Friday, March 15, 2013

Mail Call

Thanks everyone for all the letters in this week's mailbag! Word about this blog really got around the past couple of weeks. Appreciate your comments and advice, some of you offered some great insider info, very perceptive writings, thank you. Haven't had a chance to reply to each one yet, wanted to get this post up, but rest assured I understand what you're saying and why so many of you feel the way you do about this topic, believe me, I understand. Very nice hearing from a number of you who've been working behind the scenes in various forms of activism for so many years, as I have, and who, like myself, can pretty quickly gauge the issues and understand the concept of realism/practicality and deciding if efforts are feasible, or not.

And yes, I definitely know what you mean about those who stir the pot against their own assumed allies. It always happens, no matter the topic, and there's no sense in it because it essentially degrades the cause and pushes back any forward efforts made by others - not to mention letting the real opposition know that the activists are divided among themselves. So be it, they've known it for some time. It's sadly been done, and continues, here in the Barnett Shale. There's even opposition among "celebrity" activists around the country and that inevitably becomes more newsworthy than the cause itself. One of the worst examples of negative "activism" is that appalling woman in the northeast whose obscenity-filled, vitriolic verbal attack of a fracking advocate was enough to make an intelligent and sensible fractivist walk away from the effort. Yoko and party should have taken away her bus pass. So whether it's an activist hatefully attacking the opposition or one of their own, it's uncalled for, and will negatively impact the cause just as much as anything the industry or governmental legislation will do; too bad some people don't understand that. I found it interesting that a couple of you commented in your emails that you've many times found that one individual seems to try and "control" other activists and thus, further muddies the waters because the others submit like some kind of dutiful soldiers. Interesting, very interesting, thanks for that take. I could not agree more, and I've encountered that in pretty much every activist endeavor, and the problem is that those who align themselves with the controller lose a degree of credibility, not just because they align with that individual, but because they will almost always be misled while believing they are getting good advice and direction, and thus, their efforts in the cause will ultimately be moot or ignored. Every adult activist or concerned citizen can - and should - make their own decisions. No one person is "in charge" - it's about individual choice, individual approaches, and sensible activism, so there's no room for pettiness or critical sniping at those on the same side just doing what they can to help. And on that note, sorry there's no public commenting, but as you each already know, comments on these kinds of blogs are absolutely unnecessary as most of us are on the same page - and this is not a debate blog. And there is no reason for any of you kind commenters to be subjected to snide remarks made by aforementioned pot stirrer types with bad attitudes. Actually, and I know some of you will fully agree, we can all thank those types for making us realize, (what we pretty much knew going in even as we were trying to be idealistic), that (unpaid) blogging & tweeting for something you have little to no chance of changing for the better, is a waste of good time that you can never get back. That realization is priceless.

At any rate, please know I'll reply as soon as possible to each of your notes to let you know the latest.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Beast versus Beauty - Chesapeake's Enviro Melding Fail

Back in the 1960's, Lady Bird Johnson was instrumental in the passage of legislation called the Highway Beautification Act which called for the control of outdoor advertising, primarily the size, number, and placement of billboards, along America's interstate highway system. In an effort to encourage scenic enhancement of the landscape and roadside development, included in the HBA was the requirement that junkyards and other unsightly messes along those highways be removed or at least screened from public view.

"Getting on the subject of beautification is like picking up a tangled skein of wool," she wrote in her diary on January 27, 1965. "All the threads are interwoven -- recreation and pollution and mental health, and the crime rate, and rapid transit, and highway beautification, and the war on poverty, and parks -- national, state and local. It is hard to hitch the conversation into one straight line, because everything leads to something else."

Lady Bird first began her beautification efforts in Washington, D.C. but as she and her husband had driven many times from their home in the Texas Hill Country to D.C., she had become frustrated by the numbers of junkyards and billboards along the way.

