Archive for September, 2012

The Gardendale “Berry Scar” Memorial has been desecrated! Last night, apparently drunken vandals of very low moral character defaced this memorial with such vulgar and profane images that we will not post pictures at this time. More commentary to come.

Local Media awol?

Posted: September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Dallas Observer published this yesterday.

Report: Enforcement of Texas Oil and Gas Laws Is Kind of a Joke

Dallas Observer | Brantley Hargrove

September 26, 2012 Read this article on the publishing site

Anybody who is at all familiar with the Texas Railroad Commission won’t be surprised to learn that the almighty oil and gas regulator isn’t exactly aggressive in its enforcement of the rules. The highly political commission’s contradictory charges are to promote oil and gas development while holding the developers accountable. You can guess which charge usually wins out. Earthworks, the nonprofit oil-and-gas accountability outfit, helpfully quantified the commission’s lackadaisical approach to enforcement in a recent report.

It’s helpful to understand the scale of oil and gas development in Texas. Between 1993 and 2011, the number of active wells increased by 24,000. Meanwhile, the number of inspectors decreased by 20. That means each inspector is responsible for inspecting, give or take, 2,700. That is, of course, not physically possible. Earthworks estimates some 300,000 oil and gas facilities weren’t inspected in 2011.

And when they do make it out to a well, inspectors find more violations. In places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, home of the Marcellus and Utica shales, inspectors find about 0.1 or 0.2 violations per inspection. In Texas it’s 0.6. In Pennsylvania, they take one enforcement action for every three violations. When Texas inspectors found violations, about 2 percent were referred to the enforcement section in 2012. In 2010, only 1 out of every 160 violations was referred for enforcement.

Not that the commission’s penalties have that much bite. They were set in 1983 and have not been adjusted for inflation. They are so laughably low that it often makes economic sense to break the rules.

Earthworks isn’t exactly hanging out on some radical limb. The Sunset Advisory Commission has said much the same thing — that the Railroad Commission is not fulfilling its role in deterring illegal activity. In that regard, they could stand to do a little less coddling and a little more Al Armendariz-style crucifying.

Thing is, there are some easy fixes if only the state would fund the commission at the level it needs to oversee the largest mineral plays in America. For starters, Texas could hire more inspectors. And while we’re at it, the state could codify criteria for enforcement actions instead of leaving it up to inspectors to interpret. Raise the penalty a mounts, so that violators don’t snort through their noses at the prospect of shelling out a few thousand bucks as their wells many draw barrels and cubic feet of valuable commodities worth many times that.

None of this would slow development in the slightest. But oil and gas are the brightest of bright spots in the Texas economy right now.

Promised Land

Posted: September 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
For those in Gardendale, watching the trailer for this film takes us back to 2010 when Gray Surface Specialties began their assault on our community. Lies, intimidation, and threats abounded from Gray’s landmen. This film, if it delivers the message, will raise the national awareness to the heavy-handed, rapacious activities of many in the oil and gas industry. For you “good” players out there in the oil patch, the time is now to distance yourselves from the “bad” ones. That distance comes from doing the right thing by people. “You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16
Promised Land Official Trailer [HD]: Matt Damon, John Krasinski & Frances McDormand

The official trailer for ‘Promised Land’ starring Matt

Union Drilling pollutes Gardendale

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Union Drilling, UDI, is now operating within 150 feet of several homes and families in Gardendale.  According to UDI’s company info, “We specialize in shallow to deep horizontal drilling in select oil and gas producing basins of the United States.” Why then is a UDI rig drilling so close to homes in Gardendale?  If UDI has the technology to get away from homes but does not, then that must mean that Berry Petroleum ordered them to deliberately disrupt, and endanger the residents of Gardendale.  

Berry Petroleum has the choice to move these operations away from homes and families, but we cannot move our homes and families away from Berry Petroleum’s dangerous and deleterious activities.

UDI investors need to know what’s happening here in Gardendale.  Contact UDI 4055 International Plaza, Suite 610 – Fort Worth, TX 76109 – Tel: 888.488.0570 – Fax: 817.546.4368

Radioactive rod loose in West Texas

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

From Texas Department of State Health Services
Sept. 13, 2012

“A Halliburton crew was transporting it from a well outside of Pecos to another well south of Odessa. On arrival, the crew noticed the shielding was not locked and the device was missing.”


Not locked!  Are you kidding?  A radioactive device treated like somebody’s lunch box!

Just one more reason these types of operations should not be allowed near where people live.  South Odessa, like Gardendale, is home to thousands of people who are being endangered for the profit of others.  Economic progress does not come without a price to some, and a reward to others.  Rise up South Odessa and demand justice!


Berry Tales Volume 7: The (s)Taking

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Berry Tales” are real, first-hand accounts of how residents of Gardendale, TX have been treated by Berry Petroleum and their ‘landman’ representative, Gray Surface Specialties. In this episode, Mr. Hector Rodriquez recounts how Berry’s representatives, harassed his 88 year old mother, threatened a restraining order, and staked to appropriate 1/2 of his 6 acres to drill an oil well 130 feet from his home!

RSP Permian says landowner rights aren’t always dominant! We are making progress!