Monday, September 26, 2011

Oil Refineries may win. Texas schools could lose.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality may give oil refineries giant tax refunds. Yes, and half of that tax refund money would come from Texas Schools. It sounds unbelievable but it could happen. If the tax refunds are granted, the total could be as much as 135 million dollars!!!!

If a three-member commission appointed by Gov. Rick Perry grants the refunds, nearly half the money would be taken from schools.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Sue Thy Neighbor?

Living on the Barnett Shale, it is common to blame the gas drilling company. In fact, many residents have gone as far as suing gas companies. But suing your neighbor for signing a lease and allowing industrial activity that results in air pollution, health issues, noise, and lower property values?
Click here to read an interesting article about it.

One line in this article didn't surprise us at all.....
states like Texas and West Virginia don't favor such lawsuits

We do know that gas drilling activity does effect health and the air we breathe, that has been well documented in the local news, on this site and many others in the area. 

We have reported on gas drilling and property values in the past.
Click here and here.
It is a very good question. Should those that sign leases be held accountable when there is a problem like a leak, a spill, a fire, people getting sick or loss of property values?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gas Executive Sounds Warning On Cementing Of Gas Wells

This isn't the first time a gas executive has expressed concern about cement failure for well casings. We have posted info on this before. Lee Fuller, Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Association of America admits that even with best practices that contamination may occur. He said the cement casing will deteriorate over time, wells will need to be re-worked periodically and even when it done the cement may be flawed and there may still be failures.

Now Paul Smith, Executive Vice President of North American Operations for Talisman Energy gave this warning during a speech to industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Smith said....
However, industry must recognize that reported cases of gas migration into water tables can occur as the result of ineffective well design and cementing practices.”

Click here to read a great piece on cracking cement.

Since we don't have any long term studies, how do we really know what the life of a "cement casing job" is?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last night the town council voted 3 to 2 allowing Mr. Hilliard a variance to put up a power pole and over 300 feet of power lines on his property. The voting went as follows for (Hayden, Stephenson, and Wise) and 2 against (Filidoro and Lyda).

The town requires all power lines be buried BY ORDINANCE. It is mostly for AESTHETIC reasons but safety and disruption of service during storms or high winds are a concern too.

All existing overhead utilities, save and except transmission facilities identified herein below, and all new utility extensions shall be placed underground in conjunction with the development or redevelopment of a property, subject to the following provisions:
(1) Each of the utility companies shall be responsible for developing administrative policies and cost reimbursement procedures for the installation and extension of their underground utilities. Nothing in this section shall prohibit or restrict any utility company from recovering the difference in cost of overhead facilities and underground facilities in accordance with the provisions of such utility company's approved tariff. No utility company shall be required to begin construction of underground facilities unless and until the customer, owner, developer and/or party requesting such facilities has made arrangements satisfactory to the specific utility company for the payment of such difference between the cost of overhead utilities and underground facilities.
(2) All electrical, telephone, data transmission, and cable television support equipment (transformers, amplifiers, switching devices, etc.) necessary for underground installation shall be pedestal- and/or pad-mounted or placed underground, and the difference in cost of such facilities shall be paid to the installing utility in accordance with provisions established in subsection (a)(1).
(3) In those cases where temporary overhead service is necessary (e.g., emergency repairs, construction field offices, etc.) these installations shall not be in service for a period exceeding six months.
(4) Transmission facilities as indicated in exhibit A are not required to be placed underground upon the development or redevelopment of the properties containing such facilities.
(5) Exceptions to the standards contained in this section may be granted by the town council subsequent to a public hearing scheduled upon request of the owner or developer.

Click here to watch video from last night's meeting. Go to Item 11.

There are already enough power poles and power lines on this property (on 2499). Why do we need anymore? The only way Mr. Hilliard would have to bury power lines in the future is if his home and the land it sits on is included in a new development. So basically it could be there forever. As if the giant pad site, dust, diesel smoke, trucks etc on Hilliard field wasn't aesthetically ugly enough!

Maybe some feel this is trivial but one of the biggest complaints in the past has been about the consequences of variances. It was a very important issue with the Oil and Gas Advisory Board. The constant granting of variances, or variance abuse as we like to call it, continues to weaken all our ordinances.

A few questions:
We realize some of you don't care about appearance but what about the danger of MORE power lines being near a natural gas production site?
Isn't it variance abuse that has created most of the gas drilling mess here in Flower Mound?

Here are just few articles out of many articles about fires from power lines and issues with down power lines.
Click here.
Click here. During one of the many storms we experience there were numerous calls for down power lines.
In addition, the fire department received several calls for fire alarms and down power lines during the storm.
Click here. One more example.
A fallen power line apparently started one Oklahoma blaze

Many homes and schools are near this site. Just think about a fast moving brush fire.
We could go on but you get the picture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Williams Withdraws One Rule 37, Keeps 3 Others In Play

Williams recently withdrew one Rule 37 action pending against the Town of Flower Mound on the Ace unit located in Lewisville, but still has 3 more pending completely contained within Flower Mound borders, all on the Bob Smith B East lease.  Two of these are against individual homeowners (Wells 5H and 6H) and the final Rule 37 action (Well 8H) is against the Town of Flower Mound. 
The town, as in the first withdrawn Rule 37, has filed a protest opposing the filing.  This begs the question, why not withdraw from ALL Rule 37’s Williams? 
If the rule is good enough to follow and abide by in Lewisville, why not in Flower Mound as well?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Houseplants can imporove indoor air

We have found many studies on the benefits of houseplants. The best one is a NASA conducted back in the 80's. This study showed some plants can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, carbon monoxide and other chemicals from indoor air. Some plants Click here and here to see other studies and lists of the top air purifying plants. Some plants are more effective than others by removing up to 90% of chemicals in the air!

Since fracking is about to begin at Hilliard, this may be a decorative way to keep your indoor air clean. (No, we are not joking.) Many stores are having sales on plants and pots. This weekend we hit Garden Ridge, Calloways, Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Every store had 50% or buy one get one. We found some great deals.

We also had a permanent HEPA filter added to our air conditioning and heating units.

If you want to see what we might be experiencing in the coming weeks, drive to FM 3040 and Ace Rd. in Lewisville. Or better yet, watch this video.Don't forget the TCEQ odor and air complaint system located on the right side of the blog.