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EARTHQUAKES: FACTS VERSUS FERVOR

Mark Campbell, Guest Editor


Mark Campbell,Editor – Azle News 

I went to an earthquake meeting and a religious revival broke out. Only the anti-oil and gas faction that attracted hundreds to 404 West Main Street Jan. 13 in Azle weren’t preaching the Goods News – proclaiming to shine a light on the evil political devils down in Austin who were clearly a plague on the good people assembled! Like a revival, the well-oiled non-profit machine whipped up potential converts into frenzy. Special speakers – why, one had driven all the way from Dallas, imagine negotiating that distance and down the Jacksboro Highway even… what a miracle! – descended on Azle like locusts. They declared that they were just like the audience – sick of those elected representatives who thought of themselves as rulers who dashed regulation legislation 100 percent of the time while lining their pockets with oil and gas money. The Bad News trumpeters bombarded the assembled with facts and figures as dizzying as any itinerant preacher strafing Bible verses among tented listeners. Each speaker drew applause whenever denouncing Austin or local representatives. Like plants in a faith healer’s revival, the Bad News crew, had their own scattered throughout the building. Whenever audience attention lagged, a lady near me would burst into applause at a mundane point, her ear-piercing clapping picked up by cohorts with the entire gathering eventually joining in. Gasmask Man make an appearanceA guy in a gas mask stood around like one of those fellows hired to dress up in a gorilla suit and dance in front of a used car lot; Gas Mask Man’s hand-scrawled poster board demanded: “Ban Fracking Now.” After the Bad News was drilled and reiterated into the buzzed crowd, it was time for the altar call. Who would answer? New disciples jumped up, professing their devotion into the microphone of a speaker who had bolted into the audience, then rushing to the stage – in full view of the Metroplex TV cameras, of course. The new followers were anointed as Azle’s “steering committee” and charged with continuing the spread of the Bad News. All that remained was to pass the plate. The gathered were informed that a bus full of Azle residents, now clearly educated with the truth, would take Austin by storm! Heck, from what they were seeing from the stage, it might take two, five, or even 10 buses to hold everyone! The crowd went wild. Now, a love offering (as we Southern Baptists say) was necessary, of course. While a generous “anonymous” donor was helping pay for the bus and even the Sierra Club was pitching in, it would be necessary to pay $15 each to secure a seat on the bus. “Wait, what?” said a few lukewarm members. But what a small price to pay to get your voice heard in that Central Texas political den of iniquity? Soon, armed with paperwork and postcards to send to elected officials, the born-again believers walked out into the brisk New Year air, invigorated by the Bad News. And, verily, the Bad News locusts flew away to alight… who knows where next? Just maybe, however, the Azle faithful should pause and keep gathering some pertinent, local information from additional, reputable sources so they’ll be well armed with bona fide scientific facts and figures when they arrive at the Capitol. Can I get an Amen? Mark Campbell is Editor of the Azle News located in Azle, Texas about 25 miles NW of Fort Worth. Azle is near the epicenter of 32 mild earthquakes in the last two months. Permission was granted to reprint the above editorial from the Azle News January 13, 2014. The opinions expressed are solely of the author. Mark Campbell can be reached at (817) 270-3340 or markcampbell@azlenews.net.

EX-CONGRESSMAN: MISUSE OF SCIENCE A GROWING PROBLEM

From the Desk of Will Brackett, Managing Editor Powell Shale Digest

Over the past few years, it seems there has been a rapid growth in the number of so-called “studies” that concern one aspect of shale exploration and production or a related activity. As you well know, rarely it seems do these supposedly scientific studies come without an agenda, regularly being carried out by researchers or funded by parties that are either strongly for or against shale development, oil and gas, or fossil fuels in general. Therefore, not surprisingly many of these studies seem aimed more at generating headlines that advance the views and cause of a particular side rather than contribute anything of scientific value.

In the December 2013 issue of Newsline, the monthly publication of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Charles Stenholm, a former Congressman from Texas (17th U.S. House District), who presently serves as a Government Relations Advisor for the Alliance, laments this proliferation of what has come to be sometimes called “junk science” Charles Stenholmin his Oil Patch on the Hill column. Stenholm’s point is worth repeating, and so I am offering it here. Stenholm writes:
“A growing problem in our country is the use (or I should say misuse) of science. Research projects are being carried out, papers are being published, and even books and movies are being written and produced, which are not based on sound science, yet espouse certain beliefs that too often influence, even drive, legislative goals. Worse yet, such beliefs have manifested into executive fiat, in spite of the fact that the original research was neither peer reviewed, nor subjected to a cost benefit analysis. In short, personal philosophy is trumping use of legitimate, sound science.”

Stenholm goes on to lament this misuse of science to attack the oil and gas industry with the goal of influencing regulatory decisions.
“However, allegations regarding the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water quality must be substantiated by scientific, peer reviewed research. The same can, and should, be said about water disposal wells and their possible effects on earthquakes. Fair and rational regulation must be based on science.”

Stenholm urges the oil and gas industry and its supporters to abide by the highest scientific standards and questions why the news media and policy makers don’t seem to be holding environmental activists to the same lofty standards.

AFTERMATH OF PA ACT 13 RULING: WIDESPREAD UNCERTAINTY

NGI's Shale daily Shale Daily
Aftermath of PA Act 13 Ruling: Widespread Uncertainty
Jamison Cocklin
December 27, 2013

Unconventional Wells in Pennsylvania"Operators may simply have to pay closer attention to where they decide to do business."

As a clearer picture emerges from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's recent ruling that struck down key provisions of the state's most comprehensive oil and gas legislation, the court's decision is likely to have repercussions for a decade or more, sources say, with the impact extending across the spectrum and touching more than just the pace of the industry's operations in the Marcellus Shale.

In fact, many agree that...(read the rest of the story).

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OGIFLEXMAP- DATA RICH. TRUE VALUE. TEXAS WIDE.

Data Rich. True Value. Texas Wide. You know about FlexMap's powerful map features and deep data content. FlexMap has changed. Now the time has come for OGI to place a value on FlexMap. For a minimal monthly subscription fee of $9.95, the OGI FlexMap will continue to deliver the powerful data-rich mapping tools that has made it so popular with it's users. As a subscriber you will continue to be able to view, select, search ALL parcel, well and abstract data features and select and view pipeline features.Subscribe to FlexMap and get full data access

The new monthly subscription fee for FlexMap will insure that you continue to get access to a quality, inexpensive online mapping application. Thousands of people have been relying on FlexMap for fast and accurate Texas GIS data and we want to remain your choice for Texas' online oil & gas map. Subscribe now.

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For more information call (361) 904-0071. Want to try the FREE version, click here.