"Drill right Texas" seeks to reduce impacts of gas drilling

The Oil and Gas Accountability Project has kicked off a campaign to make natural gas drilling friendlier to surrounding residents and to the environment in Texas.

The group's "Drill Right Texas" proposals include several recommendations that have been made in cities and at the state Legislature over the last five years, including greater setbacks between drill sites and homes; closed-loop drilling systems to eliminate open waste pits; and more monitoring for air and water pollution.

The group successfully pushed for similar changes in Colorado and New Mexico, although it wasn't a quick process. "The length of time it takes to pass some reforms (has) varied from a very short time frame to years," project director Gwen Lachelt said. The group opened a Texas chapter to help lobby for reforms in the Barnett Shale gas field, part of which lies underneath Fort Worth. More than 1,000 gas wells have been drilled in the city, and 14,000 have been drilled in 15 surrounding counties.

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