This letter was written by Chuck Harper who is the Communtiy Lead for Paxton Village in Arlington TX
This message is intended for all who signed a lease with XTO.
I know that from the beginning of this gas lease process, I have focused my information to you on the lease process- signing, waiting, watching the drilling and fracking processes materialize, inquiring about royalty payments, etc. I will not stop communicating with you until after this royalty payment process is underway, so don’t worry about any abandonment from me on that subject. This is the only message of this type I will send to you- all other messages will be related only to our lease and the status as it applies to leaseholders. If you would like to continue receiving more info like this, simply ask and I’ll add you to my alternate gas news list.
This message is intended to deviate slightly from that topic and pass to you information on another issue- the ongoing concerns of all citizens over health and safety arising from the fracking process and the subsequent heated arguments between all parties over legalities, interpretations, alleged violations by the gas companies, and accusations of misconduct by the gas companies and city leaders.
If you are convinced that there is no danger to your own health and safety and are unconcerned about the complaints from others, then you probably will not benefit from this message. If you are truly interested in the massive volume of dialog and discourse from all parties on the subject and are open minded to the possibilities that things may not be as they should in the wonderful world of natural gas, then read on.
We bought into this natural gas thing (all of us, including myself) several years ago based upon information made available to us from the gas companies and our government officials. Everything we were told indicated there were no dangers of any kind from the drilling and fracking processes- no personal health concerns, no environmental concerns, and no property concerns. All of these assurances came from the gas companies- those very entities who stood to profit the most from the minerals under our feet. Our elected leaders (with whom we entrusted our very safety and health) told us we were safe- no health concerns would arise from these operations and no safety or property problems would come from drilling and fracking.
Now that we are years into this process and there are hundreds of wells in the Barnett Shale in Tarrant County, we are discovering that what we were told does not match what is really taking place. We are finding out that gas companies continually violate the law, manipulate our government officials for private gain by altering the law in their favor, and boldly lie to the public when they are found out. There are many documented health issues from individuals living in the leased areas which remain unanswered. Thousands of homes have experienced foundation issues which previously did not, even in 20-30 years of hot, dry Texas summers. The gas companies continue to refuse to provide the details on chemicals used in the fracking process. And the list goes on…….
This is important:
Leaseholders are not to blame for any of this, and should not be ashamed or embarrassed by how this whole thing is turning out. All we knew when we signed on is what we were told- nothing more, nothing less. We cannot change the fact that we all have active leases, and nothing we do from this point forward will affect that legally binding agreement. Any actions we take as concerned citizens will not affect our leases or royalties.
What I am suggesting to all of you is that we individually and collectively participate in our community to ensure these gas companies follow the existing laws, that our city leaders are held accountable for protecting us as citizens and taxpayers, and that any required changes in the law be made in the best interest of the community at large- NOT for the gas companies and those they control.
From the beginning, I became involved in this only for you- the community members, and have had ONLY that focus at heart. Now that things seemed to have worked in our favor on the leasing process, I urge each of you to become a socially responsible citizen and take an active interest in our community by following the dialog and analyzing everything you see to decide whether it makes sense to you as a taxpayer and a resident.
If you want to become a more knowledgeable and informed individual on this subject, please don’t hesitate to make it known. We are all in this together, and I’m sure you would prefer it be a good ride than a dangerous one. I can provide contacts and website links to those who have taken on the personal challenge of monitoring the gas companies and holding them accountable. I am not the only one working for you- there are many of us, and collectively our voice can be heard above the noise of the gas compressors. As human beings, we must take action to protect ourselves, as it is more than evident that nobody else will do it for us.