Yesterday, Texas Rail Road Commissioner David Porter said that the Rail Road Commission is setting up a task force in the Eagle Ford shale region of South Texas to ensure that regulators can keep up with the oil and gas boom there. This is great news. With the number of wells ballooning from a handful a few years ago, to more than 1500 wells today, and literally hundreds of millions and potentially billions being invested this year, now is the time to get a handle on this development.
A Task Force is a good idea if the mission is not just to see how fast wells can go in. There are many valuable functions a serious task force could play to protect employees, communities, and the environment. To start with:
1. Coordinate info exchange between State Agencies, Ground Water Districts, and local governments about water availability and promote water re-use to conserve water for other pressing needs in Eagle Ford Shale counties;
2. If the chemical disclosure bill passes the Texas Lege, set up systems to assure that companies follow the new law;
3. Address Air Quality protections, including “green” completions of wells and related facilities to prevent venting of dangerous gases;
4. Promote use of electric motors and compressors rather than diesel
5. Protection of the land and water from fracking fluids and saltwater waste through better pipeline safety
6. Enforce OSHA protections for safety to avoid catastrophic accidents and protect both employees, communities, and the environment
7. Landowner education
8. Management of diesel truck traffic
Frackin’ Bill Needs to Get Crackin’ Meanwhile, one important step forward that the current Texas State Legislature can take is to pass HB 3328 the Gas Fracking Chemical Disclosure bill.
However right now, Senator Fraser seems to be putting up a road block.
Call your own Legislator today to get the Frackin Bill Crackin!
Thank you! Donna Hoffman, Communications Coordinator, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club