This is from one of our regular contributors, pass it on.
I sent an earlier version of this email out into cyberspace in
February, 2009. I have updated it and offer it again because it
still conveys my opinion of what is happening in the Barnett Shale.
Although I primarily speak of what is happening in Fort Worth, I now
think of all the Barnett Shale when I think of these problems. Please
read it with that in mind.
Most of us live in or near Tarrant County, and have heard about the
Barnett Shale. Many of us have been approached by landmen attempting
to persuade us to sign a mineral lease, and many of us have done so
after considering what the landmen have said to us and what our City
Council and Mayor have been saying and doing regarding gas drilling.
I have not signed, because I knew more about the implications of
doing so than most people as a result of my training and experience.
Landmen, the PR divisions of the gas drilling industry, and the City
Council and Mayor were very careful not to speak of any implications
except those that would appeal to the all too human desire for money.
When confronted with the facts that they were not telling potential
lease signers they vigorously denied these facts and attacked the
messengers, playing the victim. Since most of the time con men are
not defended by governmental officials, the fact that ours were
siding with the drillers was taken into account by citizens who were
being offered leases to sign. Surely the government wouldn't permit
con men to go door to door in the city peddling their wares, would
they? And so, with slick paper magazines being spread all around town
singing the praises of the drilling industry with the refrain,
"Together we all win!", and with Tommy Lee Jones telling us to get on
board, and city buses plastered with praises for the blessings of the
Barnett Shale, and with signing bonuses as high as $28,000 per acre,
many people were convinced to sign.
The City Council has done their part in selling citizens as well.
They've adopted a drilling ordinance with the expert assistance of
the drillers. It says what the industry would accede to without a
lawsuit. As time passed the detrimental aspects of the industry
dribbled slowly into the open, and as each has generated public
concern, the Council has managed the effort to keep citizens from
rebelling by holding meetings where "experts" were given the podium
to create doubt and display confidence in the ability of the industry
and government to prevent the results that have happened elsewhere
through regulation and maintenance.
First there was concern about set-back from homes schools and
churches, and other places where people congregate. Next there was
concern about pollution, traffic, and noise. Then people began to
realize that industry envisioned about 7 drilling pads per MAPSCO
page in the city. Then it was realized that each drilling pad had to
be served by a gas gathering line to carry the produced raw gas away
to processing plants and thence to a compressor station where it
would be compressed to over 1000 psi and injected into transmission
lines and sent to market on the east coast. Then it was revealed that
the drillers had eminent domain rights as regards where the gathering
lines can be placed and intended to use that power to install these
pipelines underneath people's yards near their homes. Then people
began to worry about the cases of pipe rupture, fire, explosions,
unodorized gas escaping from gathering lines that abound on the
internet, and they began to think about safety. Then revelations of
carcinogens and neurotoxins spewing from compressors and drilling
pads in DISH and in Fort Worth were reported by a testing lab.
Each one of these issues was met as it came to public view with
attempts to discredit the concerns and with offers of additional
regulation or simply with the statement that the city can't deprive
people of their right to develop their minerals. None of these issues
was apparently foretold by the city government through due diligence
before permitting the industry to go door to door with lease offers,
and each issue was dealt with only when citizens discovered its
importance. This has been the history of the development to the present.
There is still time to alter the eventual future of the city, but it
will require much more citizen pressure. We are dealing with a
predatory industry that sees their activities as a God-given right
and a government that has sold their people down the river.
Everywhere this industry has operated the results are the same.
Whether it be South Texas on the ranch land, in the Rocky Mountains,
or California, there is now the devastation of pollution and the high
incidence of cancer caused by the carcinogens the industry discards
into the ground, the water, and the air.
Take a look at the videos at the following link. DISH Texas is
between Fort Worth and Denton. The problems you see in these videos
are the same problems you see in the blog and videos at
http://rancholoslosmalulos.blogspot.com/ concerning South Texas. They
are the same problems chronicled in the book, "Parts per Million",
about Beverly Hills, CA and on the pages of the OGAP website
regarding the Rocky Mountains, in the presentations of speakers at
the Pipeline Safety Trust annual conference in New Orleans last
November, and when you Google "Natural gas pipeline compressor
disaster" or similar searches. They are real problems that happen
everywhere this industry operates. They will happen in Fort Worth
unless we, the people, make some changes that the city government and
the industry are refusing to make.
Bluedaze blog: <
Please review this information and let me know if you are willing to
help save this city and your home.