Eagle Ford Shale and the Texas Fracking Built

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA worker stands among the myriad of pipes needs to get over 500 unknown chemicals into the ground.

“From the Desk of NickiLeaks”

Much is being written now about the Eagle Ford Shale Formation, so it seemed like the time for a group of journalists to venture into Texas and find what is really going on.

To do so, we found a bus load of reporters in the mold of Hunter S. Thompson, people with a tank of nitrous oxide and a tank of oxygen who aren’t ‘t afraid to use them at the drop of a hat.

Or the drop of a bird into the open window of their press bus, a bird reeking of toulene and twitching uncontrollably.

“Must be getting close,” our intrepid reporter noted.

To make sure, they stopped and hailed someone coming out of their drive in a pickup trucked covered in an odd kind of dust.

The kind that moves.

And glows.

“It’s always bacteria in Texas?” one reporter on the NickiLeaks bus asked another as the reporters leaned out the now-opening windows.

“How do we get to the nearest well?” the reporter nearest the driver asked as he finished his beer.

“Head that away,” the puzzled farmer said, pointing, wondering why anyone in their right minds would want to get nearer a well?

“When you see the five-legged cow,” the farmer said, scratching his head as the dust on his car shifted to a very-nice blue, “turn left and take the path through the woods. Till you get to the pond.

“If the trees start looking at you funny, you’re headed in the right direction.

“And if the ducks show their teeth, run!”

“But ducks don’t have teeth?” one reporter noted. Funny that he was smoking a joint at the time he was denying hallucinations.

“Mister, if these ducks show their teeth run! Hell, the bastards don’t even fly south for the winter any more. Ever since they started drilling in these parts the damn duck have become a heat source!

“If the weren’t so damn nasty we’d use them to heat our houses!

“That’s their feathers on the truck, they got a mind of their own too!”

“Has it aways been this way?” the farmer was asked.

“Nah,” he said, realizing he wasn’t going anywhere for a minute but not minding, either.

“Not before the fracking it wasn’t. Before that it was a nice place, a good place to raise kids.

“Healthy kids. Kids here aren’t healthy no more. They all got asthma and rashes and diseases only them specialists can pronounce.”

He wiped his forehead and replaced his NORML cap.

“All then gas companies doing the fracking swear the air is safe but I never did see no executives down here breathing none.”

“Aren’t there any monitoring devices?” another reporter asked as amazement grew.

“Sure there are,” the farmer proclaims sadly with a shake of his worn brow.

“Can I see one?” the reporter asked.

“I dunno,” the farmer replied with a sly grin “Would depend on if you see something a foot wide from four miles away ’cause that’s where the closest one is.

“And if you can see something that small from this far away, I damn sure want to go hunting with you!”

“But look at all the wells between here and there!” a a tough but shapely member of the press corps proclaimed.Unknown

“Must be thousands,” the farmer agreed.

“Are the wells inspected?” another inquired in amazement.

“No, but the bribes are,” the knowledgeable farmer predicted.

“Last time we saw an inspector in these parts, the governor of Texas was a Democrat wearing a skirt!”

“That long!” reporter said, so amazed that the cigarette fell from his open mouth.

“Everything in these parts, including the government, is owned by them gas companies trying to get their profits no matter how sick the people get.

“The ones that sold out move away and the ones that don’t stay and watch their kids get sick and the daughters die, their milk cows dry up and their hunting dogs lose their fur.”

A tear appeared in the farmer’s eye.

“This used to be a good part of America. Texas used to be a good part of America.

“Used to be I could give you three reason why this was true but because of them damn benzine emissions, I just can’t remember what the third thing is.

“But that’s Texas for you, I’m afraid. The Texas that fracking built.”

— By Nick Vanocur


In addition to the wells near their home, there are at least nine oil and gas production facilities. Little is known about six of the facilities, because they don’t have to file their emissions data with the state. Air permits for the remaining three sites show they house 25 compressor engines, 10 heater treaters, 6 flares, 4 glycol dehydrators and 65 storage tanks for oil, wastewater and condensate. Combined, those sites have the state’s permission to release 189 tons of volatile organic compounds, a class of toxic chemicals that includes benzene and formaldehyde, into the air each year. That’s about 12 percent more than Valero’s Houston Oil Refinery disgorged in 2012.