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Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm a Pepper, are you a Pepper?

Last night Chesapeake held a community meeting at the Southwest Branch Library to discuss progress on the Bruder Gas Drill Site located at I-20 and Park Springs in Arlington, Texas.

This location is slated to have up to 19 wells with four six leaseholds converging on one pad site.  In other words, the nearby residents will experience the  negative impacts of the process such as truck traffic, dust, fumes, and noise while others benefit from the royalties.  Somehow this does not seem ethical, but it must be fine since Chesapeake has an ethics representative who happened to be present at last night's meeting.

Before the meeting began, we learned that a resident who asked Chesapeake for a copy of their mineral lease was inadvertently sent a spreadsheet containing the names and social security numbers of lessors.   That was a huge mess!  Supposedly, Chesapeake attempted to make things right by offering LifeLock to the parties involved.  

The overall vibe in this community meeting room was contentious.  On their own website page (shown below),  Chesapeake forewarns us about this:  "At each council meeting, a small handful of vocal opponents pepper the council with dishonest reasons to stop progress and take away your rights as mineral owners."

In our estimation, there is no reason for a person to be dishonest if they oppose heavy industrial  mining operations where they live.  The facts about the process alone, along with the industry's history of accidents is scary enough reason to oppose this type of activity.  

There were many peppery type of people at the meeting last night, but sadly, the majority of the folks in the room are still concerned about receiving their royalty checks which are not being mailed as quickly as expected.  One woman actually believed she would receive $300 a month!  In a subdivision where most homes sit on quarter-acre sized lots, taking away one of the zeros will probably be more realistic.

One gentleman in the room did not hold back expressing his lack of trust in a company that is under investigation with the SEC.  He appeared frustrated when no one in the room could answer his questions - one being whether or not  Chesapeake sells their gas at the Henry Hub.   He should have received "The Pepper Award" for presenting the most challenging questions. 

What was both disappointing and surprising was that no one talked about The Process which is taking place - in this neighborhood - a mere 300 feet from homes.


  1. Aubrey McClendon: Chesapeake Energy’s Little Problem
    By Dory Hippauf

    Chesapeake Energy - Diagram

  2. The woman thought that she was going to get 300.00 dollars a month because that's the lie cheasapeake told her to gain access to her minerals....

  3. Mineral Rights may very well supersede surface rights, but no mineral right owner, and certainly not problematic gas companies like Chesapeake have the right to interfere with my property, my water, my air and health. EVERY natural gas site brings along heavy semi truck traffic (diesel exhaust) wreck the roads that were not designed for such heavy loads, destruction of surface area (3-10 acres) decimation of property values (who the hell wants to live next to a toxic waste facility?) and of course, the many leaks, spills and constant toxic emissions that either drift into my home and onto my property. Not to mention loss of land and future use and enjoyment of that land due to pipelines, and let's not forget the soon to be installed compressor station, which runs (when it's operating correctly) 24/7 emitting even more diesel exhaust, high noise levels that ruins any semblance of peace and quiet and the constant vibration.

    No gas company has the right to trample all over me so that someone else can get money or so that someone may have a job. If you are a mineral right owner, and for whatever moronic reason you want to lease your minerals, knock yourself out. But keep all that shit that generated on your property CONTAINED on your property.

  4. We would gladly pay every penny back (with interest) if Chesapeake and the entire gas industry promised to go away. The average monthly royalty of $19.64 is not worth risking my family's health over the fumes we are being exposed to, the MANY sleepless nights due to noise and vibration, and the eyesore of their pad sites with all the new pieces of equipment they keep setting up. Now we hear that as more wells are drilled, more pieces of equipment are brought onto these sites. These produce toxic emissions and can be very noisy.

    The ONLY reason we accepted the bonus check (because at the time we did not need that money nor were we desiring to lease our minerals) was because we were told that we might as well accept it because they were drilling whether we signed or not. This is BULLYING and our City should have ZERO TOLERANCE on that issue. Our schools have a zero tolerance on bullying, so isn't this sending a mixed message to our children?

    Perhaps young people are allowed to behave this way after they graduate and get a college entry position with Chesapeake and get indoctrinated and trained to become landmen or gas & oil executives. We hear they had a lot of layoffs recently (we were wondering what happened to Charles Davis & Laura Patton), but now they are hiring a lot of college kids. They can probably pay them lower wages. Maybe that explains all the screw ups and lost division orders.

    Another thing we were told is that we would never know they were here, as they would be MILES AWAY. Five thousand two hundred and eighty feet equals one mile, and in many instances, these dangerous industrial mining zones are 300 feet from homes. This is both unacceptable and unsafe. They are correct in saying they would be miles away because we do have a half dozen sites within a couple of miles of our home. I believe if these operations are allowed to continue, we will be seeing big cancer and disease clusters all across the Barnett Shale in the not too distant future.

    Back in 2008 when landmen were signing entire neighborhoods on, there was hardly any information available for families to make an educated decision. If all of the risks were spelled out in our contracts for us to read before we signed on the dotted line - in a similar fashion as a surgeon provides the patient before performing an operation - people would not be feeling as frustrated and angry.

    Companies that willfully choose to conduct business in an unethical way should be shut down. Period.

    1. Excellent. Thank you for saying it so well. Just thought it was so interesting how the Chesapeake rep who was leaning up against the front wall so casually during that recent Community Meeting (as he tried to explain ~ and very badly ~ how people just need to understand that he's "in charge" of these "college students" who he has to train and they make mistakes)!!

      Wow. Doesn't that just say so much about this casual they are about our property and our lives? That was an unbelievable moment to witness. Seems the Chesapeake "Rep" (said he had worked with the company for 9 years) needs to go back to school himself. Or maybe get some he can see some reality for a change.

  5. what interest me is the division orders. I find it interesting that the division orders are not sent out as quickly, or some are not sent out at all. Since the money is not getting distributed then it is drawing interest in an account somewhere. Who is drawing the interest on all the money that is not being distributed..? It would be in their best interest not to get the division orders out at all. After all they have jumped through the necessary hoops to drill and profit and all they need to say is that they made an attempt to contact everyone to properly distribute the funds even though the funds are not being distributed at all.

    1. @Anonymous at 8:56 AM: So, let's get this straight, shall we? You think that Chesapeake may be holding on to the royalties longer than they really need to so as to make interest off of the money that is sitting in a bank account somewhere?

      Hmmmm...that certainly makes some sense since they seem to be having financial difficulties. But is that legal? Or is it legal but just not very ethical?? (Did you know?? There is a new Chesapeake Ethics Director!!)

      Not sure about your last statement/sentence. Maybe you could clarify that.

      We do know that some who received sizable "bonus checks" early on did not really "own" their minerals. For whatever reason, they truly thought they did. We have discovered that title searches were not always initiated (or EVER initiated), completed or even accurate. (The shale gas rush didn't have time for such detail, don't you know?)

      So, prior to setting up the "real" royalties via Division Orders...this information MUST be accurate and to make rock solid sure, title searches are conducted.

      It all makes us wonder how much of the "Bonus Money" paid out to so many "rooftops" in Arlington (the new term for "Tract #s, apparently) was paid to people who did not really own the mineral property!! We think it must be a lot and Wow! What would the shareholders think about that?? $$$$

  6. Oh, forgot to mention ~ "I'm a Pepper."

    Are you a Pepper, too? :=)