She wanted the highways filled with green landscaping and wildflowers, and so began promoting legislation that would accomplish her goals. Supporters contributed millions of dollars in support . . . urban activists and environmentalists were thrilled . . . corporations, polluters, and advertisers were not.

The bill was fully supported and signed by her husband, then President Lyndon B. Johnson, and although lobbyists and Republican sympathizers watered it down and the provisions for enforcement were somewhat weak, the legislation passed and was nonetheless significant because it made a loud and clear statement across America that our land, in every way, is fragile and worthy of protection and preservation.

Unfortunately, that particular Act became convoluted over time and has not been effective in curbing and eliminating the problems it was designed to address. It is, in my opinion, just one more item on the very extensive "America's Shame" list. I was not a fan or supporter of the Johnsons, but I've longed admired Lady Bird's intent and efforts, and in my opinion, the HBA should be revived and restructured, not only in memory of Lady Bird, but also in an effort to beautify a land that deserves respect. 

Recently, a Twitter twit tweeted to me that I have not given any reasons for opposing gas drilling and fracking other than that "the equipment is ugly" . . . his comment, silly and obtuse as it was, partially prompted my writing this post.  

Given the nature of this blog (and the fact that there are at least 225 active gas wells within a very few miles of my home), I don't believe there's any doubt about my stance on this issue. And right here in the DFW metroplex, one can find several online sources offered by enlightened people who can provide, for anyone who wants to know, in-depth explanations, statistics, analysis, and studies about the gas industry and its operations and health & environmental impacts. I encourage anyone who does not fully understand this business or may be on the fence about it, to seek out those sources, most of which you'll find on this blog's sidebar, and you can read and learn about what really goes on in this big business industry, its government connections, and field operations. Therefore, there's no particular reason for me to to offer the exact same content in my individual posts, especially at the risk of a "cut & paste" appearance.

That all said, let's be real - the wells are here, they'll probably keep right on a-drillin', and so the best activists can do is push, push, and continue to push for stringent oversight and constant monitoring, stronger legislation, well-defined regulations and enforcement by city government and state agencies.

But in my opinion, it doesn't stop there . . . part of the effort includes the preservation of our land, from keeping it healthy to the simple issue of aesthetics. 

Now . . . to an update on the Chesapeake Day site on Ragland Road. 

You may click HERE and HERE to read about Chesapeake's alleged commitment to be "good neighbors" and how its Landscape Designer is "powering progress in the Barnett". 

In a direct - or indirect - response to this blog bringing attention to the lack of walls and designer landscaping at the Ragland Road site, the following photos show the brand new fencing . . .


Above you see workers installing the fencing .  . .

And below are new photos of the finished product . . . a basic, tall chain link fence.

Chesapeake Energy:
May we assume this is the completion of your fencing project and that it is your idea of melding a drill site into the surrounding environment?

Although you are evidently not legally required to adhere to the wall/landscaping requirements of the city ordinance, since these wells were drilled pre-amendment, if you truly mean what you say in your promotional videos, you should have already taken the initiative to construct masonry walls and install landscaping because it would be the "good neighbor" thing to do. It would have made a positive statement in your favor. 

Some years ago up in Wichita Falls, a former council member had an innovative idea and started a contest asking local artists to submit their ideas for building murals to be painted throughout the downtown area. His goal was to have 100 different murals created.

Several initial entries were submitted and an artist was commissioned to create the first mural, with funding from a local industry. But that wasn't what the gentleman had in mind - he wanted artists and volunteers to come forward for the simple reason that they wanted to see their city improved.

The program was then implemented through the Downtown Development/Public Art Program as the 100 Mural Project. And in addition to local artists and volunteers he hoped would come forward, he wanted to use the talents of those who were already painting downtown buildings - the graffiti artists. When asked why he would reward a graffiti artist who vandalized, he said because they're good - the only difference between graffiti and a mural is permission.

