Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TCEQ launches 24 hour monitoring station in Flower Mound

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality launched a web page providing information related to the Automated Gas Chromatograph (AutoGC) monitoring station that the agency recently installed at 4401 Shiloh Road in Flower Mound. The equipment will generate hourly air quality monitoring results, which are accessible from the site web page by clicking “current measurements” and “generate report.”

There are some important chemicals not included in the testing like, methane, sulfides and formaldehyde, but something is better than nothing.

Click here for the TCEQ Shiloh web page.

To view the site and info click here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Austin....We have a problem

Yes we have a big problem. The agency that is trusted with the job of protecting all Texans from breathing toxic air isn't doing their job. This letter from Melanie Sattler, Ph.D., P.E. and Associate Professor at the University of Arlington tells it like it is.

She conducted air quality studies of 3 large compressor sites in Tarrant and Denton County and found that all of them had esl's that exceeded the TCEQ standards for a number of chemicals and toxins .

Sunset Committee members please take note. You must do something to change this. We can't let these problems go another 10 to 12 years until the next Sunset Review!!

Click here to read the letter.

Click here for all the info on the Sunset Review.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bartonville Mayor Letter to Senator Nelson

It is nice to see our neighbors take a stand and demand our State Senators and Representatives earn their keep this legislative session.

Bartonville asks Senator Nelson to help.
Click here for letter.

We need to remind them that they are representing the Barnett Shale. Any fallout down the road from the lack of regulations and best practices will land on their shoulders. We have begged them to protect us. Let's hope they do.

Uh Oh...Some banks not loaning money on leased properties

Didn't we say this may be a good reason for not leasing but some did not listen!!!!

Here are a few paragraphs from the article that appeared in The Pike County Courier.

Rudalavage has been told that Wells Fargo would not be inclined to fund a property with a gas lease. In a memo, a top executive at the bank writes it would be “very difficult to obtain financing due to the potential hazard.” The memo continues, “Also if the Gas Leasing is new to the area there are too many unknowns.” One of the unknowns, according to the executive, is what the lease would do to “the marketability of a property.”

Rudalavage has been told by First Place Bank that it would pass on financing a gas-leased property. She says Citizen’s Savings & Loan has recently changed its policy from a “no deal” to a “maybe,” explaining that for a fee of 350 dollars, its attorney would review the lease and make a determination. This makes Rudalavage worry.

“I do believe a lot of people signed leases without knowing it could hurt future selling or financing of the property.” She hopes a uniform policy will be adopted in the financial banking industry.

Click here to read article.

Monday, November 15, 2010

60 Minutes on Gas Drilling

Last night, 60 Minutes did a segment on gas drilling called "Shaleionaires". They opened with Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake, and two gentlemen who received large amounts of money for leasing their land in Louisiana.

For those of us living on the shale, we know that the majority of the lease holders have not and will not ever see that kind of money. Only those with large pieces of land that lease their minerals and surface will see that type of check. Or in the case of Tim and Christine Ruggiero, the person that owned their land before them kept the minerals, made a ton of money off the suffering of others.

Mr McClendon tried to downplay the dangers by saying accidents happen because human error. Fracking is safe but I wouldn't drink the frack fluid.

Really? But it is okay to inject it into the ground with the chance of cement casings failing and human error so it can contaminate some residents drinking water.

Then we hear the greatest excuse ever for gas drilling....Our country needs the energy and it is our "patriot" duty to help get us off foreign oil and gas.

Really? But it is okay to sell stakes in US shale to foreign countries like China.

Why not invest in something that is truly abundant like the sun and the wind?

Clean water is really the only thing we as humans need and depend on to live. Tell your senators and representatives to support the Frac Act.
Click here for info.

Click here to see the 60 Minutes episode

Friday, November 12, 2010

Important Public Hearing: Energy Resources Committee

There will be a public hearing for the Energy Resources Committee. Speculation is this is the beginning of an attempt to take authority away from municipalities to determine how gas drilling is done in their towns.

