• Windshields kill birds and bugs. Cars kill cats, dogs and armadillos and sometimes people. Unconventional shale drilling contaminates surface water, ground water, soil and air which affects all living things even those that have never seen a vehicle.

    February 6, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
  • Mr. Krueger I read the link you provided. This as the authors point out is not a scientific study of shale gas drilling (fracking).

    “This study is not an epidemiologic analysis of the health effects of gas drilling, which could proceed to some extent without knowledge of the details of the complex mixtures of toxicants involved. It is also not a study of the health impacts of specific chemical exposures related to gas drilling.....”

    So it is mainly a study based on hearsay, but given that I am pretty sure there are operators and drillers out there that could care less about the environment and these people should be made criminally liable for what they do - they start doing that then this kind of thing will stop over night.

    But even so the authors only documented 24 cases all but one resulting from above ground spills and dumping of fracking liquids and in no case that I saw did they give any dates – what time frame are we talking about here?

    “Sources of exposure:

    Hydraulic fracturing fluid spill from holding tank

    Drilling fluids overran well pad during blow out

    Storm water run-off from well pad to property

    Wastewater impoundment leak

    Wastewater impoundment allegedly compromised

    Wastewater spread on road

    Wastewater dumped on property

    Wastewater dumped into creek

    Wastewater impoundment not contained

    Well/spring water

    Pond/creek water

    Pipeline leak

    Compressor station malfunction

    Flaring of well

    Total number of cases is 24; one case has two types of wells.”

    The authors point out that all of these cases could be easily remedied by some very basic measures and a stiffing of the penalties for noncompliance. But that does not stop them from making the following recommendation.

    “Without complete studies, given the many apparent adverse impacts on human and animal health, a ban on shale gas drilling is essential for the protection of public health.....”

    Which I think was the preordained, agenda driven purpose of this study to begin with. And it’s just not gas drilling that disturbs or kills, yep that’s right windows kill almost a billion birds annually – we, all of us are the enemy in one way or another I guess. I get a chuckle out of people that complain about big corporations ruining the environment as they travel down our highways throwing trash out the windows.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
  • Presentation discussing earthquakes and disposal wells...

    February 6, 2012 at 6:49 a.m.
  • At the meeting on Saturday, Sharon Wilson mentioned an industry study about how fracking causes earthquakes, "Seismicity in the Oil Field." As they drill more, it will only get worse. She has a lot of information about earthquakes and problems with drilling on her website,

    February 5, 2012 at 9:59 p.m.
  • There has been discussion regarding the earthquakes and their association with disposal wells. However, the disposal wells in this area are relatively shallow compared to the drilling itself.

    If one mile down is 5,280 feet, then a 21,000 foot well is about 4 miles down. So, where was the depth of the latest earthquake in Karnes County? 3 miles? Look at "Gushers and Dusters" to see what depth the wells are completed in Karnes County. Could there be a relation?

    Regarding above-ground contamination, look at this link and take some time to read the study by Cornell University. These aren't environmentalists that performed this study, but rather scientists and veterinarians...

    This is a very extensive study and takes time to read...if you're interested.

    February 5, 2012 at 8:45 p.m.
  • Raydar, for the record I did not attend the meeting.

    You said: " one talked about drilling vertical wells."

    I read: "...sketched a drawing of a vertical well..." and perhaps made the assumption that it was mentioned in some form.

    I don't have a dog in this fight. I was just asking for clarity since your comment did not make sense in the context of this story.

    That's all.

    February 5, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
  • I understand that, legion, but a pipeline is planned over a long distance (as in the one from Canada to Texas) and it goes to figure if they want to go in a straight line, somewhere along the way, some kind of structrue is going to be in the way of that straight line.
    I'm just wondering what they do in cases like that?

    And yes, I've read an oil and gas lease. We have signed a few of them, one just in the last year.

    February 5, 2012 at 5:59 p.m.
  • I take it you have never read a oil and gas lease born2bme, areas, depends on the lease, around existing structures and water wells are off limits to drilling and pipelines.

    If a person owns 10,000, 1000, 100 or 10 acres and they haven't built a structure before, why would they want to build one on a easement after it was granted? I would wager that 99.99999999999% of the land where a well is drilled or a pipeline laid is pasture land.

    February 5, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
  • It's and easement. The property owner cannot do anything they want to on an easement belonging to an oil company.
    Who in their right mind would put a structure atop a pipeline?

    With that in mind, how do they handle the situations where the pipeline has to run right through/under someone's house? Surely they do not just go around things like that, or the pipeline would be mighty crooked.

    February 5, 2012 at 5:06 p.m.
  • "the taking of your private property for a for-profit corporation?"

    In the case of drilling and pipelines, they don't "take your property", nice scare tactic though.

    Your property can still be used to do everything you used it for before, it still belongs to you.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.
  • frac'n is the industry that is lacking enough regulation

    if people knew how much water is actually used in a big frac job you'd faint

    February 5, 2012 at 4:50 p.m.
  • drilling, horizontal drilling and frac'n are totally different things

    February 5, 2012 at 4:47 p.m.
  • If there are no problems with natural gas drilling, why are there so many problems with drilling? I'd like to see someone name one other industry that spends so much time, money and resources justifying what it is that they do (and don't do) You can't hardly spend 30 minutes watching tv without seeing some gas company telling everyone how great it all is, or open a newspaper without seeing a full page ad 'reminding' us the need to become energy independent, or how many jobs it supposedly creates.

    The truth of the matter is, yes, this dirty industry does create some jobs, but nothing like they claim, and certainly not any job that's long term-they can't be long term because the wells aren't long term. So the 'employee' either has to move along with the job, which is why we see these 'man camps' everywhere, or face the reality it was a temporary job.

    Industry in PA claims they are creating 'thousands of jobs' although even the state begs to differ, as does the federal Labor Dept. Might explain why there are so many out of state license plates on all the pick up trucks there.

    This Industry is not sustaining, and that has been proven long ago, time and time again. The painful few of you that are getting any kind of money, I hope you're saving a nice chunk of it, because with the average life span of a well being 5-7 years, the mailbox money dries up along with the well. Then they move on to contaminate somebody else's property and permanently contaminate MILLIONS of gallons of water. That's millions of gallons of water in a drought area you'll never be able to use ever again.

    By the way, I'd love to know where all this money the 'environmentalists' are supposedly making. Wilson may be a paid employee of Earthworks, but there was no making' any money for this trip or the countless others she's done. I can also tell you that any money she was able to raise in donations to Earthworks pales in comparison the millions donated by Industry to lobbyists and politicians. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn are not only the two largest recipients of Industry funding, these contributions top all other of their contributions. Is it any wonder these two couldn't be more supportive of destroying your property and the taking of your private property for a for-profit corporation?

    February 5, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.
  • The companies constructing wind farms cause similar problems and then some that are different.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:59 p.m.
  • Oh, and I forgot their main goal is to make a fast buck the enviroment is maybe the the second thing on their list.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:39 p.m.
  • The increase in business from responding to emergency calls (wrecks, accidents on site, etc. involving oil/gas field companies and fracking operations) and performing pre-employment, random, and post-accident drug screens and breath alcohols is enough to keep DeWitt, Lavaca, and surrounding counties sitting pretty for decades to come. Not to even mention full hotels, rental properties, apartments, temporary tent/RV sites.

    On the flip side, I had to wait for FIVE cycles of a red light in Cuero the other day before I could get through the intersection. What was ahead of me for several blocks? Company trucks and eighteen wheelers. I have nearly been creamed TWICE on smaller farm-to-market roads in DeWitt and Lavaca counties by eighteen wheelers CROSSING OVER INTO MY LANE around blind curves. Only because I quickly pulled over onto the shoulder and slammed on my brakes was I able to avoid a head-on collison. The roads are becoming absolutely torn-up from the heavy equipment trucks passing through at all hours of the day and night. The Eagle Ford Shale play has changed the landscape, economy, shape and future of this area for good and for bad. There is no going back to "the way things were before".

    Only time will tell the toll taken on our environment. The toll on (and benefit to) the area's small towns and their people is already evident.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
  • @ EdithAnn & Observer, surely you understand that all wells start with a vertical drill down, even the horizontal ones. The topic covered by the petroleum engineer was horizontal wells in the Eagle Ford Shale but her drawing started at the surface, proceeded down the vertical portion of the well and the various casings and cementing. She then went on to discuss the horizontal part. It was quite thorough.

