Report: Texas Doesn’t Monitor the Oil and Gas Industry Very Well

by jim on September 26, 2012

Yesterday, Downwinders at Risk was one of about a dozen groups that  was proud to help release new Earthworks report that shows just much Texas state government is neglecting its duties to protect the public health and safety from the risks posed by oil and gas industry facilities.

"Breaking all the Rules:The Crisis in Oil and Gas Regulation," reveals that states with some of the largest concentrations of those facilities – Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado –  fail to enforce their oil and gas development regulations. But you knew that.

What you may not know is the full extent of the problem. Bolstered by interviews with former regulators and a year-long examination of the data, the report concludes that:

  • 296,000 active oil and gas wells in Texas were uninspected in 2011.
  • Companies that are found in violation of regulations are rarely penalized: in 2012, only two percent of violations have been penalized to date.
  • Penalties are so weak that it is cheaper for violators to pay the penalty than comply with the law: the total value of financial penalties in Texas in 2009 was less than the value of the gas contained in a newly drilled gas well.

Go read the whole thing over at Sharon's. Good work.


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