comments_image Comments

Trailer Talk's Frack Talk: Why a Mayor Was Forced to Leave His Town Because of Gas Drilling

Major Calvin Tillman left his beloved community of Dish, Texas (that has 60 gas wells) to protect his family from the dangers of natural gas drilling.

When the Mayor leaves town you know something is very wrong.

When residents of a community need water delivered that's also an indication.  

Do the gas companies expect us all to move, to leave our homes and neighborhoods?

It seems that this doesn't bother them at all, in fact if you think about it this makes the industrialization of the area more complete and grants even easier access to the shale gas operations. Major Calvin Tillman left his beloved community in the tiny town of 200 residents of Dish, Texas (that has 60 gas wells) to protect his family from the dangers of natural gas drilling. His two sons were getting sick from exposure to the shale gas industry in his community. They were waking up with nose bleeds and were having respiratory challenges among other adverse health impacts. So, like any responsible parent, in order to protect them and provide them with a better life he left. How many people are being ousted from their communities by this industry, what are the implications of these forced migrations by citizens throughout the country?  

A voice from the Barnett Shale to the Marcellus...Mayor of Dish, TX, Calvin Tillman and Sabrina Artel traveled to Dimock, PA in the winter of '09 where Calvin was bringing fresh water to the homes of some of the residents who lost their water since the natural gas drilling operations began in their town. In Dish where Calvin lives the rapid spread of drilling and well sites has created unsafe polluted air, a massive industrial site where their homes are located, loud disturbing sounds, children with frequent bloody noses, sick horses and a complete loss of quality of life. Calvin Tillman wanted to meet the people throughout the region of the Catskills of NY and the adversely impacted areas in Dimock, PA to offer his support and share any knowledge he's gained about fighting the gas companies. Since we traveled to Dimock Calvin has sold his home and had offered any gas executive his home to live in for one year free of rent (no takers) if gas drilling is so safe and pleasant to live with in your neighborhood.  

Calvin recently co-founded Shale Test with Tim Ruggiero, of Decatur, TX who also knows what life is like when industry moves in. ShaleTest.org is a new national group that has a mission: "To provide lower income and compromised individuals with environmental testing of their drinking water, air and soil that might have been impacted by natural gas development. Currently, Shale Test has testing volunteers in Texas, Pennsylvania and Arkansas, and is recruiting in other states. Calvin Tillman says, "I have seen a real weakness in the availability of quality environmental testing across the United States to all families, especially in lower income areas. Therefore, citizens must rely on poorly equipped and understaffed state agencies to protect them, Shale Test will level the playing field for these people."  

Mayor Calvin Tillman and Tim Ruggiero are on a tour of the Marcellus (a fourth visit for Tillman) and are touring parts of PA and NY this week being hosted by community groups, Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy (C-CARE), Un-Natural Gas.org and NYRAD in NY among other sponsoring groups. Here's what Calvin Tillman shared with Sabrina during their travels to Dimock, PA...  

Sabrina Artel: Welcome to Sabrina Artel's Trailer Talk. Trailer Talk's " The Marcellus Shale Water Project" is a combination of live events, sound pieces, radio broadcasts, home movies, and an evolving interactive web site that you're welcome to participate in. We're exploring the impact of natural gas drilling on New York's water resources, and the issues being debated in our neighborhoods throughout the country and globally.

See more stories tagged with: