What does “responsible drilling” mean?
Surely it doesn’t mean the way the industry is behaving in Denton: Fracking less than 200 feet from homes. Ignoring our local rules. Poisoning our families.
After all, every industry representative that has ever come before Denton’s City Council has admitted they wouldn’t want to live next to a frack site. They have talked like they understand we have a real problem here. For years, they promised to help fix things. Of course, nothing came of it. It was just talk. That’s all it’s ever been. Buzz words. Doublespeak. Empty rhetoric.
A couple of days ago, they finally came out and said what they really mean. When asked in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal to define “responsible drilling,” the leader of Denton Tax Payers for a Strong Economy said that fracking companies “haven’t done anything wrong.”
Their blueprint for “responsible drilling” is just more of the same. They aren’t spending over $700,000 on this campaign so they can clean up their act. No. They are trying to buy our submission so that they can go right back to exploiting Denton.
Here’s their definition of responsible drilling: The act of systematically ducking commonsense regulations to frack next to homes and playgrounds, jeopardizing the health and safety of Denton families in order to maximize profits for outside corporations, outside mineral owners, and a handful of residents who make more from fracking than the entire school district.
They are trying to pass off profit maximization as the same as property rights. But of course, it doesn’t make sense to have a democratic society if some can use their property in a way that harms the property of others.
That would be a monarchy. And that’s precisely the way they are acting. As if they have the King’s X. Exempt from rules that apply to everyone else. Untouchable. The very opposite of being a responsible member of a community.
Nuisances, hazards, chemical trespass, threats to water resources – these are all encroaching on Denton families’ rights to freely enjoy our property…not to mention our rights to clean air and water. In the past year, Denton residents have lodged hundreds of complaints to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Here is a small sample:
- SORE THROAT, TROUBLE IN BREATHING, COUGHING AND HEADACHES DUE TO EMISSIONS FROM GAS WELL DRILLING SITE.
- SORE THROAT, FATIGUE, NAUSEA AND BAD HEADACHES DUE TO EMISSIONS FROM ALLEGED SOURCE.
- COMPLAINANT WAS WALKING IN NEIGHBORHOOD AND IS NOW EXPERIENCING BURNING LUNGS, SORE THROAT, COUGHING AND A DIFFICULT TIME CATCHING THEIR BREATH.
- OVERPOWERING CHEMICAL ODOR WHILE WALKING OUTSIDE FOR 10 MINUTES, EXPERIENCED A PIERCING HEADACHE AND NAUSEA, THROAT IRRITATION, AND EYE BURNING
Our neighbors are suffering. Your neighborhood could be next.
The industry’s un-neighborly ways have backed us into a corner. The ban is our last resort; it’s the only way to protect our health, safety, and property.
Our choice on November 4 is not between the fracking ban and anything a reasonable person might imagine by “responsible drilling.”
It is a choice between the ban and the continuation of a nightmare.