Archive for May, 2013

Simple buffoonery? Or something worse?

The saga of the Unsecured Gate continues. This photo was taken by the landowner whose property was previously left open for trespassers. It is true after prompting Berry did put in a gate and a length of chain with a lock on it. However, ProPetro apparently did not get the memo about PROTECTING THE LAND THEY ARE ON FROM TRESSPASSERS! Does the right to exploit the minerals give them the right to disregard the safety of the landowner? We know Berry Petroleum has sophisticated Environmental, Health and Safety standards and some of their managers are EHS people. They can produce volumes of EHS standards which they swear by in addition to having fancy EHS folks on the payroll. But they can’t seem to keep a gate shut and locked! It has been said that if one is faithful in the small things then he or she will be given charge over the great things. If Berry Petroleum can’t keep a gate shut (thereby protecting the landowner and his family) how can they be trusted to follow all of the EHS standards they allege to have in place? We offer a solution to help make them a better company; hire Moms and school teachers to enforce their safety and environmental standards. Moms will make sure the employees and subcontractors close and lock the gates behind them, are properly dressed (in fire resistant clothing with hard hat, steel toed shoes and safety glasses), have their H2S monitors on and have washed behind their ears. School teachers should be hired from the innercity schools being closed in Chicago; tough as nails and ready to stare down and put into time out any employee or subcontractor caught misbehaving or breaking the rules. An elegant solution which will provide jobs and improve the somewhat tawdry image Berry has gained in Gardendale. We encourage Berry to take a small amount of the money being exported to Denver and hire folks used to controlling groups of unruly students and children; Moms and schoolteachers!

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Gate Finally Secured!

Posted: May 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Gate Finally Secured!

Kudos to Berry for getting it right! After several promptings from this website they finally locked the gate! What have we learned from the Incident of the Unsecured Entrance? We have learned that Berry, in fact, has the right to put a gate on your land where they choose best. We have also learned that that their contractors don’t put securing your land at the top of their priority list. They may leave it wide open to trespassers for days on end! However, after several photos, prompting and hundreds of views (the majority of them viral) on this website and associated facebook page) they moved to get it fixed! Thank you Berry for making your contractor secure the property owner’s entrance after days and days of complaining. We do understand how difficult it is to find subcontractors that actually care about such minor things as our security, but please make them Pinkie Promise that in the future they will not leave our properties wide open to anyone that wants to trespass. We understand the difficulty you face and will help you by posting any future security indiscretions that are brought to our attention. Sincerely, your pals at the Gardendale Accountability Project FYI, if a gate is properly secured it might actually protecty Berry’s property, also!

BOHICA GARDENDALE, BOHICA!

Posted: May 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

BOHICA GARDENDALE, BOHICA

When Berry Petroleum began their exploitation of our community they stated they had plans to drill on ’40 acre spacing’.  However, sometime later they admitted to drilling ‘test wells’ on 20 acre spacing. Their own website now states they may drill the original 140 wells on 40 acre spacing and an additional 160 wells on 20 acre spacing. That is 300 wells! As they have currently drilled less than 100 wells (as far as we know) they are just getting started on the transformation of Gardendale from an idyllic country community to an oil and gas industrial complex. Think that sounds bad, right? Well, BOHICA Gardendale! Read some of the transcripts of their calls to their investors. Read the dispassionate discussions about the business, technical details and how excited they are about drainage patterns on 12 acres! You thought they would drill a few wells, move on and then everything will be back to country living! Think again! If they drill on less than  20 acre spacing how many wells will we have? 500? More?  Berry will proudly show their shiny new centralized gathering facility and the H2S monitors they donated to the GVFD and then wonder why many folks hate what they are doing to Gardendale.  BOHICA Gardendale, BOHICA!!!!  

More Berry Insecurity….

