Downwinders Participates in First Earth Day Texas Oil and Gas Symposium

by jim on March 20, 2017

Downwinders at Risk is proud to be taking part in the first annual Responsible Shale Energy Extraction (RSEE) Symposium & Exposition, happening over two days at this year’s at Fair Park in Dallas, Friday April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd.

Climate Change superstar Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, Fracking health-effects lecturer (and Downwinder friend) Dr. Anne Epstein, and the Texas Railroad Commission’s own Ryan Sitton will also be participating, along with lots of others.

UTA’s Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation, or (CLEAR) is the event’s primary sponsor and organizer, with an assist from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation in Houston. Some of you may know the late George Mitchell as the inventor of fracking, but even he had serious second thoughts about the way the technology was being used.

The Symposium is an attempt to round-up scientists, industry advocates, environmental groups, and technology developers to talk both about fracking’s very real problems, and possible solutions, in an open forum.

Since 2012 CLEAR has been out and about collecting samples throughout the Barnett Shale and other plays, identifying surface water and groundwater contamination issues that may or may not be directly linked to fracking itself.  This is the first time in its history the group has taken on the task of sponsoring a two-day conference. Almost every aspect of unconventional shale mining, or hydraulic fracturing, will try to be addressed.

Everything is being run out of “The Westminster Abby of Texas,” Fair Park’s own Hall of State. A complete schedule is available here.

Downwinders’ Director Jim Schermbeck appears as part of a roundtable discussion on fracking in general, comparing the perspectives of landowners, gas operators, public health and environmental advocates and scientists. It includes water entrepreneurRichard Seline (AccelerateH20), TRRC Commissioner Ryan Sitton,Laura Buchanan, Executive Director of the Texas Land & Mineral Owners Association , and UTA’s own Kevin Schug.

Maybe you’ll want to come by The Hall of State Friday and mention to Commissioner Sitton how much you dislike the fact that BlueStone wants to put a new injection well on the shores of Lake Arlington. Or show-up on Saturday to see Dr. Hayhoe wow ’em again. But anytime you decide to visit Earth Day Texas, please make sure you come by and say hello to us at the Downwinders table over in the Centennial Building.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Fred Fredrickson April 13, 2017 at 8:11 pm

We’re looking forward to the Environmental Law & Policy Symposium—“People, Planet, and Profit” at Earth Day Texas so we can hear Scott Pruitt assure us that Global Warming is a complete and utter hoax and really the earth is cooling toward an ice age, that sea levels are getting lower to the point of threatening to restore the Asia-Alaska land bridge, that there’s never been a single documented case of ground water being contaminated by fracking, that earthquakes could not possibly be caused by anything related to fracking, that ozone is essential for human life, that ‘nucular’ radiation is helps the human body manufacture new cells to replace our worn out parts, that coal dust is an essential ingredient for human lungs and coal ash is beneficial for rivers, that the earth is running out of CO2, that solar energy is against God’s laws and wind electricity depletes the world of a vital resource (and kills birds), that no American cities have ever had lead in their drinking water because it’s physically impossible, that pesticides in food contribute to human vitality, and that new drug testing is unnecessary provided that drug companies conduct in house testing, and that the Endangered Species Act should be abolished because the Dodo bird is not really extinct.


Fred Fredrickson April 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm

We’re also looking forward to hearing Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton tell us how the RRC “protects” citizens. Sitton has accepted $700,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. He commonly accepts contributions from companies while their cases are being reviewed. In Texas, that is not a bribe – it is just “the way we do business.”


Fred Fredrickson April 17, 2017 at 9:04 pm

We’re also especially interesting in hearing Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton speak about how oil and gas have never contaminated public drinking water. He won’t tell you about the cancer cluster in Houston’s Chasewood subdivision, which the Texas Railroad Commission ignores. Twenty to thirty percent of Chasewood, Tx residents have died of cancer. Phyllis Bailey testified before the Texas Railroad Sunset Commission that “For decades our families, children and pets drank and bathed in poisoned water.”


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