Saturday, September 6, 2008

One More Objection to Urban Gas Drilling

This morning's paper had yet one more good letter to the editor objecting to the poking of thousands of holes in Fort Worth and the laying of miles upon miles of underground pipelines to transport the odorless gas.

That's the satellite view of the Chesapeake Energy drilling operation that's my neighbor in the photo.

Below is this morning's letter to the editor......

Drilling, pipeline moratorium now

How did the residents of Fort Worth become the last thing to be considered rather than the first? Residents are being treated as if they live in a Third World country. City leaders elected to protect our public welfare are ignoring major issues involved in the gas-drilling process.

The most obvious instance is that your home is no longer your home. Texas law is allowing pipeline companies to use the right of eminent domain under the guise of public utilities. Residential property owners don’t stand a chance because they don’t have the money or legal precedent to fight pipelines from coming through their property. What happens to the value of your home when a gas well or pipeline is built near it?

Based on pipeline explosion data provided by the Texas Railroad Commission, it is estimated that if the city of Fort Worth has 3,000 gas wells and associated gathering lines in place, there will be a significant pipeline incident every six months.

The gas industry is exempt from provisions of most federal statutes regarding our health and the environment.. Due to the number of approved and requested wells in Fort Worth and our proximity to them, we will not be able to escape serious health and environmental consequences.

Even though the insurance industry hasn’t yet raised rates because of the location of raw gas pipelines on or near residential properties, it’s just a matter of time. Once they can establish actuarial figures, homeowners insurance may be increased or could even be canceled if you have a raw gas line on or near your property.

The Fort Worth Coalition for a Reformed Drilling Ordinance (CREDO) says it’s time to return to common sense. We need a moratorium to give our city leaders time to have legitimate discussion of these issues in an open forum and to let them get out in front of all the issues, not the other way around.

— Charlie Murphy, Fort Worth

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