Posts Tagged ‘hydraulic fracturing’

Halliburton offices on Bellaire Boulevard in W...

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Yesterday, Halliburton unveiled a new website that offers some details about the mix of chemicals used in a natural gas drilling technique following the Environmental Protection Agency‘s (EPA) decision last week to subpoena Halliburton to force the company to turn over information about the chemicals it produces for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Halliburton has said the website is not a response to EPA’s actions or meant to satisfy the agency’s demands, but it does appear to be an attempt on the company’s part to allay public concerns about the impact of the practice on drinking water. (more…)

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On Sunday, November 14th, 60 minutes will run a segment on the controvercial process of hydrolic fracturing (also known as fracking) for extracting natural gas.  Much of the footage was shot around the Barnett Shale near and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where residents are grappling with a plethora of potential problems from compressor stations emitting known carcinogens such as benzene, to the poor lining of wells after drilling that has led some water taps to literally spout flames, all associated with the full set of activities needed to produce natural gas (see our earlier blog about the focus of a Town Hall meeting regarding the Texas Sunset process and the two agencies in Texas who regulate this process). 

60 Minutes Segment on FrackingThe “60 Minutes” episode is entitled  SHALEIONAIRES and below is a brief description of the segment.

SHALEIONAIRES – While some complain that extracting natural gas from shale rock formations is tainting their water supply, others who have allowed drilling on their property are getting wealthy and becoming “shaleionaires.” Lesley Stahl reports. Shachar Bar-On and Meghan Frank are the producers.

You can watch this episode on CBS on Sunday, November 14th at 6 pm CT.  If you missed it, click here to catch it online.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - "Fracked"

Even CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is taking a look at "Fracking"


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – FRACKED –  Click here to watch the episode as the CSI team investigates the murder of two men who were about to expose a natural gas conglomerate of poisoning residents in a farming town.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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The EPA said it issued the subpoena after Texas-based Halliburton refused to voluntarily disclose the a description of the chemical components used in a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, a drilling practice that has been at the center of a controversy in the DFW area.  Halliburton was the only one of nine major energy companies that refused the EPA’s request.

The agency said the information is important to its study of fracking, to see whether the practice affects drinking water and the public health. (more…)

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This month Earthworks officially launched the Texas Oil and 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.

There have been, to say the (very) least, a myriad of concerns popping up in recent years related to gas drilling in the Barnett Shale, particularly with a process called hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  In a nutshell, fracking is when a fluid under very high pressrue is pushed down into a fracture in the rock to make the fracture bigger and release natural gas from the shale below. Problem is, what is in that fluid can be extremely toxic (read: cancer causing and then some) and its full contents are largely kept under wraps (take action!).  Area residents are also very concerned about the health and environmental impacts of emissions from the wells.

According to the press release,

The shale gas industry is exploding in the central Texas. In Fort Worth alone, more than 1,100 wells have been drilled within the city limits, and 100 new wells are being permitted every month. Over 9,000 wells have been drilled in surrounding counties — with 5,000 more already approved. Pipelines and wells are being located and drilled just a few feet from residences, sparking concerns by local residents for their health. Open spaces, such as the Tandy Hills, Greenbelt and other endangered, native prairie lands are turning into industrialized landscapes and drilling is encroaching upon Lake Worth, a critical drinking water supply for the city.

In addition to launching the organization, TXOGAP also released a report entitled, DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas.

“DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS shows the drilling industry how to do it right: respect private property rights, clean water and clean air, wildlife, and public health,” said Sharon Wilson, the new Texas OGAP organizer. She continued, “I’m a 4th generation Texan who hoped to get rich selling gas leases. After witnessing first-hand the devastation wrought by current drilling practices, I know that unless DRILL RIGHT recommendations are followed, Texans and future Texans will be a whole lot poorer.”

