Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Environment Texas Targets Fracking Practices on University of Texas Land

If the University of Texas won't stop fracking on its land, Environment Texas at least wants them to adopt best practices according to Director Luke Metzger. Environment Texas' efforts include the Diablo Plateau next to El Paso where Torchlight Energy Resources is currently drilling its first test well just 10 miles east of El Paso County. 

Metzger earlier this year spoke with UT Chancellor Bill McRaven who signaled agreement. Best practices include capturning the methane gas and recycling the water. 

Metzger is meeting with the UT Student Body President today. 

On June 19th the Hudspeth County Herald reported that Torchlight Energy Resources dodged a possible bankruptcy and is excited about the findings from their first test drill. A second test well must be drilled by December 31, 2015 according to the terms of their lease from University of Texas System lands. At this time though they may begin producing from their first drill before doing any more drilling. 

Earlier this year the El Paso County Commissioners Court passed an anti-fracking resolution.

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the El Paso County Commissioners’ Court to protect the environment and the natural resources of our region; and

WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing of underground geologic formations is often accomplished by injecting a complex mix of fluids and chemicals, including large volumes of water, on average 4.5 million gallons per well, under very high pressure to create fractures in gas bearing geologic formations; and

WHEREAS, many of the chemical constituents injected during hydraulic fracturing have documented adverse health and environmental impacts to also include threatening the long term economic well being in communities as businesses and consumers depend on clean drinking water; and

WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing exposes land and surface waters, like rivers often used as a supply for drinking water, to the risk of contamination through open pit storage, truck transport on roadways, and activities during well development; and

WHEREAS, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (“FRAC Act”), currently pending in Congress, would require disclosure of chemicals used in fracking which is currently exempt; and

WHEREAS, the Bringing Reductions to Energy's Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act (“BREATHE Act”), currently pending in Congress, would hold oil and gas operators accountable for the toxic substances they release which is currently exempt; and 

WHEREAS, El Paso must protect its precious water supply against contamination of above ground water sources and underground aquifers and destruction of ecosystems with toxic compounds by opposing harmful activity like hydraulic fracturing.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that on the 27th day of April 2015, the El Paso County Commissioners Court supports the FRAC Act and BREATHE Act. 

SIGNED, this 27th day of April 2015

You can still sign our anti-fracking petition and ask others to do so as well.

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