Trailer Talk's Frack Talk: Why a Mayor Was Forced to Leave His Town Because of Gas Drilling
Continued from previous page
You talk about the economic benefits ... The town gets tax dollars from the drilling. The minerals are taxed at the same rate as the surface is taxed. And that's a benefit; that's money we got. In Dish, we've had to spend every bit of that money just to try to get the human rights that we should expect anywhere in the United States.
Artel: What company are you dealing with with this extraction of the natural gas?
Tillman: There are five companies that are involved in the compressor station. We have one driller. And there's a couple of other companies who have metering stations in the area. So I'll go through all of those.
The compressor station is Crosstex Energy; Chesapeake Energy; Atmos Energy; Energy Transfer; and Enbridge. The metering stations are owned by J-W Operating; Atmos; Crosstex; and Enterprise Texas Pipeline. And the driller, which, oddly enough, is the most reasonable one to deal with, is Devon Energy. And Devon Energy probably has a lot of things that they could do a lot better, but they voluntarily do green completions; they voluntarily don't flare; they voluntarily do a lot of things that you would have a hard time forcing the Chesapeakes of the world to do.
Artel: And speaking of Chesapeakes, I spoke with one of the representatives who is in New York at the DEC ... the first hearing with the Department of Environmental Conservation. So, I spoke with one of the representatives, and that was my first conversation with one of the natural gas representatives, and they really are good salespeople. I mean, that's their job, right? -- to sell this energy; to paint the picture that everything's going to be okay.
So, Chesapeake -- it's not been so easy, then, dealing with them?
Tillman: Well, Chesapeake and a few of the other companies ... whenever I really need someone who can make a decision, they typically send me a public relations person instead of a decision-maker, and you take that public relations person ... if it gets out of his 10 question/answers, he doesn't now the technical aspects of what's really going on. He is just that. He's a public relations person.
And with someone like Chesapeake Energy, Chesapeake has leveraged on the prospects of their wells and how much those wells are going to produce, that it wouldn't take much for them to be in a bankruptcy situation, or something of the sorts, where they may go off and sell all your leases off to somebody else, and you don't know who they're going to sell it to. They're going to sell it to whoever's going to pay them for it. And so, that's one of the things about Chesapeake that folks need to really know, is that they are very highly leveraged and they're not very well-managed.
Artel: And that definitely presents a very potentially detrimental situation for a county, for a town, in trying to manage the economics of their town.
So, you mentioned the noise pollution. You mentioned air quality that's happening. Could you elaborate a bit about, then ... what's happening, then, with the air that you're breathing in Dish?
Tillman: The gas at the well sites are not odorized, so you have a difficult time knowing that you're getting emissions off of the well site 'cause it's just not odorized unless you're right up on top of it. However, this massive site that they've allowed to be permitted is huge and there's so many emission sources that can possibly come from.