So to Chesapeake (and all other gas operators in urban areas of the Barnett), the Ragland Road Chronicle offers the following:

Implement a pilot program, starting with the Ragland site and targeting other urban sites located in open, obvious, and well-traveled areas . . . build a masonry wall and employ the talents of local artists to create fantastic works of art along the walls. The artwork could depict scenes that will pay tribute to the specific area's history (i.e. the Chisholm Trail mural in Sundance Square) or of landscapes, trees, plants, and flowers indigenous to Texas. Some sites could include "toned down" abstract graffiti art that would blend in, make a statement. 

The concept of building murals is not new to the metroplex as there are many throughout the cities, and there are artists - amateur and graffiti - who would no doubt be eager to lend their talents for either minimal remuneration or simply the public credit for their work.

It's evident the industry wants to portray itself as "community involved" and caring, while promoting the idea that gas drilling is safe and not harmful to people or the environment - and it's evident, too, that there are growing numbers of those who oppose you and will contradict what you say and promote. The aesthetically unpleasing qualities of sites like Ragland Day serve as blatant reminders to the public just how intrusive these well sites are in neighborhoods, around private residences, schools, parks, and businesses.

So even though the public will know what "lurks behind", you can at least tastefully and artistically "hide" these monstrosity drill sites.

Seems to me that while the giant elephant will forever be in the room, Chesapeake and other industry operators could take a progressive step forward by adopting ideas like the one suggested here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Here a Cluck, There a Censor, Everywhere a Clucking Censor

I begin this post by saying thank you to those who emailed the RRC the past few days with very kind comments about the blog, and their appreciation for my being (as a couple of them noted) "a rational blogger". And they expressed dismay at the "irrational" tactics they have witnessed locally on the anti-fracking side. One person insightfully wrote: "informed and rational activists take a positive leap forward and then one irrational activist pushes the cause back ten giant steps".

I couldn't agree more.

RRC advocates civility in blogging and any form of activism, and does not in any way condone or endorse those activists who rant, rave, and yell, who demean and belittle the opposition with obscenities and cruel name-calling, or post wildly raving commentaries that lack structured sense and substance. Issues can be emotionally-charged and it's one thing to be firm, passionate, assertive, even a bit sarcastic in trying to get your point across - it's another to be classless, offensive, and counter-productive.

Their comments reminded me of a recent video of an "activist" who went along for the ride on the Yoko Ono bus tour and I was appalled by her grossly verbal attack of Phelim McAleer who is promoting his pro-fracking film. While I obviously disagree with Mr. McAleer and do not support him or his film, I highly disapprove of the actions of that activist as she basically stalked him for several minutes, vid cam in hand, tossing out obscenities and calling him despicable names, attacking him in the lowest of ways. I don't care how passionate she is about this cause, her actions were unwarranted. One can Imagine that Ono, Sarandon, and particularly Gandhi may have regretted, at least her media presence on that tour.

That said . . . now to the primary gist of today's two-fold post, which, in a roundabout way is correlated to the concept of the rights of rational and concerned citizens.

The deadline for filing for the mayoral race in Arlington is March 1. As of this date, only one candidate has filed and let's be honest, this guy is not serious - he has basically no platform and admits he does not plan to campaign or spend money.

What I cannot understand is WHY the residents of a city of almost 400,000 continue to allow Robert Cluck to reign over what appears to be his own personal kingdom of local government, why he has been allowed to serve so many terms, and why no competent, serious candidates with integrity are challenging this individual. Surely there must be some qualified citizens of Arlington willing to run, with the intent of changing the course of this city after so many years of being led down so many wrong paths.

So the question begs:  Is there ANYONE in Arlington who will step forward, file, run a smart and serious campaign, and work for betterment in this city? Clearly, one of the more significant issues is that we need a mayor and council who will hold the gas industry to more stringent standards in operations throughout the city, rather than engage in biased and selective enforcement of ordinances. We need a leader and council willing to open their minds and consider the actual facts about past, present, and future drilling, rather than putting a "ton of revenue" ahead of citizen and environmental welfare and/or what they believe is the path of least resistance.