Posted: May 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

WireGate

The morning after our report of the tresspassers on the wide open land of a landowner in Gardendale (a cattleguard with no gate was installed) a gate was installed, apparently by a Berry subcontractor. The job appeared hurried as the photo shows. The gate appeared to be misaligned. No doubt Berry spent thousands of dollars having the gate installed. It is unfortunate that after all the expense it was simply secured with a 5 cent piece of wire. We understand that it is hard to find subcontractors that are avaiable and competent but couldn’t someone have gone to Wal Mart and gotten a chain and padlock? Perhaps the appearance of security is as valuable as actual security. I wonder if at the entrance to the gated communities of their (Berry’s) executives they settle for the appearance of security? Is that good enough for their own families? Is it? Apparently they believe it is good enough for ours!

Gate1

Berry spent good money having the cattleguard installed on this access road from Highway 158. Unfortunately the space between the fence and the ground on the sides of the cattleguard is large enough for a dog or other animal to squeeze through. Well, I suppose if the purpose of the entrance is to protect the landowner from stray cattle, then it has been successful! However, the occasional tresspassing bovine is not what we worry about in Gardendale. We worry about the human tresspassers that have free access to our properties, homes and families because of the lack of a gate!!! I am confident Berry’s money spent on this cattleguard was appreciated by the subcontractor but is this the kind of security that Berry really wants for the landowners? The individual owning the surface wants better security to his land than a cattle guard that any Tom, Dick or Harry in a vehicle can drive over! And that at any time of any day! Our hope is that the official Berry Monitors of this site (KGB company) will ask Berry to fix this!

Berry Security..or...Open Season on landowners? You decide!

Berry Petroleum recently cut a landowners fence and installed a cattleguard on an access from Highway 158 to private property in Gardendale to exploit the minerals under the land. Easily traverseable by vehicle the wide open entry was not posted nor any arrangement made (that we could see) for security at the entrance. The landowner spotted a ‘mule’ (4 wheeled vehicle) riding around on his property. With the help a neighbor they chased and stopped the tresspassers at the cattleguard. The young men explained they believed it was ok to come on to property to look at the drilling pad (the drilling pad near the cattleguard courtesy of Pradon Construction) and nearby rig and did not see any signs at the entrance. They apologized to the landowner, were courteous and expressed remorse for the trouble and anxiety they had caused. What Berry may consider ‘adequate’ in terms of security can be questioned. Do they not have an obligation to protect the land they are using to expoit their minerals? When the landowner lives a short distance away on the property do they not know how much anxiety it causes the landowner and his family to realize they are vulnerable to anyone driving across a cattle guard? Would the executives of Berry Petroleum want their families to live with the uncertainty that this landowner is forced to live with? The laws in Texas allow a person to reasonably protect his land. We are glad that this ended peacefully without any violence as restraint was shown by all parties involved…because a young child was present with the men trespassing. One of the trespassers, when he understood what had happened, commented the outcome may have been negatively different if he had experienced the same violation on his own land. We call on the Berry monitors reading this web site to fix this serious security issue!

See it, snap it, tell it!

Posted: May 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Recent reporting of a safety issue in Gardendale was followed by that safety issue being fixed. Did our reporting have anything to do with it? The company involved would probably say no, but we do know that after it was reported they fixed it! If you know of any safety issues involving the oil companies and subcontractors in Gardendale, please let us know so that we may consider posting them.  A few rules:

1) No trespassing. You can take photos from right of ways and on private land if you have the owner’s permission.

2) Don’t overgeneralize. For example, a comment submitted that says something like “XYZ company sucks.” won’t be considered.

3) You must be willing to stand by what you claim and send in. Anonymous complaints or complaints of “I want you to know but I don’t want to be involved” won’t likely be considered unless it can be verified independently.

4)Profanity not allowed. “Those @#%$#&@ ran over my pet goat with one of their company trucks!” Will be edited, if possible before use.

5)Gardap has the right to (and will) independently verify  and edit anything you send.

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