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