Lawless in Santa Fe

May 15, 2012 • Gwen Lachelt

The picture is now clear.

The oil and gas industry is getting away with developing new rules for shale oil and gas development by amending the Pit Rule.

However, in a strange twist, Jami Bailey, the chair of New Mexico's oil and gas oversight agency, would not admit the 8,000 pages of testimony and exhibits put forward in the 17-day hearing held in 2007 to develop the Pit Rule. She claims this is a whole new rule. Industry claims they are simply amending the Pit Rule. How can they have it both ways? The travesty is unfolding this week in Santa Fe.

Media Releases

Independent test results show fracking flowback emissions are dangerous toxics, not *steam*

April 24, 2012 • Earthworks

Texas town ignores own test results to allow fracking to continue in violation of city ordinances, endangering local residents

Colleyville, TX, April 24 -- Today Colleyville and Southlake residents, and Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project released results from local residents’ privately-funded air testing of Titan Operations’ “mini-frack” on the border of both communities. The tests, performed by GD Air Testing Inc. of Richardson, TX, prove emissions released during fracking and flowback contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.

“We paid for tests because we can’t depend on the city or the fracking industry,” said Colleyville resident [NAME REMOVED FOR FEAR OF RETALIATION].  She continued, “The tests confirmed our worst fears, while Colleyville ignored their own tests to let fracking continue. Apparently the city represents Titan and the gas industry instead of local residents.”

Media Releases

Arlington residents challenge Chesapeake Energy to prove they are releasing nothing but hot water

March 12, 2012 • Earthworks

Arlington citizens sickened by fumes from Chesapeake hydraulic fracturing flowback demand independent analysis of company's claims

Arlington, TX, Mar 12th – Today Arlington residents, and Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project challenged Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) to provide independent verification of the company’s claim that fumes released from Chesapeake facilities in the Fish Creek, Norwood, and Oaks and Interlochen residential neighborhoods were simply steam – and therefore could not have caused harm to area residents.

“Chesapeake tells us to disbelieve our lying eyes, burning noses and heart palpitations, and trust them when they claim the company is not releasing anything but steam,” said Fish Creek resident Jane Lynn.  “Well, I don’t believe them. If Chesapeake’s assurances are worth anything, they’ll stand up to independent testing.”


The Dark Side of the Boom — news coverage

April 19, 2011 • Alan Septoff

Denton Record Chronicle - Group calls for water oversight: new report criticizes gas drilling practices

CBS Dallas-Fort Worth - Report: Texas Not Protecting Residents From Gas Drilling Dangers

Houston Chronicle's FuelFix - Report: Texas nat gas regulators fall down on job

Fort Worth Star Telegram - Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project seeks more drilling oversight

Dallas Informer - Report: Texas Not Protect Residents From Gas Drilling Dangers

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The Dark Side of the Boom: How Natural Gas Drilling in Texas Threatens Public Health and Safety

April 15, 2011 • Sharon Wilson

UPDATE: news coverage

Texas has long been the capital of the U.S. oil and and gas industry. But the U.S. natural gas boom has brought a new wave of drilling activity to the state, with thousands of drilling rigs and production facilities puncturing the landscape of the region around Fort Worth, known as the Barnett Shale. The new boom and the state s industry-friendly regulatory system mean that Texas is failing to protect residents from the hazards of gas drilling and production.

That s what the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability says in a new report, Flowback: How the Texas Natural Gas Boom Affects Health and Safety. The report, available online at, finds that authorities either lack the resources to deal with the air pollution, water contamination and other problems that accompany natural gas production; are limited in their response by inadequate laws and regulations; or continue in the long Texas tradition of favoring the oil and gas industry at the expense of citizens.