Barnett Shale gas producers caught with their hands in the cookie jar

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Mike Norman wrote an excellent piece that shines a spotlight on industry tactics evident at the meeting of a committee advising the City of Fort Worth on a study to better characterize the emissions from natural gas production in the city. 

I happen to serve on that committee, and here is my take on this week’s events. 

The City of Fort Worth wants to conduct a study to obtain much-needed data on the actual emissions from gas drilling and production taking place in the city. Getting accurate and representative measurements of air emissions from an industry with more than 1,200 actively producing wells in the city (and 500 more already permitted) will be a challenging and costly undertaking. However, the need for such a study is indisputable, given the existing public concern stemming from limited studies conducted to date and the prospect that — according to city staff estimates provided to the committee — the current drilling activity might represent only 20 or 30 percent of the ultimate level of development.

If gas producers in Fort Worth want to put the air pollution coming from their facilities in context, as the Star-Telegram reported, it is their prerogative to do so. In fact, the largest gas producers are conducting their own such study right now. If for no other reason, an independent city-sponsored study is still important and should not duplicate industry’s project.  

The city-funded study should focus on the basics:  independently identifying and quantifying the pollutants released during the natural gas production process and assessing the resultant risk to city residents. 

Natural gas producers should not impede the city’s efforts to better characterize their industry’s air pollution. After all, if industry’s claims are true that the natural gas production in Fort Worth does not produce harmful emissions, then they should have nothing to fear from a thorough and independent city-sponsored study.

This entry was posted in Natural Gas, Texas. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted April 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    great post. I think this needs to be fixed about gas prices

  2. Decker
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Not only were their hands in the cookie jar but they are also on the voting levers. The City of Ft. Worth, at Mayor Moncrief’s request, included these companies on the panel and gave them full voting rights. This study MUST be independent of the operators.

  3. Posted May 6, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Paper cant wrap up a fire.

  4. Posted May 26, 2010 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  5. Posted May 26, 2010 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Excellent information here. This interesting post made me smile. Maybe if you throw in a couple of pics it will make the whole thing more interesting.

  6. Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!

  7. Posted May 26, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you for another informative blog. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

  8. Posted May 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi vey nice interesting blog im from newcastel i found this on aol I’m in the crane hire company business,i found this blog very interesting good luck with it i will return to this blog soon

  9. Posted May 31, 2010 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    I think you have a great page here… today was my first time coming here.. I just happened to find it doing a google search. anyway, good post.. I’ll be bookmarking this page for sure.

  10. Posted June 2, 2010 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    Recently, I did not give whole lot thought to commenting on weblog articles and have left feedback even less. Viewing your useful piece of writing, might inspire me to do this again.

  11. Posted June 2, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Very nice and helpful information has been given in this article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. Thanks. . .

  12. Posted June 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to share this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  13. Posted June 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Your work has always been a great source of inspiration for me. I refer you blog to many of my friends as well.