Energy Resources

9:00 AM, Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fort Worth, TX City Hall - 1000 Throckmorton St.

Rep. Jim Keffer

The Energy Resources Committee will meet to discuss interim charge #1:
Survey current local ordinances governing surface use of property in oil
and gas development. Recommend changes, if any, to the authority of the
Railroad Commission to regulate the operation of oil and gas industries in
urban areas of the state, particularly the Barnett Shale.

The Committee will hear both invited and public testimony.

For questions regarding the hearing, please contact Bernice
Espinosa-Torres or Ky Ash at (512)463-0656

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

UPDATE: 60 Minutes will air the story of Tim and Christine Ruggiero

On Sunday, November 14th, Tim and Christine Ruggiero's story will air on 60 minutes with Lesley Stahl. They will also air the story of "Shaleionaires" in the Haynesville Shale. Louisiana residents who have made money on leasing their minerals.

From the 60 Minutes website:

SHALEIONAIRES - While some complain that extracting natural gas from shale rock formations is tainting their water supply, others who have allowed drilling on their property are getting wealthy and becoming "shaleionaires." Lesley Stahl reports. Shachar Bar-On and Meghan Frank are the producers

I can't wait to see how they will tell both stories since Tim and Christine suffered at the hands of a mineral owner and a gas company.

If you don't know about their plight, click here.

Colleyville Approves Stronger Gas Rules In Spite of Threats of Lawsuits

Threats and intimidation by the gas companies didn't seem to work in Colleyville.

Mayor pro tem Jon Ayers said:

The city's tightened rules on drilling and pipeline construction is an effort to balance rights: "The right of the producer to get the resource out of the ground. The right of the citizens to recoup the royalty interest. But also the rights of the city to have a safe and environmentally sound city."

Ayers described the rights of gas pipeline companies as "pretty broad." He suggested the council leave the pipeline provisions in the revised ordinance. "If we can't enforce them, then the gas pipeline [companies] need to take us to court and tell us that we can't," he said.

Councilman Mike Taylors thoughts on this matter:

Taylor said sometimes ordinances will be challenged, but it is best to pass the entire gas ordinance as a "safety net," since not all of it might be struck down. "We don't knowingly or wantingly want to sit here and make stupid laws, a law that would get us into legal battles that cost the taxpayers money," he said.

Remember, Flower Mound Oil & Gas Ordinance already stood up in court when Red Oak Gas challenged the denials of numerous variances for the River Walk location back in 2008. The case was dismissed in August 2009.

Click here to read entire article in the Colleyville Courier

Off the chart emissions reported at Sam Wilson Scenic Site in Flower Mound

This Flir video is of the Sam Wilson Gas Production Site off Scenic Rd. in Flower Mound.

Numerous odor and health issue complaints have been made about this production facility. The most recent was made last night. TXSharon reports the following:

By the time TCEQ arrived, the odor was much less but they still registered 1.62 ppm on their Toxic Vapor Analyzer TVA. Remember that toxics are usually measured in ppm so let's do that math.
1.62 ppm = 1620 ppb

Metroplex avg = 35 ppb

1620 / 35 = 46 times the Metroplex average

Also remember that you are being exposed if you can smell it.

This site is a repeat offender!

EPA Press Release on mandatory reporting of methane

Press Release
Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry

Reporting targets methane, a potent greenhouse gas and valuable fuel WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements for the petroleum and natural gas industries as part of the mandatory reporting program. The petroleum and natural gas industries emit methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and are one of the largest human related sources of methane in the United States. Annual methane emissions from intentional venting and equipment leaks from these industries are comparable to annual emissions from more than 40 million passenger cars.

The data collected through the reporting program will provide important information about GHG emissions from petroleum and natural gas facilities. While methane is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping more than 20 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, it is also the primary component of natural gas, a valuable fuel. The data collected by the companies will help identify cost effective ways to minimize the loss of methane.

