property taxes. The phrase “surface owner” makes it sound like people own the top quarter inch of the dirt. If the field next to us has a separate mineral rights owner, we most surely will lose this fight. He/she will not care if these acres are ruined for future development of shopping areas, or banking, since nothing could be built right over a former well site.
I am in a waiting mode now unable to get much information to see basically if I will have my life drastically shortened by the dust and foul air, or not.
You can watch video of the council meeting HERE. scroll to this meeting: Evn. Meeting March 24, 2009 4 hrs 27 min. and Click on Video, Gretchen’s testimony is at 1:56:49 in the tape. (Or to open a Windows Video click HERE)
And you can bet that if water and air is fouled, it’s just part of the price We the People have to pay so Big Oil can make that profit. From un-naturalgas.org‘s latest newsletter:
Here’s what John Hanger, acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said in an interview with Reuters’ Jon Hurdle:
“You can’t do a large amount of drilling and have zero impact. There’s going to be a lot of good that comes from drilling in Pennsylvania, but there are also going to be some problems.”
According to the Reuters story, Hanger “acknowledged that some of the chemicals could be dangerous to human health but said that risk has to be weighed against the benefits that will come from the exploitation of what he called the ‘enormous’ gas reserves contained in the Marcellus Shale.
“‘Some of these chemicals are things you couldn’t drink. There’s no doubt about that,’ he said. ‘We have processes that go on in our lives all the time that involve these chemicals, and we run a certain amount of risk because of the benefits.'”
Pictures of seismic testing taken from Gretchen’s yard: