I had to get outside today, what with the return of blue sky and the surprising, unpredicted jump in temperature, ending our North Texas Fort Worth Deep Freeze. For now.
So, I went to Gateway Park. I had a secondary and a tertiary purpose in addition to my primary purpose, that being going on a walk.
I'll get to my tertiary purpose in a subsequent blogging. My secondary purpose for going to Gateway Park was I wanted to check on the current condition of the Barnett Shale Anonymous Natural Gas Driller's Trinity River water stealing damage to the Trinity River Levee and to see if any fresh water thieving was going on.
As you can see, it is still a muddy mess, but the water suckers have not returned.
I have a good reason this is fresh on my mind.
I was looking through the 2010-2011 Texas Almanac. Fascinating stuff in there. No real Texan should be without this Almanac.
In a section about the Texas water supply, there is a highlighted section under the title Water Regulation.
In the first paragraph it says, "In Texas, surface water belongs to the state and, except for limited amounts of water for household and on-farm livestock use, requires permits for use."
The third paragraph says, "The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is responsible for permitting and adjudicating surface-water rights and uses. It is the primary regulator of surface water and polices contamination and pollution of both surface and groundwater."
Okay, back to the Gas Drillers sucking water out of the Trinity River. I have asked, previously, if a permit is required. And if so, why is this permit not posted by where the water is being taken?
Apparently Texas law requires a permit if one takes Texas surface water. That water flowing down the Trinity River appears to me to be on the surface. Of course, I'm no expert on such matters.
I may be wrong, but I believe no permits are being required by the City of Fort Worth or the Texas Commission on Water Quality for Gas Drillers to lay down pipelines across public land and take water out of the Trinity.
I believe I've read, more than once, that the quality of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been co-opted by having industry stooges on the Commission, thus creating a fox watching the hen house type scenario.
But, this morning I blogged about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's new methodology enabling citizens to report suspected Natural Gas Pollution. Have the foxes been removed from this hen house? Or is the TCEQ's new found cooperativeness, with those who hope to clear the air, some sort of toothless ruse?
If the TCEQ is issuing permits to the Gas Drillers to take Trinity River water, in a perfectly legal and environmental appropriate manner, why has no one straightened me out on this? If I'm wrong and permits have been issued, I want to know.
If the TCEQ has issued permits for the Trinity River water to be taken, how much does the permit cost? How much water is allowed to be taken? If these permits exist, why are they not part of some easily accessed public record?
What I actually believe is happening is the Trinity River water is being stolen, illegally, as just one more aspect of the result you get when you have corrupt politicians in office, operating with Conflicts of Interest, giving carte blanche to the Gas Drillers to do whatever they want, for the most part, in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief rakes in more than $600,000 a year from his vested interests in the gas companies drilling holes in his town. Does Moncrief have a rather strong motivation, as in more than 600,000 strong, to look the other way when a little water is stolen? This type thing is why there are strong Conflict of Interest laws, in Texas, currently ignored in the lawless protective bubble known as Fort Worth and surrounding environs.
Fort Worth has a long and storied history of providing a safe haven for crooks. Why, Fort Worth even names its downtown collection of parking lots after a famous crook who used to hang out in downtown Fort Worth, he being The Sundance Kid and those parking lots named Sundance Square.