I had an interesting experience this Sunday. I was scheduled to speak to a local homeowners association. The turn out was great, around 400 people guessing from how full the auditorium was. A member of the Homeowners association went before me and did a great job giving about a 10 minute speech regarding things he had seen on a recent trip to Fort Worth and his concerns regarding the impact of the Haynesville shale on this inner city neighborhood.

My turn came to speak and I began my usual talk. I told folks how I got involved in all of this (see my last blog for all of that) then began discussing the impact of the Haynesville shale and mineral leasing. I discussed environmental concerns such as noise and air pollution, water usage, etc.

I was discussing the importance of assuring your lease protects your environment and limiting how close a well can be to your home, etc when a man raised his hand. I stopped and asked if he had a question. The next thing I know this man (who happened to work in the oil and gas industry) was up on the stage and behind the podium. I stepped aside and he proceeded to say he thought he was supposed to speak and that people did not have to worry about putting things in their leases to protect their homes and environment. He stated (rather sarcastically) that the department of conservation prides itself on being strict on oil and gas companies. He also stated that people in Shreveport did not need to worry about the water issue because they do not get their water from an underground aquifer.

A lady in the audience stood up and stated she did not mean to be rude but she wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say. The man gave the podium back to me. I then made the point that while Shreveport gets their water from Cross Lake it is not an endless resource. If they are using an extra 4 to 5 million gallons of water per day during drilling of each well from Cross Lake and the civil demand increases from the increased population that is bound to come with prosperity, water conservation could become an issue in Shreveport just as it has become one in Fort Worth. I also pointed out that the laws and regulations have loopholes and the best way to ensure your concerns are addressed is by including clauses in your lease that address them.

I told the group that they should research everything well before signing a lease. But I also invited our uninvited speaker back up to the podium to finish his thoughts. In the few minutes he was up there several people in the audience challenged him with questions or statements regarding the need for conservation. Here is the thing folks, We should be willing to hear what anyone has to say. Everyone is going to tell you things based on their own agenda. Take what anyone says with a grain of salt, but listen. That is how we learn. What happened Sunday was a shining example of how some in the oil and gas industry will try to disrupt things and try to convince people not to protect themselves and their environment in their leases. It also showed that we need to be willing to research, listen and confirm for ourselves what is true and what is false in order to make the wisest decisions about our land and minerals.

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Comment by Danny F Driggers on August 23, 2008 at 6:18pm
Kassi, you seem to know about the oil and gas leasing, etc. and I admit I do not know enough! Please tell me if it is a good idea to state in your lease that horizontal drilling is NOTpermitted when the well is put on the adjoining section and not on yours, therefore, keeping you from getting royalties on anything pulled from your land from the well that is actually in the adjoining section and they will get your royalties. Am I wrong?
Comment by sesport on August 16, 2008 at 12:41am
Kassi - for those who think you're an alarmist, I say go ahead and "wake everyone up." Your comments at the meeting were, I'm sure, meant to motivate people to be proactive because to be reactive after the fact may be too late. You get an A+ in my book for a well rounded presentation.
Comment by Lee on August 15, 2008 at 6:34pm
Although Shreveport gets its water from Cross Lake, countless surrounding small communities get their water from water district wells. The Wilcox aquifer runs through East Texas and up into N. LA. and I think we are absolutely right to be proactively concerned about protecting all our environment, not just the water. Thanks, Kassi, for all you've done.
Comment by Kassi on August 15, 2008 at 5:23pm
I got a call from a member of the association referenced above yesterday. It seems the man who got up at the meeting had been asked to put some information together for a different meeting. It is possible he got the meetings confused. Given that it certainly puts a different light on his coming up to the podium and speaking. I stand by my thoughts that we differ on the importance of ensuring environmental protections are at the forefront of drilling and leasing as much as possible. I think drilling can take place in an environmentally responsible way as long as we are aware.
I do think, however, I have to retract my statement that he was there to disrupt the meeting. With flurry of meetings going on I can see where he may have confused the meetings.
Comment by Dan Carter on August 15, 2008 at 4:14pm
You're an alarmist!
Comment by MB on August 12, 2008 at 9:02pm
Ms. Kassi, appreciate the responses. You're honest and a straight shooter. Best
Comment by Kassi on August 12, 2008 at 4:39pm
To try to answer some of your questions:
1. The man only said he worked in oil and gas. He did not mention a company.
2. People do take notes at these meetings. As to if the people who ask me to speak have an official note taker I do not know as I am a gues speaker not a member of the organization. What I do know is I tell them they need to research and be sure they understand anything they sign prior to signing it. This particular neighborhood has a lot of Attorney's and such living there. The President of the home owners association that asked me to speak is an attorney.
It is my understanding Fort worth is still studying the potential need for future conservation of water. The point I was making was people need to look at everything and make sure they sign a responsible lease if they choose to lease. The concerns of those in town are different from those of us in the country to a great degree but some are universal and making sure, if possible, that the companies use as much environmentally friendly technology as is available (like recyling as much of the waer as possible, 10% I think) is wise.
Comment by TRG on August 12, 2008 at 12:38pm
"If they are using an extra 4 to 5 million gallons of water per day during drilling of each well from Cross Lake and the civil demand increases from the increased population that is bound to come with prosperity, water conservation could become an issue in Shreveport just as it has become one in Fort Worth. "

Kassi, Many people in Fort Worth were worrying about the same thing when the drilling started in the Barnett Shale. I do however know that multiple groups have done studies on the water use of Oil and Gas companies and have concluded that the industry uses LESS THAN 1% of the total use of freshwater in the area. Please see the article http://www.fwbusinesspress.com/display.php?id=6051
Comment by MB on August 12, 2008 at 7:44am
Ms. Kassi, add'l question: Is anyone designated to take notes at these meetings? Are the notes vetted by legal representatives and posted anywhere? Are any attorneys present at neighborhood town meetings to assist sifting through the "wheat and chaff"? Respectfully
Comment by MB on August 12, 2008 at 7:41am
Along with Jay: Curious as to which org or company he represented. Best

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