About Air and Water

Monday, July 30, 2007

Citizens Speak Out Against Devastation of Green Belt in Letters to the Editor - Fort Worth Star Telegram -

STAR-TELEGRAM - Mon, Jul. 30, 2007

Drilling, nature tend not to mix

Let me make sure I have this straight: The Bedford City Council members, those same rogues who think that grandfathered storage sites are unsightly, want to explore putting natural gas rigs on the city's very limited park sites. (See Tuesday news story "150 attend meeting on plans for drilling.")

I noticed that during the public hearing on this issue, not a soul from the council seemed worried about how to get rid of the saltwater accumulations from these rigs, nor did any of them seem concerned that about 70 percent of these rigs go bust. None asked how the city would deal with them.

The amount of land needed for these wonderfully lighted sites seemed to grow from three acres to probably closer to five acres during the meeting, and this caused no consternation among our elected officials.

Who's kidding whom around here? We need to wake up and take stock of our community again.

Drilling in Bedford? Sure, let's put the first rig right there at City Hall, preferably over the seat of Councilman Charles Orean.

-- Hank Henning, Bedford

Chesapeake Energy recently purchased 55 acres on Scenery Hill, adjacent to the studios of KXAS/Channel 5 on Broadcast Hill and the Tandy Hills Nature Area.

Anyone familiar with the area recognizes that drilling on Scenery Hill acreage would be a travesty and a major historical and environmental disaster.

The Tandy Hills Nature Area is one of the few (and arguably the best) remaining examples of virgin prairie in this area. As long as it remains, people can enjoy its beauty and solitude and understand how things used to be. They can perhaps spy a fox watching them warily or see a wild turkey take flight. Whatever they see, it provides a connection to the beginning of this nation.

This heritage must not be allowed to vanish.

The most appropriate use for the Chesapeake site would be as an addition to the Tandy Hills Nature Area.

There are two practical alternatives. One is for Chesapeake Energy to donate the land for an expansion of the nature area, gaining a tax write-off and positive publicity in the process. The other is to destroy the land by using it for drill sites and ancillary operations, reaping a huge amount of negative publicity, probable demonstrations and possibly even lawsuits.

Whatever happens, it will hurt Chesapeake's bottom line. Donate the land for the benefit of future generations and enjoy a positive public relations bonanza. It's a win-win proposition.

-- Richard Marmo,Fort Worth

We need the money and the energy, so drilling should happen. But it should not happen near our schools, homes or parks. By "near," I mean within a mile or so.

Drillers should follow all Environmental Protection Agency regulations and not be exempt from any of them.

Also, how much water do they use? Where does it go?

There have been too many accidents and too many waivers from existing law to make me feel comfortable.

Here on the east side of Fort Worth, streets are in disrepair and could not handle more truck traffic. Trucks aren't allowed on our streets, but I understand that the drilling companies most likely would get an exemption from this.

Our big trees are our crowning glory, keeping our streets shaded in the summer. We've seen what drilling does to the areas around it.

Safety, water usage, air pollution, street destruction -- these are some of the reasons to keep gas drillers out of my neighborhood.

-- Kyle Anne Poland, Fort Worth
Read Letters to The Editor in the Star Telegram

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