Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Group to Watchdog Texas Drilling Industry

Earthworks launched the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project TXOGAP today. During the launch they released their campaign platform, Drill Right Texas Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas.

TXOGAP introduced the lead Texas OGAP Organizer, Sharon Wilson. Sharon Wilson is 4th generation Texan, a landowner and mineral owner who moved from Fort Worth to Wise County 15 years ago and lives adjacent to the LBJ National Grasslands. She was launched into activism by her quest to be the next Barnett Shale millionaire, which led her to the life changing EARTHWORKS publication, Oil and Gas at Your Door.”

Also on hand today at the launch were key experts on the impacts of oil and gas development on health, communities and the environment. They included:

Gwen Lachelt, EARTHWORKS OGAP Director
Calvin Tillman, Mayor of DISH, Texas
Kathy Chruscielski, founder of PARCHED
Don Young, founder of Fort Worth CANDO
Tim Ruggiero, Texas landowner;
Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS board member; and,
State Representative Lon Burnham

Just to give you an idea on how important this group will be here in Texas. They were successful in lobbying for change in drilling regulations in New Mexico and Colorado. They have already started to make an impact here in Texas. Wilma Subra, a chemist and MacArthur Genius Award
recipient, who is also a board member of EARTHWORKS, recently conducted a health survey in DISH, Texas.

After presenting the results to the Dish Town Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and along with pressure from concerned citizens, TCEQ came out with the new same-day response policy to odor complaints from oil and gas facilities.

Click here for press release.

Key issues covered in the Drill Right Texas publication are:
  • Ensuring the integrity of private property rights for surface owners and surface users.
  • Enforcing and strengthening existing laws
  • Protecting Public Interest
TXOGAP is not an anti-drilling organization. They respect mineral rights owners and are concerned with "surface rights only" protection. TXOGAP will work toward better drilling practices to protect ALL landowners, people, wildlife, and our wonderful natural resources. Read the paragraph below.

Landowners in these areas and across Texas are struggling to produce their minerals and protect landowner rights,agriculture, environmental integrity, and recreational opportunities, all of which are important to our way of life. While this production provides economic benefit to many landowners, county governments and the State of Texas, it also results in many detrimental impacts to the people, lands and waters of our state.

To donate to the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project click here.

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