Thursday, April 28, 2011

Contact Texas Reps and Senators NOW! Tell Them NO to HB 3105!!!!

Take Action Against HB 3105

H.B. 3105 (Keffer) - Regulatory Takings/Oil and Gas would make a city regulation that damages, destroys, impairs, or prohibits development of a mineral interest subject to the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act, which would:
  • (1) waive sovereign immunity to suit and liability for a regulatory taking;
  • (2) authorize a private real property owner to bring suit to determine whether the governmental action of a city results in a taking;
  • (3) require a city to prepare a "takings impact assessment" prior to imposing certain regulations; and
  • (4) require a city to post 30-days notice of the adoption of most regulations prior to adoption.

Stop the Presses! Goodbye Home Rule???

Bill:  HB 3105 
Legislative Session: 82(R) Council Document: 82R 5223 PMO-D

Last Action:04/27/2011 H Reported favorably w/o amendment(s)

Caption Version:Introduced
Caption Text:Relating to the applicability of the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act to certain governmental actions.


Subjects:City Government--General (I0060)
County Government--General (I0096)
Mines & Mineral Resources (I0536)
Property Interests--Eminent Domain (I0615)
Property Interests--Real Property (I0595)

House Committee:Energy Resources
Status:Out of committee
Vote:Ayes=5   Nays=1   Present Not Voting=0   Absent=3

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Proposed New Map Splits Grand Prairie, TX Into 7 Districts

Talk about carving up the city. Hmmm...who else has been carving up the City in recent months? Could the same carvers be influencing this plan??  

Could O&G* be influencing redistricting?
Do Cows Mooooo??

Today on the Texas House Floor, our Westchester neighbor and House District 106 Representative Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie) did a very nice job at the podium.  

Representative Anderson was dignified and well spoken. Being a freshman in Austin is not that easy.  Job well done.

Looks like Mayor England is even talking about a lawsuit if the current proposal gets voted in. Click Here and take a look at the story in the Dallas News today.

Highlights of the story:
If the redistricting plan passes as is, Irving will have four representatives within its city limits and Grand Prairie will have seven. But more important to city officials, the proposed map chops up the crucial districts almost entirely located within the two cities — District 105 in Irving and District 106 in Grand Prairie.

City officials say losing those primary representative voices at the state Capitol would make it almost impossible to promote their agendas.

"It’s devastating to us politically, as far as a voice in Austin is concerned,” Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England said. “I’ve been mayor 19 years, and I can tell you this is the most critical thing that’s faced this city for sure since I’ve been mayor."


England said he’s disappointed and angry with how the proposed map treats Grand Prairie.

"We’re a town of 175,400 people. We’re the 15th-largest city in the state,” he said. “And to come in and take representation out of Grand Prairie for the city and the schools … that is disrespectful as you can get." [emphasis added.]
If the current plan succeeds, and Linda Harper-Brown becomes Westchester's representative in Austin....God Help Us. Please.

*O&G = Oil and Gas Industry

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thank you, Rodney Anderson (R-106)

Bill:  HB 3792 
Legislative Session: 82(R) Council Document: 82R 12028 DAK-D

Last Action:

04/06/2011 H Left pending in committee

Caption Version:Introduced
Caption Text:Relating to municipal authority to regulate gas pipelines located within the municipality.

Author:Burnam | Truitt | Anderson, Rodney


Subjects:City Government--Land Use & Zoning (I0064)
Oil & Gas (I0545)

House Committee:Energy Resources
Status:In committee

Friday, April 22, 2011

URGENT!! Please Call Representative Stefani Carter NOW! (512) 463-0454

Representative Stefani Carter 
Please Help Protect Our Communities
We have just learned that 1st Term Representative Stefani Carter (Dallas) has not signed on to making safety a top priority for every Texan.   Only one (1) vote is needed.  Her vote is crucial to Representative Lon Burnam's House Bill 3792 making it out of the Energy Resources Committee.

H.B. 3792 protects surface property owners by ensuring local control over decisions regarding natural gas pipeline locations.
It clarifies that a municipality has the authority to regulate the location of pipelines, compressors, storage tanks, and related facilities within the boundaries of the municipality.
The bill also ensures that an operator wishing to condemn city property to construct a pipeline is required to comply with applicable city ordinances.
Tell the committee members that Texans should have a say in where pipelines and other oil and gas production equipment are located in their cities!
Please call Representative Stefani Carter TODAY. 

Urge Rep. Carter to support H.B. 3792 because Texans should have a say in where shale gas production equipment is located in our cities. New gas gathering pipelines are going in all over Grand Prairie, TX.  This is IMPORTANT to the future safety of Grand Prairie.