For more information and updates from the ground, visit Bluedaze: Drilling Reform for Texas.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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water header

I’ve been thinking (and worrying) about water a lot lately.  I suppose that the drought has brought all this concern along.  Just a few months ago, folks were comparing this drought to the one that devastated Texas agriculture in the ’50s (when crop yields dropped by as much as 50%, all but one county in Texas was declared a federal drought disaster area, and grasslands were scorched and ranchers that couldn’t afford high hay prices resorted to a mixture of prickly pear cactus and molasses), but now folks are saying that this drought is well on its way to being worse, and certainly more costly, than any other dry spell in Texas history.

We’re already seeing ranching and agriculture suffer substantially from this drought.  Agricultural officials are now pinning crop and livestock losses at $3.6 billion.  Just 12% of the cotton acreage planted this year will be harvested, and many gins won’t open up this season because there isn’t enought work to justify it.  Ranchers are also buying high priced hay and feed supplements because their own pastures haven’t produced enough to feed their herds.  Ranchers are selling off calves younger and thinner than usual, and even letting go of the mature females that sustain their herds.  In the last week, Bastrop County alone lost 12,000 cattle from the drought.  As Roy Wheeler, an Atascosa County rancher told the San Antonio Express-News, “We’re selling the factory, so they say.”

So why worry about the weather,  you may ask.  Haven’t farmers and ranchers been scraping by and beaten by the weather since the first man stuck a seed in the ground?  Perhaps, but during the dust bowl and in this last great drought in the ’50s, we could still shake our fists at the sky and vow never to go hungry again — but now we can only shake our fists at ourselves.  There’s not a doubt in my mind that this drought is a result of human interference.  I’m no scientist, just an educated girl with a blog, but I’d bet the farm that we’re seeing global warming in action.

But you don’t have take my word for it.  Take the word of Dr. Gerald North, a climate scientist at that notorious liberal holdout Texas A&M, who says that this drought is the beginning of a permanent trend for Texas.  He cites the 2007 IPCC report, which shows trends toward hotter and drier summers.  In reference to this weather pattern, North told the Environment News Service that, “It could be just a fluke that persists for a decade… But my guess is that it’s here to stay, but with fluctuations up and down.”

Of course we can’t point at any one weather event and say that it is a direct result of global warming, but we can take events as indicative of what is to come as global warming progresses.  Just as Hurricane Katrina woke up the world to the devastation that will ensue as storms of increase in frequency and severity from climate change, this current drought can give Texans a hint of what the future of Texas weather will look like.

There’s a terrible element of irony here.  Our current trajectory of unsustainable growth and energy consumption increase the likelihood that drought in Texas will become the new norm.  AND those same industries and energy sources which have poisoned our atmosphere and raised global temperatures… use enormous amounts of water.  Coal, natural gas, and nuclear — which propents are trying to sell as “the low-carbon cure we need” — are incredibly, enormously, despicably water intensive. (more…)

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round upIt’s Monday, the day after the first day of summer, and it’s time for another Texas Progressive Alliance blog roundup.

President Obama, Bill White, and John Sharp are all in the same sinking DOMA boat. The Texas Cloverleaf comes off of hiatus to tell you why.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme cheers the impeachment of Judge Kent. 4 articles passed without a single nay. Lets hope the Senate is through with him by August.

BossKitty at TruthHugger finally signed up for Twitter to get updates on the Iran protests. What a day of drama and emotion it brought, Icons and Martyrs – All Day On Twitter Watching Iran. I was really meaning to highlight the regressive influences causing upheaval in personal lives, especially in Texas. Immigration Policies and Gay Rights – Contradictions

Unlike Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign, Neil at Texas Liberal makes a promise he’ll keep – He’ll never cheat on his wife! Also, Neil sings the Damned’s Wait For The Blackout at the Houston Ship Channel.

Off the Kuff takes a look, then a second look, at the bills Governor Perry vetoed.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson knows in order to solve big problems it takes leadership, Who is willing to lead, who has enough LBJ in them?.

Castle Hills Democrats heard candidates Tom Schieffer, John Sharp, Bill White, and Neil Durrance speak at the Dual County Fish Fry in north Texas. The blogger reviews their messages–and reports on feedback from the Dems in the audience. (more…)

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