During five years (1989-1994) of environmental activities in Dallas, Houston and SATX, I learned the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) was one of the most powerful bodies in the Lone Star State where gas, oil and minerals are of utmost importance. George Bush, senior, former CIA director and president paraphrased the Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew chpt. V): “The poor will inherit the Earth, but not the mineral rights!” The title RRC is somewhat misleading because three elected officials deal more with oil, gas, minerals, including mining of uranium, than with railroads. Obviously safety of citizens is a concern of RRC officials.
In 1994 I visited Panna Maria, the oldest Polish settlement in the northern hemisphere. Panna Maria’s history began in the 1850’s south of SATX. Major news networks visited the area with keen interest because a large energy firm tried to obtain uranium in Panna Maria .Company workers left radioactive tailings where children played in the barren areas. Fr. Franz (whose surname is too difficult), a native of Poland grew tired of burying children dying from cancer after playing on uranium heaps left by the corporation. Resigned parents would weep at funerals and say “It was God’s will,” while Fr. Franz replied it was the fault of a large energy firm. ABC reporters did a powerful five-minute segment on uranium tailings the RRC officials and Texas government overlooked.
Texans are prone to say, “I do my bidness in Dallas but live in Ft. Worth.” COMMON DREAMS news source and other publications reported December 12, 2013 Dallas passed a ban (9-6) on drilling for gas within 1500 feet of a dwelling or schools. Some observers said “JR Ewing (of “DALLAS” TV fame) will be turning in his grave over legislation that opponents claim is a ban on fracking.
Texans have been discussing the possible relationship between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and disposal of toxic fracking fluids into deep injection wells amid an increasing number of quakes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region.
RRC officials hosted a meeting on January 3 in Azle (northwest of Ft. Worth) to consider the increasing number of quakes. Among the angry hundreds of Texans, one woman told the regulators she slept in her clothes because of encircling quakes forcing her to leave at midnight.
Little people might not succeed in challenging a process that is going global. Vermont is the first state to ban fracking with several other states placing health of citizens above corporate profits.
Dallas–Ft.Worth International airport, is about the same size of Manhattan, one of five boroughs in New York City. DFW is one of the largest airports in the world.
If a quake causes one of the many runways to crack would officials in Texas call a halt to ongoing initiatives to exploit oil and gas? In baseball jargon, “Nature bats last.”