Rep. Carter's number in Austin: 

(512) 463-0454
Click on the link above to fill out the petition. And then Call Rep. Carter Now!!  Ask her to support H.B. 3792.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update: Just in time for EARTH DAY

The Texas Railroad Commission Web site is not NOW fully functioning right now AGAIN.  Access to Drilling Permits Public Queries is unavailable AVAILABLE AGAIN through the Main Page.  Here's what the Main Page says:

The Drilling Permits Public query is currently not available. If you have an RRC On-Line account, you can access the queries after you login. The RRC is currently working to resolve this issue.

So, if you are an "Operator" you can access after you login.  But if you're a CITIZEN seeking information about well sites in your community....NO ACCESS. 

We called Austin to see what's going on...we've been told everything will be back online by tomorrow. We'll see. ONLINE QUERIES FOR DRILLING PERMITS NOW WORKING.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Reservoirs R Us

The Dirty Little Secret

Line 5 to Line 6.  "...You have got a lateral that was drilled and just a small portion of it is underlying the reservoir --- or excuse me, the neighborhood, so I don't know that a MIPA would be applicable to this particular well."  (Testimony from Mr. Dave Henson, Senior Reservoir Engineer for Chesapeake Energy) [emphasis added]
Thanks a bunch, Chesapeake!  It's not like we haven't "felt" like a reservoir for a long time, now.  Yee Haw!!  Read Mr. Louis McBee's incredible cross-examinations of Chesapeake Energy personnel.   Read what our neighbors told the Hearing Examiners and the Senior Attorney for Chesapeake.

This is a must read from beginning to end.

*Transcript of the Barnes Assembly A (Well 3H) Rule 37 Waiver Hearing, Tuesday, February 1, 2011 in Austin, Texas; Chesapeake Energy vs. Grand Prairie, TX Trailwood Neighbors. (No Legal Decision as of April 18, 2011)  Barnes Assembly A Well 3H Form W-1*:  Link

(*Note:  The link to the Permit for Barnes Assembly A is currently unavailable.  Everything should be back up by Friday, April 22, 2011 ~ Good Friday ~ according to the Railroad Commission of Texas.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Boone Pickens Sells His Water: Update

I guess Mr. Boone Pickens sees the writing on the wall for shale gas drilling?  Or maybe he just realized everybody knows he owns all that water and that's not necessarily good for one's legacy.

Still, he's going to make 103 million on this sale!!  Not bad. 
The preliminary $103 million deal between Pickens' Dallas-based Mesa Water LP and the Amarillo-based Canadian River Municipal Water Authority for the water rights to 211,000 acres in Roberts County in the Panhandle promised to end long-held concerns in the region that he would sell the water to downstate interests.

UPDATE:  Here's a good explanation of the story behind this story from a Washington Examiner August 21, 2008 story. Not sure if our local papers ever reported it quite this way. Pretty sure they didn't.
Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is about to make a killing by selling water he doesn’t own. As he does it, it will be praised as a planet-friendly wind project. After he pulls it off, the media will deride it as craven capitalism. In truth, it is one the most audacious examples of politics for profit, showing how big government helps the biggest business steal from the rest of us. The plotline behind Pickens’ water-and-wind scheme is almost too rich to believe. If it were a movie script, reviewers would dismiss it as over-the-top.

Read more at the Washington Examiner

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Aubrey McClendon Says, "It's a Big Boy's Game"

In a story appearing in today's Dallas News, Chesapeake CEO  Aubrey McClendon said:

"It's a Big Boy's Game."

Sure thing.  Westchester Neighbors know all about Chesapeake's Big Boy who made himself at home with the Chesapeake MONSTER FRAC Pond last summer.  We expect to see him again, soon, as the weather warms up...and he discovers that his FRAC Pond is still there.

In a speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference Friday, April 8th, CEO McClendon also said:
I believe every one of these issues or inconveniences we’ve had has an engineering solution or a human solution,” said McClendon, who leads the most active natural gas driller in the country.

Still, the push-back to drilling from environmental activists and neighborhood groups will cost the industry, he said. As lawmakers halt drilling in some areas or add regulations, there are “financial costs, and it’s going to drive smaller companies out of business,” he said.
Read the story.  Be amazed.  No mention of the Barnett Shale in there that I could find.  Maybe he doesn't want his [Dallas] audience to realize how close all the problems are to them. 

But just in case...he's already hedging his bets.  Now, he's going to be fracking for oil.
"He said domestic drilling has added hundreds of billions of dollars to the national economy, and the techniques the industry developed for gas are being applied to oil. A boom in domestic oil could fundamentally change global politics and allow Americans to distance themselves from problems in the Middle East, he said.

“We will increase oil production in the U.S. by 50 percent in the years ahead,” he predicted."

Batten down the hatches, everybody.  The Big Boys are gonna forget big gas and go for the BIG Oil.  No telling what horrors that might bring in the "guinea pig" stage for our communities that are already the all-important "reservoirs" to O&G production.

God. Help Us. Please.

Link to Dallas News Story.