Letters to the Editor

Fracking and quakes; Day for Bedford

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at a drilling site.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at a drilling site. Star-Telegram

Fracking and quakes

Scientists have concluded that the injection of fracking wastewater deep into the ground in North Texas likely causes earthquakes, because this water lubricates faults in the earth that normally don’t move.

You can bet the oil and gas industry wants us to ignore these conclusions, and the Texas Legislature, including our Sen. Konni Burton, wants to eliminate reasonable local controls on energy production — all in the name of property rights and the convenience of producers.

But what about the rights of those whose homes could be damaged by earthquakes? Particularly those who don’t own the mineral rights under their land. Why are they ignored?

And why is it wrong for communities (i.e., cities like Denton and Fort Worth) to decide for themselves how to protect their own health and safety?

Konni Burton is picking a winner here, and it’s ugly. My guess is that her concern for energy producers is based on their clout — and the campaign contributions she has received and expects to receive.

This is not conservative government. This is the state telling you to get out of the way and be quiet. It is wrong, plain and simple.

— John Morris, Fort Worth

A recent study from Southern Methodist University, despite some flaws, represents a valuable contribution to our understanding of man-made earthquakes. But your April 23 editorial (“Commission should heed study on quakes”) only served to confuse the public more about this issue.

The Star-Telegram claimed the study “showed that high amounts of fracking put strains on fault lines that were already stressed.”

But one of the study’s co-authors, according to The Associated Press, stressed that fracking “is not physically causing the shakes.” Separately, SMU has stressed that their research is not primarily focused on the fracking process.

We can debate how “fracking” has been redefined to mean whatever an individual wants it to mean. But science is objective, and the processes studied must remain carefully defined. Put differently, if the SMU study were used to justify new regulations on the fracking process, they would not effectively address the issues identified by SMU.

We should stay focused on solutions, which is what the residents of Azle and the rest of the Metroplex want. That means letting hard science guide our decisions, and making sure we’re careful not to misdiagnose problems.

— Ed Ireland, executive director, Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, Fort Worth

Darryl Day for Bedford

It’s amazing how some candidates change their message when running for office.

Recently, Bedford Mayor Jim Griffin has added words about animal welfare to his mailers and website in his campaign against challenger Darryl Day.

In the past, Griffin publicly stated that improving animal policies was not a high priority in Bedford. He demonstrated this by refusing to have city staff study alternative ways to reduce the kill rate for kittens and cats at the shelter and save tax dollars as many other cities have done.

Griffin’s sudden interest in animal welfare is unconvincing and is just one example of why Darryl Day will be a more responsive mayor for Bedford residents.

— Sheryl Frederick, Bedford

Talking to Bedford residents while supporting Darryl Day’s run for mayor, I’ve heard many reasons why they’re unhappy with the status quo.

Taking on unneeded debt, not spraying for mosquitoes, plans to build more apartments, inconsistent code enforcement, vacant storefronts and ignoring citizens’ inputs are just some of the issues.

I was on the Animal Shelter Board and tried to get the city to consider new ideas but was road-blocked by Mayor Griffin despite a lot of citizen support. At first I took this personally, but now know many others have received similar treatment.

Darryl is a fresh alternative for more inclusive government. He’s running because he wants to give Bedford residents a voice they don’t have now, which will be the start of a more positive era in the city.

— Connie Stout, Bedford


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