A New Watchdog for Texas’ Shale Gas Drilling Industry

February 24, 2010

Fort Worth, 2/23 -- Today EARTHWORKS formally launched the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP), a new citizens' group that will work to ensure that Texas' burgeoning Barnett shale gas industry operates while respecting the environment and the rights of its neighbors. Simultaneously, the new watchdog group released its best practices platform: DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas.

New Group to Watchdog Texas Drilling Industry

February 19, 2010

EARTHWORKS will formally launch its Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) via telephone conference on Wednesday, February 24 at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. At the launch, Texas OGAP will release its campaign platform, DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas. We will also introduce the lead Texas OGAP Organizer, Sharon Wilson, along with other key experts on the impacts of oil and gas development on health, communities and the environment. The new EARTHWORKS campaign will work throughout Texas to prevent and minimize the impacts caused by energy development.

Onondaga county bans fracking on county property

February 6, 2010 • Morey Burnham

On Tuesday the Onondaga county legislature voted to prohibit hydrofracking on county property until more is known about its effects on health and the environment. The legislature also passed on non-binding resolution calling on law makers to pass laws ensuring public protection from the environmental and health risks associated with fracking.

Onondaga county's actions are a promising step for communities dealing with fracking. Current regulations are inadequate, which is why we need to support the FRAC act and stronger state regulations governing the drilliing process.

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Tales from the Barnett Shale: the Ruggiero’s story

February 4, 2010 • Alan Septoff

TXSharon over at Bluedaze just posted a series of aerial photos showing how one family, the Ruggieros, has been impacted by irresponsible gas drilling.

Since the day Aruba Petroleum invaded the Ruggieros, they have been subjected to overpowering diesel fumes, destruction of their property, a drilling waste spill, noise, another drilling waste spill, fugitive emission fumes, endless lies and much more.

Currently, the emissions from Aruba's wells are constantly pumping horrible smelling gas into the air. Christine suffers from headaches and blurry vision. Nine year-old Reilly sometimes feels as if she can't inhale fully. Tim has headaches, numbness in his extremities and sometimes looses his balance.

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Gwen Lachelt talks fracking on NPR’s Science Friday

January 9, 2010 • Alan Septoff

Today on NPR's Science Friday our Gwen Lachelt and industry's Kathleen Sgamma discussed hydraulic fracturing with Ira Flatow.

You can download the audio file here.


New Interior oil & gas drilling policy is encouraging

January 8, 2010 • Cathy Carlson

EARTHWORKS applauds the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey for their initiative to bring balance to the Nation s oil and gas program . For the past decade, there was an unprecedented run on the federal lands by big energy companies, securing oil and gas leases at bargain basement prices and speculating on the federal estate at the expense of the taxpayer and other resources.

Texas state government responds to results of DISH health survey

December 18, 2009

DISH, Texas, 12/18 -- In response to recently revealed health impacts in the DISH area, today, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) acknowledged the need for new protections for citizens living in and around the Barnett Shale gas deposit. TCEQ stated it is now issuing an important change in odor response procedures. New policies will require TCEQ to respond to odor complaints on the same day as the complaint, or within 12-hours from receiving a complaint. The new procedure will enable citizens to document both odor and health symptom information by affidavit. These changes represent an important step-forward for the local governments and citizens working to mitigate irresponsible shale gas drilling.

Exxon’s XTO merger proposal isn’t killing the FRAC Act.

December 18, 2009 • Alan Septoff

Exxon, America's biggest oil company, is planning on merging with XTO, a $25 billion oil and gas drilling company heavily invested in hydraulic fracturing of shale gas deposits.

Whether or not you think that's a good thing, it's causing a bit of furor in part because Exxon has included some language pertaining to fracking's regulatory landscape.