Letters: Wednesday, April 11, 2007
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Lives on the(Gas) Line

To the editor: Peter Gorman’s “Perilous Profits” (March 28, 2007) was an explosive article. He gave us facts the gas profiteers would never divulge. Their “landmen” sound like mafia bullies, using the strongman tactics that pervade the landscape of the Barnett Shale gas rush. Safety is not a consideration — just sign on the dotted line, please. It ought to concern the Texas Legislature and even the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration. People’s safety is at stake, and the fact that neophytes are recruited to operate machinery with no real experience is a major factor that could use some regulatory action and/or licensing requirements.

The propensity for explosions brings the matter into our own neighborhoods. We have Mssrs. Holsworth, Stovall, Young, and Hogan and Ms. Janovsky to thank also for alerting us to the inherent dangers of gas drilling and the ramifications that go far beyond the profit margins to gas companies. Human lives are at stake!

Kelli Jones

Fort Worth

To the editor: I appreciated Peter Gorman’s fine article on gas drilling. The arrogance of drilling companies needs to be addressed. They aren’t the ones living on top of the gas lines they’ve talked homeowners into leasing the rights for.

Hiring inexperienced drillers and operators may be cost-effective to the gas companies but what about the general population at large? The bottom line is to hell with safety, but with apparent impunity as far as gas executives are concerned.

Thanks to the investigative staffers at the Weekly who don’t mind literally digging up the dirt on those who jeopardize our lives. It’s reassuring to know that our hometown weekly gets to the jugular of the story.

Pat Conley

Fort Worth

To the editor: I read the article “Perilous Profits” in Fort Worth Weekly. Thank you for being so thorough and informative.

I live out on Benbrook Lake. We have recently been told 20 wells are to be dug on the old Mercer Ranch directly north of us. There are 200-plus homes in here, some of which have been there for more than 50 years, and all of us are on [water] wells. None of us have been asked to sign any kind of release or permission.

Carol Whaylen

Fort Worth

To the editor: I read with interest Peter Gorman’s article regarding landmen and their tactics. In my town of Hickory Creek, our mayor pro-tem is a landman. He’s most active in town right around election time, campaigning while he buys leases. Lately his line has been “I’m the mayor pro-tem, and this is going to happen, so you might as well sign.”

Oil and politics, even in small-town Texas! Thanks for all your great coverage of the real issues.

Rodney Barton

Hickory Creek

Sidewalks Shouldn’t

End Here

To the editor: Dan McGraw’s piece in the Weekly “Here’s Where the Sidewalk Ends” (April 4, 2007) is compelling. Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief ought to take the initiative and get with the program to build sidewalks, discrimination aside.

Many folks view those of us who are handicapped as being substandard and expendable people, but we’ve paid our taxes and should benefit from the Americans with Disabilities Act. The sidewalks are needed not just for us with varying handicaps but for the pedestrian traffic as a whole.

As for cost, the money is there, but no one wants to spend it. Think of the millions Fort Worth is reaping from its gas leases — and yet they pussyfoot around on the sidewalk issue. This is empirical evidence of greed and not taking care of people’s needs.

Teresa Johnson

Fort Worth

Correction

In the article “Taken for a Ride” in the March 28, 2007, edition, Jaime Hunter’s name was spelled incorrectly.

Additionally, the story inaccurately described how a Fort Worth couple first heard of the company called Horizon Travel. They were not contacted by a travel agency representative while on board a cruise ship. They first talked to a Horizon agent by phone after returning home.

Fort Worth Weekly regrets the errors.




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