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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fracking Truck Traffic in the American Dream City

Photo attribution:  Fort Worth Star-Telegram

XTO has occupied the American Dream City again. 

This operator plans to drill four more unconventional gas wells at the Sue Barnett Drill Site located on Southeast Parkway in Arlington, Texas.  This heavy industrial site shares its fence line with a pretty horse and red barn, a lovely country home, and a small mom-and-pop business strip.  It sits catty-corner to a community college, next door to a subdivision of homes, and down the street from a junior high school and an elementary school.  It was quite the unexpected large-scale operation one would expect to see inside any residential community

It felt like a war zone this week as convoys of wide loads of Hodges fracking trucks filed in endlessly onto the pad site hauling all sorts of heavy industrial equipment and numerous tanks marked with "Danger" signs.  Even portable office buildings and trailers rolled in.  

Police in black unmarked FBI-looking vehicles ~ except for the flashing lights ~  escorted the massive trucks onto the pad site.   They appeared to be "police" since they had police patches sewn onto the sleeves of their shirts giving the impression that they were law enforcement.  These men were hired by the same trucking outfit they were escorting.  Thus, they did not issue a single citation for the numerous times their drivers violated the designated truck route which is clearly spelled out in the site stipulations for this particular drilling location.  We are waiting to hear back from the City to see what went awry.   

This week may have been Spring Break for many, but not for those of us who are trapped in Gasland...

*We heard back from the City, and here is the UPDATE:
Amount of Fine:  $0.00


  1. Those are not official city police even if the word "police" is written on their trucks and shirts. There is a law against impersonating law enforcement by the way.

    1. We learned that one of the men is a Reserve Police Officer from Decatur. What is interesting is that he was hired by Hodges Trucking Company to help escort these trucks to the drill site. It makes sense that he wouldn't want to bite the hand that feeds him. He admitted that the drivers mistakenly took the wrong route all morning due to their GPS. That is a lame excuse since a GPS is programmed to take the shortest route, which is not usually not the way these truckers are authorized to travel through our communities. There are specific rules for each drill site, and it is XTO's responsibility to make sure that these rules are followed, and the City's responsibility to enforce these rules.

  2. Very well written article! Every city that allows drilling has stipulations in drilling permits that designate approved and legal truck routes for public protection. Operators violating prescribed truck route requirements should have their permits revoked and their projects shut down. Allowing operators and their subcontractors to violate the terms of the permit weakens local authority over unscrupulous operators leading to even more violations.

    Operators constantly claim that they want to be good neighbors and good corporate citizens. When they openly violate the terms and conditions of permits they prove that they are liars and frauds who only care about maximizing their own profits at the expense of society in general, and they need to be taken to the woodshed over those violations. If they cannot abide by terms and conditions of permits, then they need to cease operations and go find some other line of work.

  3. Thank you, Marc! Could not agree more. The City should revoke their permit and shut down the operation ~ especially since this was not their first offense. They violated the designated truck route in June 2013 after they completed their last well. If they are openly violating the rules, there's just no telling what might be going on behind those walls where citizens are prohibited from entering.

    Should we think they will behave differently here in the Barnett Shale than they did in the Marcellus Shale? Check out the link in the beginning of this story. XTO was fined $2.3 million by federal agencies for committing environmental crimes. Now they are doing business down the street from our homes.

  4. XTO, like most drilling companies, has a long list of code violations in every state where they operate. I am so glad we were able to prohibit their operations in Dallas because there is no reason to assume they would have operated any differently in Dallas than they do everywhere else.

  5. A violation was documented, and XTO goes scot-free? Well, aren't they special.