    One of the most interesting parts of the casing discussion was about how industry in the EFS is saving $800,000/well on a shortcut in casing.

    Still laughing?

    February 5, 2012 at 3:31 p.m.
  • These so-called environmentalists are equivalent to carpet baggers from a bygone age. They are scam artists raising false concerns and collecting donations from anyone who they happen to frighten with their bull crap.

    What they really want is to get their merry band of lawyers and "experts" who tag along with them involved in the lawsuits or other legal proceedings that they may generate. They especially like to target local politicians and get them involved because they have the deep pockets; well the taxpayers have the deep pockets but whatever.

    Don’t be fooled by these people they hate fossil fuels; they are really “green energy” activists that are trying to sell us their green energy snake oil.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
  • I'll admit that I know nothing about fracking, but common sense should tell people that if you remove enough material from inside , or underneath, anything, certain physical changes will occur. I'm sure all of us, at one time or another, has played Jenga, or something like it.
    You have to think of it worldwide, instead of one local area. This Earth was not made to have hollowed out insides. Something is going to start moving and shifting around.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.
  • EdithAnn, thank you for providing me with a laugh, intentionally. Raydar, thank you for providing me with a laugh, unintentionally.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:26 p.m.
  • Raydar, so the first sentence of the story is incorrect?

    February 5, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.
  • As for as the jobs are concerned, the effective jobless rate is 0.0% in Cuero. Anyone who wants a job can find them easily enough. There are help wanted signs all over the place, from restaurants and fast food places to retail stores and car dealers. Those who do not choose to work are the 6.4% that the state reports.

    Those hollering that the sky is falling are needed to keep the industry in check. It’s never as bad as the environmentalist make it out to be, but they keep the oil folks on the straight and narrow.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
  • @ EyesOfTX - It doesn't seem that you were in attendance at the meeting yesterday because no one talked about drilling vertical wells.

    I was wondering about that jobs claim. If industry is providing so many jobs for S. Texas residents, why are there so many man camps all over the place. Wouldn't S. Texas residents have homes where they would go to after their work day is finished? It seems the industry is importing a lot of workers from someplace other than S. Texas.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
  • Eyes,
    Because we offer news coverage of a town hall meeting does not indicate the Advocate has taken any position on drilling. The Advocate's editorial board opinions are found under the Opinion section online and under "Our Views" on the Viewpoints pages in print.
    If you would like to read more news coverage about the issue, please see our ongoing series called "The Play." Links to the various installments may be found here:

    February 5, 2012 at 11:40 a.m.
  • EyesOfTx,

    I'm sure Sister Elizabeth was speaking mataphorically, not accusing the industry of being "evil" but rather pointing out that greed can sometimes cause people to make irrational or bad decisions, regardless of what industry they are in.

    Incidentally, the water well affected by benzene and naphthalene in DeWitt County still hasn't been remediated.

    February 5, 2012 at 9:14 a.m.
  • What a shame the Advocate has chosen to become a mouthpiece for crackpots like this. All you need to know about how little these people actually know about anything happening in South Texas is the fact that the supposed "engineer" claims that the industry is commonly drilling "vertical" wells in the Eagle Ford. FACT: NOBODY is drilling "veritical" wells into the Eagle Ford.

    But nevermind facts - if these folks had to stick with facts, they'd have little to talk about.

    In this article, we have the Advocate quoting Sister Reibschlaeger calling the oil and gas industry "evil". Let's examine how "evil" this industry is:

    - This is the "evil" industry that supports about 1.3 million well-paying jobs in Texas alone;

    - This is the "evil" industry that is in the process of creating the single greatest economic boom South Texas (Victoria included) has ever seen;

    - Thanks to the ability to tax this "evil" industry, historically poor school districts all over South Texas will in the next couple of years become wealthy school districts;

    - The natural gas produced by this "evil" industry gives this state the opportunity to clean up its air in a meaningful, scalable way;

    - This "evil" industry employs more people, creates more economic activity, pays more taxes and pays higher wages than any other industry in Texas, by far;

    Gosh what a terrible industry this is. No wonder the Advocate has decided to take such an adversarial stance.

    February 5, 2012 at 7:58 a.m.