One of the more disturbing elements of Mayor Cluck's reign is his willful restriction of the rights of citizens to speak freely in council meetings. This selective censorship appears to be a growing problem here in Texas among certain elected officials, be it via council meetings or official Facebook accounts.

In this first video below (from May of 2012), Mayor Cluck announces that speakers must talk to the council and not turn around and talk to other people, and if you get "too exercised and start calling names or being disrespectful, you're through".

While RRC fully agrees that speakers should demonstrate respect and sensible restraint, Mayor Cluck's outline for acceptable behavior is open to interpretation - - his own interpretation, in fact . . . as you'll see in the second and third videos below.

And if you don't already know it, the decision has been made to remove the Citizen Participation portions of regular council meetings from the live-stream and archived videos. Although Council members were recently afforded the opportunity to request items be placed on the agenda for future discussion and although two members specifically requested such, King Cluck and his loyal subjects sitting right and left of center throne, denied it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances. 

As Robert Cluck is an elected official, I've no doubt he understands the origin of the above passage and what it is "supposed" to mean in America, at all levels of government.

The following videos are courtesy of local online interactive news media outlet:

One month later, here is a citizen speaker . . .
Did he talk to the Council? Yes.
Did he turn around and talk to other people? No.
Did he get "too exercised"? No.
Did he call names? No.
Was he disrespectful? No.
But . . . he was "finished" . . . silenced, censored by an elected official.

In the following video from a year earlier, a citizen simply wants his time to speak failry, but Mayor Cluck's response is to cut off the microphone so the speaker cannot be heard.

A citizen tells Mayor Cluck that he is a servant of the people and should yield the floor to those citizens. Cluck's response: Call the police down to "help" them out.

Citizens are heard commenting on Mayor Cluck's laugh, eye roll, and smirk.

"Take him out, take him out" the Mayor is heard saying; he says they need a couple of other people out because "we're trying to run a meeting here".

But that meeting is based upon citizen involvement, and yet, those citizens, likely voting and taxpaying citizens, are being "taken out" because the Mayor does not like that they are exercising their Constitutional right to free speech.

A speaker tells Mayor Cluck that "it isn't a laughing matter" to which the Mayor snaps: "I can smile if I want to!" . . . is this an adult talking?

Music intro . . . It's my party and I'll SMILE if I want to . . . 

The only reason these folks became emotional and had to raise their voices to speak out as passionately as they did was due to a specific "cause and effect":  

Mayor censors, citizens react. 

Someone, please step up to the plate, take a stand against stagnant local government, big business special interests, and the stifling of free speech and help move Arlington in a new and better direction for all citizens, future generations, and the environment.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Electrifying Views from Ragland Road

As if the Chesapeake Day site was not aesthetically unpleasant enough . . . directly across Ragland sits an Oncor Electric distribution substation, which you can read about HERE.

As you will see in these photos, it all makes for quite a picturesque scene.

And in that one particular area of Debbie Lane & Ragland - with the multiple gas wells, electric substation, transmission power lines, and convenience store gas pumps - if one were to erect a marker sign, it would read simply: "Humans were here".

The City of Arlington must be proud of these grandiose views.

As always, please click pics to get all the close-up details 

Looking to the south . . .

View toward the northeast . . . 

Oncor Web substation . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Flow of Gas Runs Through It . . .

Map showing route of pipelines around Ragland Road drill site.

Red dots indicate approximate location of XTO and Carrizo gas wells on nearby properties.

This map illustrates how gas gathering and transmission pipelines, as well as crude transmission lines, are running through areas and neighborhoods filled with humans, animals, homes, schools, and businesses - a fact which too many people, either uninformed, apathetic, or pro-industry, seem not to know or care about.

The gathering lines contain UNodorized gas, and according to city and industry sources, as well as the Railroad Commission, the pipes range between 2 feet - 4 feet in diameter and are buried underground between 3 - 6 feet, which, considering the size of the pipelines is not that deep.

