The citizens of the shale spoke out Monday night at the city of Fort Worth's gas drilling task force meeting, and they weren't too happy. Here's Mike Lee's full story on the meeting.
The meeting at City Hall was the first chance for residents to make their views heard in front of the task force, which is charged with revising the city's drilling ordinances, particularly on noise issues. It was also the first public meeting since Chesapeake Energy put in its application to drill a well on Eighth Avenue near Elizabeth Boulevard, on Fort Worth's near south side.
The City Council chambers were packed, mostly with people who said they had been on the wrong end of transactions with gas companies.
"The last thing I hear before I got to bed is the compressor," said Joe Cardillo, who lives near a facility in north Fort Worth that he said complies with the current ordinance. "The first thing I hear when I wake up in the morning is the compressor."
Others complained of gas company tactics.
"These people fight you with no mercy," said Bill Mitchell of Aledo, who lost part of his land to a right-of-way for a pipeline and said that even $100,000 in attorney fees couldn't get him so much as a hearing in court.
William Fisher, who said he had been a senior attorney running pipelines for a Houston firm for 25 years, said he was in disbelief that companies planned to pipe "raw unodorized gas" through neighborhoods.
And Jerry Horton, who lives on Carter Avenue and was the subject of a recent Star-Telegram report about plans to build a pipeline down her street, said the task force couldn't make changes fast enough.
"We don't need it tomorrow," she said to applause. "We need it now."
-- Richard Stubbe