Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barnett Shale Ruining Lives in Texas

Way back in 1971, when there was still a Soviet Union, in the Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan, the Soviets were drilling for natural gas when the drilling zone collapsed and natural gas started to spew forth. Not wanting those vapors in the air, the Soviets set it on fire. It has been burning ever since, like a window into a mythical hell. I don't know why a way has not been found to harness this wasted energy.

Meanwhile, here in Texas, holes continue to be punched through the earth to reach Barnett Shale so that some water process, called fracturing, can release the natural gas.

This pleases many here in Texas. And greatly upsets others. Mostly those who have had their lives made miserable by having drillers suddenly show up on their property.

Last week Fort Worth Weekly had a sad story about a couple in the Fort Worth suburb of Azle who'd moved here from California to their dream ranch in a formerly bucolic setting. The distance from a residence rules that exist in Fort Worth don't exist in Azle. So, Devon Energy put up a drilling site 213 feet from Mike and Annette Daniel's house.

The drillers cut down a line of trees that gave the Daniel's privacy in their backyard and pool. And then the noise and light show began. And the dust. I've been through this myself. From over a 1000 foot distance. After a few months the worst was over.

You can read the entire story, "Paradise Lost" in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's nemesis known as FW Weekly.

Go to my Texas website for more about the Barnett Shale or what I call Fort Worth Flatulence.

And below you can watch a video of the ongoing glimpse into Hell in Turkmenistan.


TXsharon said...

The pursuit of happiness thwarted by greed.

I'm going to link to this post.

Unknown said...

Who wrote this slog of a blog, Archie Bunker? After all, 1971 is the year “All in the Family” debuted on television.

You’re going to the old Soviet Union … all the way back to 1971 … as a warning for those of us who live in the Barnett Shale?

1971? That was 37 years ago!

Most of the people reading your slog-of-a-blog weren’t even born in 1971.

That was the year the voting age was lowered to 18, and the year President Nixon (yep, Nixon) opened up trade with China.

In 1971, Intel introduced the microprocessor to the world.

There was no internet, no email, no blogs. No high-tech.

1971 might as well of been the days of covered wagons, compared to technological and engineering advances of today. In case you forgot to turn your calendar from the 70’s, it’s a whole new CENTURY now!

The new technology of horizontal drilling, highly advanced and monitored drilling practices, and government safety oversight of this new century is, quite literally, decades beyond anything that existed 37 years ago.

I can understand how people may be frustrated by some of the temporary inconveniences of drilling activity … some noise and dust and traffic. But these are temporary. And, frankly, minor inconveniences when compared to the benefits of drilling in the Shale … tens of thousands of new jobs for local workers who might otherwise be out of work … millions of dollars in new tax revenues to benefit our schools and parks … and an economic boost for every small business owner, employee and citizen of the North Texas, even those who may oppose development of the Barnett Shale. That’s right. You benefit even if you don’t like it.

So at least be fair in your criticism. Because trying to scare people by going back to the Soviet Union of 1971 is as ridiculous as Archie Bunker.

By the way, the top song in 1971 was Three Dog Night’s, “Joy to the World.” Sounds like you need a bit more joy in your own.