Posts Tagged ‘Fort Worth Texas’

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) wants to know the reasons for the Texas power generation outages and for the interruptions in natural gas delivery to New Mexico.

As Texas officials began looking into the causes of the Texas electricity blackouts, New Mexico was holding its own hearings.  The ripple effect felt by down pipeline states when Texas’ electric grid and natural gas supplies went awry during an abnormally cold winter storm in February of this has prompted the federal agency to examine how to ensure that a new fleet of natural gas plants around the country can get plenty of fuel.

This has major implications for a state that has been expanding natural gas drilling operations exponentially over the past several years, many think to the detriment of the environment and the health of those who live around those operation.  Just ask the folks in the Barnett Shale region of North Texas.  Some of them might even be able to light their water taps on fire for you.

If you want to learn more about the concerns of citizens living in natural gas drillling areas check out “Gasland,” the Academy Award nominated documentary film by Josh Fox, that examines whether hydraulic fracturing of shale formations threatens water supplies and poses other environmental hazards.  Click here to read our earlier blog about the movie.

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Are desperate school boards having to make decisions about the fiscal health of their districts now vs the long-term health of their charges in the future?

Mike Norman, the editorial director of the Star-Telegram/Arlington and Northeast Tarrant County, writes about the precarious lab rat position of citizens in the Barnett Shale.  Click here to read his editorial.

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The controversy over Barnett Shale natural gas drilling or “fracking” that has overcome Fort Worth and Tarrant County since 2002 has, in recent months, drawn public attention nationally – first to the money to be made by mineral rights owners, then to the inconveniences of drilling for those who live around it, and, more recently, to a heightened concern about the potential environmental and health impacts of this concentrated activity in a densely populated urban area.

Less attention has been paid to another hard fact of Barnett Shale drilling: Not a single well goes into production without a network of pipelines to take the gas to market.

There are about 2,700 wells in Tarrant County alone and 15,000 in the 23-county Barnett Shale formation, according to the latest Railroad Commission data. With 241 companies active in the field, drilling won’t stop any time soon.

So now it’s time — past time, really — for elected officials and state and local agencies to focus more attention on the proliferation of pipelines and whether they are being done right.

A study of that issue resulted in a report, “The State of Natural Gas Pipelines in Fort Worth”  that was done for the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods.  Researchers studied gas pipelines in the region over a year-long period and put forth 26 recommendations for federal, state and local lawmakers and regulators, the pipeline industry and the citizens of Fort Worth.

The report’s recommendations highlight the need to bring local residents into the pipeline-planning process early on, giving them more information about what makes for a safe pipeline and more ability to make an informed decision about whether they can live with what’s being proposed for their neighborhood.

Texas has thousands of miles of pipelines for gathering, transmitting and distributing oil and natural gas. Pipeline failures are few and far between. It’s just that any such failure can be catastrophic. 

If you live in an area where natural gas fracking is or could potentially occur, you might want to take a look at this report, “The State of Natural Gas Pipelines in Fort Worth”.

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