The area shown in this map, while encompassing a great deal of land, is but one tiny section of the overall.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Barry Breaches Boundaries

Perhaps, as Chairman of the Railroad Commission, Mr. Smitherman could spend more time actually regulating the industry into full compliance, advocating for the rights and safety of innocent citizens, and protecting the sanctity of our land, its creatures, and our universal environment . . . and far less engaged in divisive and biased political motivations, the promotion of guns, and the cruel sport killing of living, breathing creatures.

Friday, February 8, 2013

PR Propaganda vs.RR Reality

Another clip from Chesapeake's Urban Site Planner, Cassie:

"We have urban gas drilling. We have to take into consideration that we have neighbors - it's a completely different canvas. I take great pride in knowing that we are looking towards the future for these neighborhoods."

powered by

Here is a collage of scenes presented for public consumption:

And below . . . is a glimpse into "Chesapeake Reality" at the Day site on Ragland Road in Arlington, Texas:

Even with colorful frames around
these photos, the site is still what it is:
A stark and unsightly contradiction to Chesapeake's propaganda which states - in their own words - that they are "good neighbors" concerned with aesthetics, that anyone walking by won't even know it's a drill site, that they need to go above and beyond . . . in other words, all is well in the Barnett Shale gas fields. 

While walls and landscaping would be a welcome change, the truth remains . . .  

So to all residents of Barnett Shale: Even though a site may not be openly visible, remember what is lurking behind those tall masonry walls and lined trees that Chesapeake, other operators, and your city governments praise in an effort to make YOU believe that as long as it's pretty to look at it, all is well in your world. 

Please click each image for a larger view of this ugly mess:


For another story about gas industry propaganda - very well presented @ Bluedaze by TXsharon, who tirelessly offers regular news and info related to the gas industry ...


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jeers to the "Sellout Five" and the Gas Industry's Mendacity

The Arlington City Council met yesterday evening to vote on Chesapeake's permit request for the Rocking Horse drill site referenced here on RRC in the "Ton of Revenue . . . " post of February 1.

You can read the backstory @ FISHCREEK MONITOR - THE ORDINANCE and IMMORAL for a clearer understanding of the issue and what took place at the January 22 meeting of the council.

A big shout-out here to that fractivist-blogger who has worked so diligently on this particular issue.

Beyond the fact that the drill site in question is only slightly over 300 feet from a daycare facility and in violation of city ordinances, beyond the fact that drilling and fracking operations pose a myriad of potential health and safety risks to the general populace, beyond the fact that some well-informed speakers made excellent points before the council . . . is the FACT that Chesapeake is currently in violation of the city ordinance, not only on that drill site, but multiple other sites around the area, and has been in violation per (at least) the past four quarterly inspection reports. It seems that if an operator has even one violation, ethics would dictate they should not be granted approval for any permit requests until they become fully compliant.

At the hearing, Chesapeake rep Lynda Gearheart was asked about the installation of the security camera and other violations, and surprisingly, it was Charlie Parker who posed the question and said before one drill bit goes through the gate, Chesapeake will be in compliance . . . to which Gearheart would not commit to camera installation compliance and had the sheer gall to state that Chesapeake denies being in violation.

But Parker FAILED, (as did other council members), to effectively and authoritatively follow-through by asking Gearheart how she, as a rep for Chesapeake Energy who undeniably knew they were in violation, had the pomposity to stand before the council and not only attempt to create some sort of individual set of rules for Chesapeake's compliance of installation of the camera, but to also deny what is documented truth.


Just as the industry's drilling and fracking operations permeate the entire Barnett Shale and the lives of all citizens, so does the industry's pure and willful mendacity.

The permit was approved in a 5-4 vote.

Parker voted against, but only because, according to his blog, Chesapeake was in violation, not because of residents' and fractivists' genuine and personal concerns about drilling.

