Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dear John

CBS11 did another story on the Joe Pool Lake Dam this week. Good news? Not exactly.

One of the commenters had a question for another commenter: "Out of curiosity, exactly why do you think Chesapeake is the “Big Rat”?"  We will attempt to answer that question here.

Dear John,

Chesapeake is conducting drilling activities 850 feet from a Corps of Engineers Dam. They notified the Corps via a FORM Letter that sounded like a promo for shale gas drilling and was not addressed to the appropriate chain of command. It wasn't addressed to anyone. It very likely ended up in the trash. Glad you are curious, John. I think it lowers your own "rat rating."

There is an established 3,000 foot Exclusion Zone for oil and gas drilling activities near Corps of Engineer-controlled dams and lakes and it has been on the books since the mid-1990s. This zone is not arbitrary, but was established by Engineers for the safety and protection of all of us. Here it is, John: Link to Bureau of Land Management TX Resource Management Plan (Page 28)

Even the possibility of a Dam Failure should prevent any responsible O&G company from drilling and fracking in that zone. Don't you think that's reasonable? There are thousands of people within this particular Zone, as well. They may not be "drilling" under the dam, John, but the drilling and fracking is within that Exclusion Zone.

4 more horizontal wells are planned to be drilled and fracked from the Padsite and to the North, East and West. They are not all headed Northwest. As you know, this process of hydrofracking horizontal wells with water, sand and chemicals has only been conducted in the Barnett Shale for a few short years. It's ridiculous to conclude (as apparently Chesapeake has) that there should be some kind of "let's see how it goes philosophy" about this issue and when so many lives can be potentially affected.

So, is Chesapeake a "Big Rat,"?? Maybe. Who knows? They have certainly shown tendencies here, here, here, here and here.

Click Here to Go Over to Bluedaze. TXSharon has weighed in on this, too. It's just such a curious story.


  1. Great job on this story!

    Interesting. The 3,000 foot exclusion zone includes both drilling activity AND the construction of transmission lines. Do we know how far away all those gas gathering and transmission pipelines are from the dam?

    Also, that pamphlet from the Corps. mentions that although fracking occurs "over a mile below the ground" there is a concern of subsidence due to the "disruption to the geologic structure of natural gas shale formations." Since this activity is all going on under most of our North Texas neighborhoods, the general public should be VERY concerned about protecting their largest investment. It would be "scary as hell" if cars, homes, and entire cities were to get swallowed up in sinkholes. After all, this unconventional process of natural gas extraction is still in its experimental stages. Only time will tell...

    1. Yes. The gas gathering/transmission lines were completed early in 2013 along Camp Wisdom Road just to the west of Lake Ridge Parkway and all the way to Highway 360. They conducted Pipeline Boring otherwise known as Horizontal Directional Drilling parallel to the Dam. Too close for comfort in our opinion. But there is so much confusion and right hand not knowing what left hand is doing and right hand just looking for the $$$$ and not looking too far beyond that. We've seen it in action. It's not very pretty. Men don't like to listen to women who are telling them to be aware of dangers. It's a problem here in North Texas communities even in 2013.

    2. Thank you, Fish Creek Neighbor. These stories just seem to write themselves, don't they? :-(


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