Fracking

Threats issued to Frack Free Denton

Frack Free Denton has received two death threats.

Watching our community come together and work for a safer and healthier Denton has been an inspiration to us, and we believe Denton is a stronger city for it. The people we have met are passionate about banning fracking in Denton but we have met no one so passionate they would threaten to inflict harm to another.

This is not the case for the ban opposition. The oil and gas industry is known for bullying and threatening people. We were criticized because Earthworks accepted donations on behalf of Frack Free Denton, but this is exactly why some people who want to donate feel they must remain anonymous.

We feel the best way to handle these cowardly acts is turning the threats over to authorities and exposing the threats publicly.  Names will be given to the police but withheld here.

Threat one:
From:XXXXX
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 8:41 PM
To:info@frackfreedenton.com
Subject: fracking

You people are socialist jerks.  DEATH TO YOU ALL.

Threat two:
I’M FOR SAVING THE PLANET BIT WITHIN REASON…AND NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMANITY…MAKE AN IMPACT WHERE YOU CAN BE EFFECTIVE… 80% OF SOCIETY IS LAUGHING AT YOU AND IF YOU DID MANAGE TO STOP FRACING…WELL THAT 80% WOULD BURN YOU AT THE STAKE…AND I WOULD LIGHT THE FIRE
https://www.facebook.com/XXXXX

Here is some excellent advice on how to deal with intimidation from Western Organization or Resource Councils WORC:

If you are being intimidated, never forget why it is happening. It means you are doing good work, and that your opponents are desperate. It is a sign that you are taking actions which challenge the existing power relationships in your community, and that those with power want you to back off.

 

New air investigation found toxic oil & gas chemicals in McKenna Park

Benzene, a carcinogen, was present in Denton’s McKenna Park at levels exceeding TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits according to a new report, Project Playground, by ShaleTest.

From the press release:

Independent air tests at five separate playgrounds across the Barnett Shale have revealed hazardous chemicals associated with oil and gas development at all five. At three of the playgrounds, carcinogens were present at levels exceeding TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits.

Opposition to the ban on hydraulic fracturing in Denton is calling for “responsible drilling,” but Denton residents know from direct experience that is a “sham.”

More from the release:

In Denton, Texas, where voters will decide whether to ban fracking in the November election, fracking ban opponents claim that a vote against the ban is a vote for “responsible drilling”. The Denton playground, located in McKenna Park, is one of the playgrounds at which carcinogens were found in excess of TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits.

“The City of Denton promised us air monitoring. But we’d never have known about toxic benzene at McKenna Park violating the TCEQ long term exposure limit if it hadn’t been for independent testing,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group president Cathy McMullen. She continued, “After years in pursuit of responsible drilling with industry, and state and City government, we now know from personal experience that responsible drilling is a sham. That’s why the only way Denton residents can protect their families is to vote for a ban on fracking in November.”

Read the full report here.

Here are the FLIR GasFindIR videos taken from McKenna Park

This is not the first time high levels of toxins from fracking have been documented at this location nor is it the first time high levels of toxins from fracking have been documented in Denton.

VIDEO: Denton mineral owner testimony of fracking horrors

This is testimony given at the Denton City Council hearing for the ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Patricia Andrews is a 23-year resident of Denton, Texas, a landowner and a mineral owner. She signed a lease and experienced fracking on her property.

The well was not profitable and it was noisy and destructive. Forcing contractual obligations for clean up took considerable effort. Worst of all, a perfectly healthy horse was found dead, five feet from a leak of fluids at the well site.

 

 

Why Denton’s fracking ban is not a Taking and not Illegal

Despite the really crazy rhetoric coming from industry, based on established Texas law and federal law, the Denton fracking ban is not illegal and is not a taking.

Earthworks commissioned a legal opinion from Jordan Yeager the attorney who successfully defended Pennsylvania’s cities’ right to regulate fracking. You can read that legal opinion below.

My comments at the public hearing summarized that opinion. Here is an excerpt:

In order to show that this ordinance is a taking under Texas law and federal law, the proponents of this industrial activity would have to show either:

  1. That the regulation eliminates all economically beneficial or productive use of the property,
  2. or that the regulation creates a taking under factors established by the U.S. Supreme Court that balance private economic interests with the community’s right to protect the public

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