Jeers to Commander Cluck and the Arlington City Council members for allowing the industry to so blatantly remain in non-compliance for an extended period and for continuing to give them free reign to drill, frack, and potentially harm untold numbers of people and pillage the land and our planet.

Copy of 4th quarter inspection report:

There is your signature, Mayor Cluck . . .

May the citizens of Arlington rightly assume that Chesapeake Energy, and all operators who have been cited for non-compliance of the city ordinance, have also been found guilty of a misdemeanor and have been, and are being, fined monetary amounts per day, per violation/offense until the violations are remedied?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gotta Give

When you look at the numbers of citizens in any given area versus the numbers of those individuals residing in the same who are involved in some form of activism, it's an extremely imbalanced ratio. And for the sake of everyone's lives and the future of this planet, it's an unacceptable ratio.

The only way to turn the tide in Arlington, Texas, or anywhere in this country, is for more citizens to become involved and work for betterment. And that carries with it, the responsibility of being intelligent, well-informed, and sensible in whatever form of activism one chooses to engage. RRC fully supports responsible, civil activism and does not endorse overtly-hostile behaviors in the name of activism as such are counter-productive to the causes and the concept of a civil society.

You don't have to be out on the front lines or speak publicly, you don't even have to start a blog (although it's a terrific platform) . . . you can simply read the blogs in existence, educate yourself, reach out to others for more information, sift through the sugar-coated propaganda thrown out by industries and corporations and the government and learn the actual facts . . . there is so much that every citizen can do, and even the smallest of efforts are meaningful because they equate to involvement, action, participation, steps forward.

But first, before all of that, you have to care and care enough . . .

So to citizens everywhere, please just look around, listen, pay attention to what is happening in your communties, your towns, your cities, your nation, and our planet.

And then . . .

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"We the People" = Only the Majority?

UPDATE to previous post about Arlington City Council Member Charlie Parker:

Found the video (below) from 2009:
In representing himself as a voice that has the power of the majority in support of the Titan drill site, Parker states that "WE THE PEOPLE of North Arlington want the royalties to flow . . . "

Understandable that if people sign agreements, they're entitled to receive royalties, but in addition to Parker's already-known stance on this issue: that he sees $$$ above all else, supports gas operators and drilling operations, and denies any possible negative repercussions from drilling and fracking . . . Mr. Parker also apparently believes, per this 2009 video, that WE THE PEOPLE includes those whose opinions and votes are in the "majority".


RRCreporter was under the assumption and belief that WE THE PEOPLE is an all-inclusive term for legal American citizens throughout this nation.

Mr. Parker goes on to say that he has "flown fighters all over the world off aircraft carriers to try and preserve the democratic process that you guys are gonna use here this evening". . .

Get over yourself, Mr. Parker - your work as a pilot and flying missions in Asia, the Persian Gulf, and Meditteranean have ZILCH to do with American citizens' rights to free speech and the current democratic process in the 21st century.

And then he adds this amazing little gem:
"I don't know when it's been right in American society to knowingly go out and do the wrong thing."

Mr. Parker, here's a $64,000 question for you:  

Does that statement apply to Chesapeake, Titan, XTO, Carrizo, Quicksilver, Vantage, every gas operator in the Barnett Shale, and City Council members who vote in opposition to the safety and welfare of Arlington citizens? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Ton of Revenue" Trumps Fracking Fallout

This post refers to a drill site located in Arlington, several miles from the Ragland Road area, and the purpose here is to illustrate two issues: One related to local government, in this case the Arlington City Council proceedings, and the other having to do with the unwavering mindsets of those who fully support gas drilling operations.

First, a quick shout-out! to ALL of the local activists who appeared at that meeting in opposition to the SUP request - THANKS for your efforts.
From the Arlington City Council Evening Meeting - January 22, 2013:
At issue: Zoning Case SUP09-10R1 (Rocking Horse Drill Site - 4945 South Collins Street) A request to amend the SUP by establishing the location of the drill zone and by changing the SUP boundaries for gas drilling on a 6.331-acres tract of land zoned Community Service within Airport Overlay 1 (CS-AP1) and Medium Density Multi-Family within Airport Overlay 1 (MF18-AP1) and generally located south of Caplin Drive and east of South Collins Street.

At the Council meeting, an activist spoke to the issue of gas wells located close to area airports and concerns regarding unregulated multiple emissions, specifically the mixing of gas well emissions and jet fuel/airplane fumes.

Upon completion of her entire speech, here is the "response" by Council Member Charlie Parker:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Mr. Parker, in his zeal to defend the almighty "ton of revenue", engaged in an argument which had nothing directly to do with the concerns about fuel fumes and gas well emissions broached by the speaker - and he made seemingly definitive statements about safety and airport workers that he, in fact, simply cannot back up with any degree of certainty. But moreover, he completely disregarded the absurdly illogical act of drilling gas wells near airports.

It seems the primary responsibility of City Council members should be to:
(1) Represent the best interests of ALL citizens in every issue heard by the Council;
(2) Listen fully to statements made by citizens during public council meetings;
(3) Respectfully ask questions pertinent to the issues being considered; and
(4) Participate in all sessions free from bias or pre-determined opinions and fairly take every point made into consideration when voting.

It does not seem, however, to be the right of any City Council member to step up on his soapbox in response to statements made by citizens in council meetings, and it certainly is not appropriate to attempt to engage a citizen in argument/debate, to speak with disrespect to, or even vaguely demonstrate a negative attitude toward any law-abiding citizen of this city. The public, when attending council meeetings, is expected to abide by a standard* of decorum, and it seems only fair that the same standards - if not higher ones - should apply to Council members, in each new session, regardless of their personal feelings toward the topics of discussion or toward individual speakers.

*RRCreporter notes here that it is the responsibility of ALL citizens and activists to conduct themselves with that decorum and sensible behavior when speaking before the council or in any venue. To behave irrationally is counter-productive to any cause.

One has to wonder if Mr. Parker is actually uninformed and close-minded or if he simply denies and evades due to a personally biased position on the issue. He, at least publicly, seems so sure, (as do too many others around the country), that there are absolutely no health risks to the general public, no dangers of increased seismic activity or environmental damage, no need to even consider the potential for a myriad of negative consequences caused by drilling/fracking . . . so certain there is no cause for concern.

But Mr. Parker . . . what if you, what if other Council members who agree with you, what if all individuals in this city and state and nation who are associated with and/or so staunchly supportive of the industry . . . WHAT IF ALL OF YOU ARE WRONG?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Artists Against Fracking Bus Tour

Tom Shepstone, Enery Indepth Campaign Director, calls the bus tour a "stunt" and wonders aloud if it was connected with Sean Lennon releasing an album . . . . . . typically vacuous speech from the opposition with no basis for substantive argument.

Newsflash Mr. Shepstone:

Ms. Ono, Mr. Lennon, and Ms. Sarandon need not orchestrate some kind of stunt for publicity . . . they are all well-known celebrities, connected, financially wealthy, and still very much in the public eye.

Arun Gandhi said it best: "We have to recognize that we are committing violence against nature, against resources, against environment, and eventually this is going to destroy us, destroy humanity."

Thanks! to Ms. Ono, Ms. Sarandon, Mr. Lennon, and Mr. Gandhi for your genuine fractivism! Please know that you would be greatly WELCOMED should you ever wish to visit Texas and see what's happening in our state ~


Gas Industry CEO Entitlement, Luxury, and Lack of Ethics

Chesapeake CEO McClendon steps down after year of tumult

Aubrey McClendon will step down as chief executive after a tumultuous year in which a series of Reuters investigations triggered civil and criminal probes of the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer.

Report from Reuters is HERE


A person familiar with the terms of McClendon's departure said it was being treated as "termination without cause," ENTITLING the CEO to some of the most generous benefits laid out in an employment contract that details a wide range of severance scenarios.

