Monday, March 3, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Some think the initiative to ban fracking is all about what we are AGAINST. But this is really about what we stand FOR. It is a positive campaign – we stand for the health, safety, and integrity of Denton.
But that’s too abstract. Here’s what really keeps me motivated to keep up the fight: it’s the thought that a year from now a child – someone just like my daughters – will go outside in her neighborhood in our town to ride her bike and she won’t have frack trucks nearby pumping out diesel, silica, and other chemicals. She’ll come inside for dinner breathing clean air with no coughing. She’ll drink clean water not threatened by toxins (neither known nor non-disclosed). She’ll sleep soundly in the night with no interruptions. She’ll grow up healthy and do her own part to make Denton and the world better.
About 30,000 new families are going to move to Denton in the near future. Many of them will end up in situations like we’ve seen at Vintage and S. Bonnie, where the children couldn’t even go outside to trick or treat at Halloween. We’re fighting for a Denton where kids are safe in their own neighborhoods.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The Denton Drilling Awareness Group is launching a
campaign – Frack Free Denton – to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city limits. This
campaign is a ray of hope for our community. It promises not only to protect us
from a uniquely invasive and toxic industry, but also to provide us with an occasion
for a civic conversation about who we are and who we aspire to be. In the
spirit of that conversation, let me briefly explain why I will be signing the
When it comes to fracking, all of the most powerful
players are focused on a narrow set of intended outcomes: profits,
economic growth, and energy security. The oil and gas industry seeks to exploit
minerals. The Texas Railroad Commission fosters and promotes this development.
State and federal lawmakers are increasingly captured by corporate interests.
It is at the local level where most of the broader
unintended harms from fracking occur, namely, air and water pollution, property
devaluation and damage, and noises and other nuisances. Working within this
context, the City of Denton has pursued what we might call the compatibility
strategy: it has sought to make the production of
minerals compatible with health, safety, welfare, community integrity, and surface property rights.
After years of effort, I have come to realize that
the compatibility strategy is a failure. We can either have fracking or a safe,
healthy, and vibrant city. We cannot have both. In calling for a ban on hydraulic
fracturing, we are choosing our safety over their profits. We are choosing our
community over their reckless pursuit of commodities. We are choosing the
health of our children over a shortsighted, poisonous, and unsustainable fossil
This is a choice I have made with a great deal of
deliberation. Indeed, for five years the committed citizens of Denton tried
to make the compatibility strategy a success. We tried despite a Task Force stacked
with oil and gas industry representatives. We tried despite closed-door
meetings and behind-the-scenes legalese. We tried even as our ideas for bolstering
safety and health – ideas that had been implemented by other cities on the
Barnett Shale – were repeatedly denied. And we tried even as we learned that the
new rules that did actually pass – including the 1,200 foot setback distance –
would not apply to the hundreds of gas well pad sites within City limits grandfathered
under older regulations.
But we could no longer stomach the failures of this
strategy when three gas wells were drilled, fracked, and flared in one of our
neighborhoods – and we saw that this would be the ugly future of Denton under
status quo policies. We could no longer simply work through the bureaucratic
system – with all its hoops, loopholes, and systematic biases – when people
were getting sick and parents had to keep their kids indoors in desperate
attempts to protect them from the fumes. We could no longer ignore the fact
that most of the people exposed to the harms were not informed and were not receiving
any of the financial benefits. And we cannot watch our City grow over the
coming years into the heart of the gas patch and let thousands of new Denton
families suffer in this way.
As natural gas prices rise in the future, things
will only get worse. Unless we act.
Enough is enough. It is time for a frack free Denton.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I learned how to use some software over the winter break that let me put together this 34 minute video, titled: "How Denton Got Fracked: The Story of a City on the Shale." Please share it widely - I hope it is helpful for citizens of Denton trying to get caught up on this issue and for citizens of other towns and cities who might learn from our experiences.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Thanks to the leadership of Rhonda Love, DAG has organized a meeting to discuss the fracking near South Lakes Park. Here is the info:
Come and learn about the gas drilling which is being conducted by EagleRidge Energy in our area.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 7-8:30PM
Denia Park Recreation Center, Room B
1001 Parvin Street
Fracking, the process of removing natural gas from shale, has begun on Acme Brick property near South Lakes Park, residences, schools, public areas, and businesses. This gas extraction process is accompanied by noise and pollution.
If you have any concerns, document the dates and times about noise, lights, chemicals, odor, dust, traffic, and any other problems, and call these numbers:
Darren Groth, Denton Gas Well Administrator
Joey Hawkins, City Council Representative for District 4
Some people experience health problems such as headaches, sore throat, nose bleeding, rashes, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory distress, burning eyes, etc. If you do experience health problems, then keep a health log detailing symptoms, date and time of day when experienced, intensity and duration of symptoms.
Please call Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) at 1-888-777-3186 and file a complaint. They MUST respond to your call and can do air and water testing. Make a note of the date and time of your call and when they respond.
The EagleRidge contact is Mark Grawe, VP and Chief of Operations. 1-214-295-6704
You can contact other concerned citizens through this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And, for more information on citizens' concerns about gas drilling in Denton, please visit: http://www.dentondag.org/