Beginning in 2011, petroleum and natural gas facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year are required to monitor and report all greenhouse gas emissions to EPA. Data collection for petroleum and natural gas sources will begin January 1, 2011, with first annual reports due to EPA March 31, 2012. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, launched in October 2009, requires the reporting of GHG emissions data from large emission sources and fuel suppliers across a range of industry sectors. The data will help guide the development of programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on this rulemaking: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/subpart/w.html

For more information on the GHG Reporting Program: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html

Rob Lawrence
Senior Policy Advisor - Energy Issues
214.665.6580 (Desk)
214.665.7263 (FAX)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Important: Sunset Town Hall

Sorry for the late notice. This is a very important Town Hall Meeting.

A public dialogue regarding the Sunset of two critical agencies that affect environmental regulation: the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission.
DATE: Monday, November 8
TIME: Registration: 6:30 pm Town Hall: 7:00 pm
PLACE: Sheraton Arlington at 1500 Convention Center Rd. (next to the> Ballpark)

Senator John Carona
Representative Lon Burnam
Representative Carol Kent
Representative Allen Vaught
Former TCEQ Commissioner Larry Soward

WHAT: Two important agencies, the TCEQ that oversees land, air, and water quality issues and the Texas Railroad Commission which oversees oil and gas drilling are the focus of this public policy event.

Citizens can learn more about these agencies and how to participate in the Sunset review process. Voicing comments, questions, and concerns to local state officials regarding possible agency reforms in the upcoming legislature. Sunset review only happens once a decade...this is a rare opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue with your officials before they vote on these agencies' futures.

SPONSORS: ACT, a coalition of statewide and local DFW environmental groups, Dallas Sierra Club, Ft. Worth Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Interfaith Environmental Alliance, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Dallas League of Women Voters, League of Women Voters - Richardson, and the Arlington League of Women Voters.
CONTACTS: Call Rita Beving, at 214.557.2271, email rita.beving@gmail.com or email Peter Wilson at peter.wilson@sierraclub.org for more info.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Protest Against Drilling practices in Flower Mound

Join in protesting unsafe drilling practices in Flower Mound, TX, every Saturday morning from 10:00 am - 11:00 am. The event will be on FM 2499 across from the Titan/Hilliard site, which is next to Bluebonnet Elementary and Shadow Ridge Middle School. Park on Lake Flower (about half a mile south of Flower Mound/3040 Rd.). Signs and supplies for making your own signs will be on hand, or bring your own. Suggestions if you want to make signs: Vapor Recovery, No Variances, No Fracking, No Drilling near Schools etc.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shadow Ridge Middle School Gets A New Neighbor

This is the new view from Shadow Ridge Middle School's parking lot.

How long this view lasts depends on whether LISD and more residents sign leases. Keep this video in mind when Mr. Landman comes knocking at your door.

"Toxic Soup" in Colorado and New Mexico

This press release states residents in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico are breathing a toxic soup near their homes and schools.

Could this happen here? You betcha!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First World Day of Protest Against Shale Gas Fracking

Here are a few pictures from today's.
First World Day of Protest Against Shale Gas Fracking.

Click here for video.

The protest was just getting started and more people were showing up as we were filming. The protest will go on till 7:00 pm tonight.

Citizens are protesting in Pittsburgh, PA; the Dallas, TX metro area; and Little Rock, Arkansas. Protests are also being planned in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Bad Blood or Sour Grapes?

This article appeared in Fort Worth Weekly today. Some people just aren't good losers.

It is a good read. There were too many statements made by Ms. Levenick to dispute and frankly not worth the precious time it would take to do so.

This may be my favorite quote:

“This isn’t about sour grapes — this is about the fact that I can’t even keep up with what’s going on in town right now,” said Levenick

Not about sour grapes? Yeah right!

click here to read the article