McClendon is ENTITLED to total compensation of about $47 million. That figure includes $11.7 million in total cash compensation based on McClendon's salary and bonus, which will be paid out over a period of four years. It also includes restricted stock awards already given to McClendon that have a value of $33.5 million, the person familiar with the compensation package said.

He is also ENTITLED to deferred compensation of about $800,000 and personal use of corporate jets that could be worth up to $1 million over four years, the person said.

Huffington Post article is HERE


From 2012:
The lavish and leveraged life of Aubrey McClendon

According to internal documents reviewed by Reuters, the unit's accountants, engineers and supervisors handled about $3 million of personal work for McClendon in 2010 alone. Among other tasks, the unit's controller once helped coordinate the repair of a McClendon house that was damaged by hailstones. 

Fourteen miles south, at Will Rogers World Airport, Chesapeake leases a fleet of planes that shuttle executives to oil and gas fields -- and the McClendon family to holiday destinations. On one trip, the clan took flights to Amsterdam and Paris that cost $108,000; McClendon counted the trip as a business expense. In another case, Chesapeake logs show, nine female friends of McClendon's wife flew to Bermuda in 2010 without any McClendons aboard. The cost: $23,000.

Closer to home, McClendon pursues another of his passions: the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA franchise in which he owns a 19 percent stake. As with other assets, McClendon has melded his Thunder interest with Chesapeake business. The energy company signed a $36 million sponsorship deal, and it pays up to $4 million annually to brand the stadium Chesapeake Energy Arena.

What hasn't been previously disclosed is that McClendon mortgaged his future proceeds from the team to secure two bank loans. The AKM unit, the jet flights and the Thunder relationship are part of the lavish but leveraged lifestyle that McClendon has built through Chesapeake, America's second-largest natural gas producer.

From the 111-acre corporate campus that he shaped with a meticulous eye for detail, McClendon has intertwined his personal financial interests with those of the publicly traded corporation he runs to a far greater degree than shareholders may realize, according to interviews, public records and hundreds of pages of internal Chesapeake documents reviewed by Reuters.

McClendon, 52, has put longtime friends on the Chesapeake board and showered them with compensation. Restaurants he has co-owned occupy buildings owned by the energy company. A Chesapeake executive has handled the CEO's personal land and oil- and gas-well transactions.

Few outsiders are privy to the sophisticated universe of services that Chesapeake provides McClendon.

Read more HERE


Click image for larger view:


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Designer Landscaping or Au Naturel?

Quote from Cassie King, Urban Site Planner, Chesapeake Energy:

"The public does not know I exist, the public doesn't know that we have someone that does landscaping . . . having to put trees around a well site seems like, it's a little bit different . . .
it's about making sure that we screen it properly and that the people that are walking by it
don't even know that it's a drill site . . . it's something that melds into the surrounding environment . . . the industry has decided that we don't just need to come in and drill, that we need to be good neighbors and that we need to go above and beyond for everyone because we're going to be here for awhile. I'm Cassie King, I'm a landscape designer and I'm powering progress in the

RRC reporter agrees with you, Ms. King, that the public does not know you exist, as evidenced by the stark absence of "designer landscaping" around the Chesapeake Day site on Ragland Road in SE Arlington.

According to the city, Chesapeake did not comply with the landscaping and fencing requirements per the amended ordinance of November, 2011, because the wells were drilled prior to that date . . . the city claims they are attempting to get Chesapeake to comply and that masonry walls should be up in the next few months.

** Curious why gas operators are given such broad allowance for non-compliance, while general citizens are expected to follow the law and all the rules . . .

No word on the landscaping, which would be a welcome change, but no matter how beautiful the trees and shrubbery, no matter how talented the design landscapers,
no matter how high the wall - they cannot conceal the fracking truth.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Scenes from a monster gas well site

And here is the lovely bonus of gang graffiti . . . which likely does not translate to "Property of Chesapeake" . . .