Written by Chenoa Lee, 3/14/13
Today we said our goodbyes to Frank and began the drive to the next destination in our journey, Dallas. In this town, a group of concerned citizens organized the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (GDAC) and have taken measures to stop the oil and gas companies from placing their facilities within the area because of their harmful side effects. Using zoning rights, they fought the placement of a dehydration plant which would be located only a few hundred feet away from a middle and elementary school. While they were successful in protecting that area from development, unfortunately, gas and oil companies aren’t stupid, so instead they placed their facility in the next township over, only a road separates the two townships.
The gas company promised the residence and land-owners that the plant would not interfere with their every day life. However, residences have reported something drastically different. Scott Canon and a local resident met with us to talk about how the dehydration plant has affected the lives of the nearby residences.
While only one resident is collecting money from leasing his land, all of them are effected and have suffered severe reaction including nosebleeds and sinus infections. There livelihood has also been severely impacted due to lack of regulation on the plant. Gas releases, explosions, and severe noise has terrified the local community, damaged their health, and is causing their animals to flee to other areas and become ill. These people do not have the option of leaving, and are stuck living in conditions that are negatively impacting their health, distorting the beauty of the area, hurting their only means of income, and destroying the property value of the homes.
After traveling around the area and seeing the industry’s sites and the individuals being affected by them, we attended a meeting sponsored by the GDAC with Deborah Rogers as the speaker.
She is highly qualified financial analyst, who was inspired to speak out against the shale gas industry after personally being effected by a shale facility and hearing a speech in 2009 by Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy. “He was throwing out some numbers and I thought these numbers aren’t adding up, so I decided to investigate.” With this in mind, Roger’s discovered that shale companies were drastically over estimating their reserves and in actuality, would not be able to deliver on their promises to investors. Instead of 100 years of shale gas, the amount is closer to 11 years, especially since the efficiency of unconventional shale gas is 6.4%. With these numbers, the proposed gas lines and facilities to ship to gas to Europe are completely unnecessary because the US will run out of gas before they are even completed.
At this point in the journey, I am simply frustrated with the inconsistencies between what the shale and oil companies are telling us and what outside sources are suggesting. Do we have 100+ years or 11? If you can drink hydraulic fracking fluid because its “GREEN” why do your workers receive burns and rashes when they come into contact with it? If you are boosting the economy and providing jobs, why is your contribution only 1/20 of the entire US labor market, and why do you include prostitution and strippers in your calculations? If unconventional hydraulic fracturing does not cause increased radiation , why do you locate your gas lines by measuring RADIOACTIVITY. If you’re a safe and legitimate industry why the need for ACT 13 (takes away land-owner rights), the 40/60 rule ( if 60% of you neighbors lease their land, the company has rights to yours), and a physicians gag order( doctor’s who treat individuals effected by the industry cannot share information about the chemicals). Obviously, someone is wrong or being purposely evasive and while our journey is winding down, the questions are not.