Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gas Drilling Companies...Lack of Communication or Lack of Respect?

State Representative Jim Keffer makes some interesting statements in this article in the Fort Worth Business Press. He claims that "lack of communication" and public relations by the oil and gas industry is to blame for the recent attention to gas drilling here in North Texas. The gas drilling industry spends millions of dollars each year advertising how great natural gas is. They spend millions more lobbying on the state and federal level to stop bills that demand better regulation and to keep the excessive environmental exemptions they receive.

Everyday we hear stories of how gas drilling has affected the health and quality of life for many people all over the country. Some have signed leases believing they were going to become rich, or were doing their patriotic duty to help America.

“We are at crossroads... in how the oil and gas industry is going to be looked at and worked with, and if the oil and gas industry can coexist with populated areas,”

“Here in some areas, oil and gas is seen as the bad guy,” said Keffer.

There are a hell of a lot more surface people than mineral people now involved,” he added, “and that is something that the industry has to get their arms around and understand that those people have rights, too, and they need to be talked to.”

Those who don't own their minerals have no choice when gas drilling companies come onto their land or next to their property to access the minerals below. If you listen to their stories, you hear the same thing over and over, the gas company said they are going to drill whether we want them too or not. We hear that promises are made to the residents and not kept. When accidents happen, the burden of proof is put on the homeowner. So is there really a lack of communication? Or a lack of respect? Look at the Ruggiero's. There are many other families just like them all over the country. Just take the time to read through the blog.

Keffer said he didn’t know if more legislation was the answer to solving the problems; however, the state could improve its handling of industry operations.
The Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the energy industry, “hasn’t stepped up to the plate as they should have,” Keffer said. “I think they’ve been too quiet.” The agency needs money for more people to regulate and educate, he said.

We agree that the Texas Railroad Commission hasn't stepped up to the plate and better regulation is needed but more education for the people of the shale? What we need is for the TRC and gas drilling companies to respect the health, safety, and quality of life that every American deserves.

If state agencies can’t show they’re effectively overseeing in the industry, Keffer expects the federal government to step in.

Better drilling practices are desperately needed and must be demanded. The TRC needs to be there for the residents of Texas and not the drilling companies. Maybe it is time for the federal government to step in.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Gas drilling companies are like bandits. They are stealing our natural resources and robbing people of the right to health and safety.

Anonymous said...

When Republican reps start raising red flags, look out.