Chip Northup, a former industry guy, had a response to the “commercially reasonable” drilling setback distances being discussed in Austin recently as our GOP trys to undo the Denton fracking ban….(I boldfaced for emphasis)
end Northrup comment…read full letter below.
Texas DON’T DO IT ! I said to CBS DFW 11
“Initially, I thought I got three minutes for each bill (in Austin)….but now we are told it is three minutes total. Anyway, here were my planned remarks for HB 539…will need to cut them now:
I am speaking as Vice President of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, a non-profit organization that educates citizens and promotes their health, safety, and welfare when it comes to urban shale gas development.
I am opposed to HB 539, which sacrifices sound policy for political overreach.
For roughly a century now, Texas has been a leader in oil and gas production. That success has occurred in a context of strong and varied local regulations. Since at least the 1930s, Texas courts have been upholding the oil and gas ordinances of Texas cities as expressions of reasonable local needs for protections from hazards and nuisances.
In short, the much vaunted Texas miracle occurred in the context of a tradition of robust local control. Tell me, what is the problem here that is in need of fixing?! Why suddenly this sense that cities – which cover less than 7% of the state – are slowing us down?!
Mr. King is fond of saying that “Local control and limited government must be the first resort not the last.” Local communities know what suits them best. As Governor Greg Abbott said, we should resist “one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter solutions” pushed down from central government.
Yet HB 539 is a ticket to cookie cutter solutions, ending generations of local control, because no city would risk incurring the costs ginned up in Austin. The only thing left will be the one-size-fits-all rules of state government.
HB 539 only prescribes a cost assessment not a cost/benefit assessment. But of course, regulations also save us money and protect the very goods for which we seek money – values like health and quality of life. If regulations were all cost and no benefit, then we might as well eliminate the Railroad Commission – given how much more territory they govern, they would surely be costing us orders of magnitude more than cities.
On a true cost and benefit calculation, the state would owe cities money for the economic benefits of local regulations. Cities save the state from the need to administer surface impact rules that protect our families and property values. City rules foster orderly and sustainable development that in turn helps drive the state economy forward.
Now, I understand that local control needs to be balanced by the rule of law that protects individual liberties and rights. But rule of law is only as good as the laws that are ruling. With vested rights, non-disclosure of chemicals, non-reporting of emissions, the dominance of the mineral estate, and lax enforcement, the state does not take the protection of people as its top priority. This is why city regulations are so vital. We need laws that shelter local control, not ones that undermine it through arbitrary and counterproductive fiscal chicanery.”
As usual I post my letters-here is my letter to our Arlington City Council…
From: kim feil <email@example.com>
To: Jim Parajon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Robert Cluck <email@example.com>; Robert Rivera <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Robert Shepard <email@example.com>; Lana Wolff <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Kathryn Wilemon <email@example.com>; Sheri Capehart <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jimmy Bennett <email@example.com>; Michael Glaspie <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Charlie Parker <email@example.com>; Cynthia Simmons <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Trey Yelverton <email@example.com>; Don Crowson <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Susan Schrock <email@example.com>; Bridgett White <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Tony Rutigliano <email@example.com>; Brett Shipp <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Collin Gregory <email@example.com>; “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>; Cindy Powell <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Stuart Young <email@example.com>; Roger Venables <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jay W. White <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:50 PM
Subject: Chip Northrup response to Texas HB 40 “Commercially Reasonable” Test Fail
From: Chip Northrup <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9:31 AM
Subject: Texas HB 40 “Commercially Reasonable” Test Fail
end Northrup statement
Begin pics showing Arlington’s greed in not making the individual drilling operators work together to develop minerals and space these padsites a mile away from each other…they bragged they could go out a mile….
FRACK FACT….in Arlington our storage tanks can be as close as ONE HUNDRED FEET from Arlington citizens. What a nightmare!