I have been struck by recent quotes from individuals whose lives have been personally affected by oil and gas operations on their property, so I thought I would share them:
"I used to think environmentalists were wacky people that just didn't want to make money." This quote comes from Elizabeth Burns. Her family owns a 38,000 ranch in Texas which sounds like it is a poster child for drilling gone wrong. Ms. Burns has an active blog and YouTube videos where she posts with both humor and very serious evidence of air pollution, leaks and spills, oozing toxic waste, and more on thousands of acres of her ranch. She has filed litigation and is also being countersued for her outspoken criticism.
"I'm a drill here, drill now, kind of guy, but I want them to do it responsibly and respect property owners." This quote comes from Tim Ruggerio. His family owns 10 acres in Texas. One day when they were not home, their neighbor called to say someone had bulldozed their fence and their horses were running loose down the road. It was a drilling company. When Tim went to take photos, company representatives told him that if he did not stop they would get a restraining order and he would not be able to return to his own home. Since drilling started, the Ruggieros have experienced black fumes blowing into the small amount left of their yard where their daughter can still go outside, intensive noise, and an enormous spill of what appears to be drill cuttings, right in their own backyard. Videos of all this can be viewed at the Bluedaze website.
"I don't think we've asked for the moon here. I mean, Norma just wanted water, for goodness' sake." Victoria Switzer, one of 15 families in Dimock, Pennsylvania, who are suing a company that contaminated their drinking water. I have blogged about Dimock in the past, another poster child of drilling done wrong. Dimock has experienced spills, leaks, fish kills, and groundwater contamination.
"We do not want to be difficult or take advantage of anybody; we only want what is fair. Please restore our neighborhood to what it was before this drilling occurred. Hedgehog is a big hill and allows enough room for drilling and people's homes." This quote comes from a letter signed by over 30 residents of Hedgehog Lane in Bradford Township, Pennsylvania. These families have experienced contamination of their water wells, air pollution, intensive noise, and more.
It's not only us wacky environmentalists asking for change in our nation's laws that govern oil and gas production. It is everyday people whose lives, health, property and finances are being harmed every day, as well as people who want to hunt and fish, ranchers in the West, farmers in the East, and more.