Bridlewood Quality of Life Coalition

Update — Cresson gas well accident by kim0917
22 July 2008, 3:17 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , ,

After some more digging, we found a story with actual details on this morning’s accident in Cresson.  It involved a well operated on by Chesapeake Energy and it was unclear whether the man was employed by Chesapeake or by a subcontractor.  He fell backwards into the hole by accident and he did apparently belong at the site.

The full story is available here.


Why Do I Care? by kim0917
Written by Kim Brinkman

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

We understand the nation’s dependence on oil and natural gas. We understand and respect the rights of mineral owners. But at what cost to the environment and to the quality of our lives, do their rights stop and ours begin? We are NOT against gas development. Gas drilling has a place; away from densely populated areas where the decision to drill affects only the person(s) who granted permission to drill. We are against bringing a commercial nuisance and a known hazard to health and public safety into the neighborhoods of our peaceful town. We have heard from many city officials, city board members, and now big money campaigns that drilling is safe for our neighborhoods. Ask yourself just one question: If oil and gas drilling is so safe and doesn’t create any health and environmental concerns, then why does the industry have to be exempted from all EPA Standards and the Clean Water ACT?

How safe is drilling? There are a lot of missing and unknown facts, especially concerning long-term impacts.  The total effects of neighborhood drilling may not be fully understood for another five to 20 years.

Although oil and gas companies claim they take precautions and use improved, high-tech systems and practices for extraction to prevent accidents and undesirable affects, accidents do occur, causing contaminated water, airborne toxins, blighted land and even livestock that are sick and dying. If the oil and gas companies have made remarkable strides in safety, practices, equipment, and chemicals for gas extraction, why don’t they have to disclose the chemicals they use? They claim it is considered proprietary information. We plead the fifth!

We find it interesting that our HOA and CMA ignore the CC&R section C. – #6 that states “No oil drilling or related activities permitted.” As prospective residents, we were told that Bridlewood is a community that would be clean, safe, and quiet, with beautiful surroundings and horizons, and peaceful enjoyment of our homes. Why should we be forced into accepting the risks of gas drilling? We have to consider the construction of the pad site, radioactive materials, raw gas (no smell), exhaust from trucks and diesel motors and many other materials or contaminants that aren’t seen, which are part of natural gas extraction.  In addition, we have a potential for land contamination, airborne toxins, water supply contamination, and ground level ozone.

Throughout this website, you will read information that was collected through many resources. We don’t claim to possess all of the available information. We challenge you to educate and protect yourselves by reading the links to research, information, articles, and other grassroots organizations information. We encourage you to stay informed of what is happening not only in your own backyard but as well in your town, state, and nation. The future is not only ours but the generations that come after us.

Guest Article from the Ft. Worth Weekly: Gary Hogan by kim0917
Fort Worth Gas Driling Task Force Member Gary Hogan is urging citizens to come to its meeting and voice their opinions about urban gas drilling.  He says that good attendance makes a difference.

Fort Worth is facing one of the most critical debates in many years, one that will affect our city profoundly for decades to come — and I’m afraid that not enough voices are being heard. The issue, of course, is urban gas drilling and all its auxiliary activities and consequences.

For the second time in three years, the city’s Gas Ordinance Task Force has been convened, to try again to create an ordinance that will adequately regulate this activity, which usually is not fit for urban and residential environments. This may be our last opportunity to make any meaningful change in time to protect our homes and neighborhoods. But my increasing concern as a member of this committee is that, once again, the citizens’ influence may be stifled by the limited opportunities for input. If you want to protect our city with strong standards, you are going to have to demand it.

In the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that gas drilling is not just about mineral-lease bonuses and royalties. Every day, new concerns are raised. Every day, more citizens wake up to find a gas well behind their back fence, a pipeline maybe even coming through their fence, a once-quiet road in front of their house turned into a heavy-truck turnpike — and for what? Even the Barnett Shale Educational Commission, sponsored by the industry, has agreed that the average residential lot owner may make only about $13,000 or an average $25 to $50 per month in royalties over the life of a well. And those profits will be reduced by federal taxes, local property taxes, fees to mortgage lenders, potential loss of equity on homes, and — if the lease is not properly done — charges from the industry itself.

Minimizing the impact of gas drilling on our safety and quality of life has been my goal throughout this process. In 2005 and 2006 we worked on the obvious issues of noise and nuisance abatement, well classification, distance setbacks, and public education. Two years later, these same issues are under debate, as this activity continues to encroach on our neighborhoods. And we have learned that there are more serious and continuing problems.

Pipelines will run throughout our city to serve the hundreds if not thousands of urban wells. Companies are now threatening to take property by eminent domain for these hugely disruptive lines. Major compressor stations that are needed to service wells and pipelines and that will operate 24/7 are not being regulated as they should be.

I’m also concerned about the long-term environmental impacts on our city — on what we breathe and our ability to meet federal clean-air goals for the region, already being affected by hundreds of drilling rigs using diesel generators and thousands of trucks to service the wells. I’m worried about our water supply, which could be affected by pollution from drilling byproducts and their disposal — pollution that has already happened many times in rural areas where residents depend on well water.

I worry about the future marketability of homes in neighborhoods heavily affected by drilling. The more wells, the more impact. And don’t think that well drilling means short-term problems for long-term profit. These wells are high-maintenance and require years of activity to keep the gas flowing.

I have spent the last two years speaking to neighborhoods, organizations, and even other cities about the effects I see from this industry. I am dismayed that I still find neighborhoods where people feel helpless when confronted by prospects of leasing activity. Many residents are unaware of potential problems, or have been told that they have no say-so about drilling, or that it is always inevitable. Then I am dismayed by those who organize just for the purpose of obtaining the next record deal, without also insisting on the best protection of their neighborhood.

If you think there should be more public input in this process, call your council representative and say so. Send me e-mails so that I can present your concerns to the task force. And most importantly, come to the meetings. Public hearings have been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 9 and Aug. 11 at city hall, in council chambers. Regular task force meetings will be at 4:30 p.m. on June 23, July 7 and 21, and Aug. 4 and 18, in pre-council chambers (check the city web site for updates). Based on citizen input, another public hearing may be scheduled before we make recommendations to the council, probably in September.

Please do not sit back and let the special interests overrule your voice on this most important issue.

Great turnout! Now spread the word by kim0917

We were encouraged by the great turnout at yesterday’s neighborhood meeting with the HOA to discuss plans for drilling beneath our homes.  Volunteers on behalf of the BQLC were outside to distribute flyers and almost everyone we met was in favor of preserving their quality of life.

Although the turnout was strong, we now need to spread the word to the many neighbors who weren’t in attendance.  We urge anyone upset over the gas drilling plans to please tell your friends and neighbors about the threat to their quality of life.  Tell them that the paltry amount of money they receive from the gas company will never offset the loss to their property value or make up for the dangers posed by having explosive gas lines running beneath their homes.

We need to bring these numbers to the Flower Mound Oil & Gas Board of Appeals, to let them know they can’t just rubber-stamp away our quality of life.  They meet Wednesday, June 11, at 6.30 pm.  Address is 2121 Cross Timbers Rd. in Flower Mound.

It’s OUR neighborhood, it’s OUR quality of life.  Let’s keep it that way!