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....Started as a comment on a diary that's now inaccessible. Forgive the depth, but I won't apologize for the number of links. They're there to show what's going on, not just to puff up overseas-based spotty, behindhand 'coverage'.

 .... Water's precious, and lots of things can wreck it. But we're learning how to stop that for most of Texas' traditional water users.  

The oil patch is an exception, especially with fracking. It's a big deal in non-Gee-Oh-Pee media right now, but Barnhart's headline water shortage took place at the beginning of June. Some background on the town of Barnhart is here.

But as is typical of the oil-boosting /pro-big-money cheerleading WSJ, no mention's made of the (inevitable, in oilpatch country) coming bust to follow the 'boom'. Will there be one? Does the sun come up in the East, and do Exxon-Mobil and BP have lobbyists? (Just wait. It'll look like The Grapes of Wrath. I remember the bust in '88 in Big Spring. Suddenly-single moms with small kids, surviving in cabover campers guys Arbusto'd laid off left behind when they took the pickups to new jobs somewhere else, since the Olney Savings and Loan crisis had taken away all their houses. Y'all have no idea what harm the Bush family has done, really, in its relentless pursuit of money and power....)
Back to Barnhart's catastrophic influx of fracking-related oilfield water use:  Beaumont's a refinery town on the Gulf Coast -- clean across Texas from Barnhart. Oil comes to them in tanker trucks to keep the plants running from Texas' oil fields far to the west and north, as well as in sea-going tankers from the Middle East. Their paper had this to say; and finally here's a piece at Mother Jones, which may / may not have been part of The Guardian's coverage.

Water shortages involve waste on scales that ought to shame anybody with a working brain -- and in the Permian Basin, which is a desert country anyway, those shortages are the more shameful for the waste involved. Can you hear me now,  Randy Neugebauer, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz? Oh, wait ... working brain ... lets out the (warning: PDF) Texas State Supreme Court, too. Farmers like Dawdy we might outlast. Lawyers and legal precedents are, like corporations, forever. Zombies, lying in ambush against our futures.

This lady works at my alma mater, which has had a drought / arid institute for more than 30 years. Recently she  told a reporter there are plenty of reasons for the water shortages. She's right.

But Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, argues fracking is not the only reason Texas is going dry—and nor is the drought. The latest shocks to the water system come after decades of overuse by ranchers, cotton farmers, and fast-growing thirsty cities.
"We have large urban centers sucking water out of west Texas to put on their lands. We have a huge agricultural community, and now we have fracking which is also using water," she said. And then there is climate change.
West Texas has a long history of recurring drought, but under climate change, the Southwest has been experiencing record-breaking heat waves, further drying out the soil and speeding the evaporation of water in lakes and reservoirs. Underground aquifers failed to regenerate. "What happens is that climate change comes on top and in many cases it can be the final straw that breaks the camel's back, but the camel is already overloaded," said Hayhoe.
Meanwhile, in the wet part of Texas, Spicewood Beach ran out of water in 2012 and it's not fixed yet. Between the drought, big ag, summertime in Texas, climate change, and big oil, there's just flat not enough water. Or maybe there's a different problem: we're wasting too much water, 'cause we refuse to recognize what a limited resource it is.

The San Angelo Standard Times reported that Barnhart, Texas had run out of water back in June. (San Angelo's paper is probably the best one in the state now.)

An explosion in oil field activity has caused what used to be a 65-family community to quadruple in the past eight months, Baumann said.
Mobile homes and recreational vehicles have been appearing all over Barnhart, Avery said, with five to 12 mobile homes hooking up to meters designed to supply one household.
The older well, which would provide a temporary reprieve, has been used to fill firetrucks for the Barnhart Volunteer Fire Department in recent years because the TCEQ said its water could not be used for human consumption.
Anybody who's ever been around an oil boom knows this worker-influx is typical.It's a lot like the Old West: go there and exist 'til you can afford to send for the family. Jobs -- maybe especially in the Permian Basin, the oilpatch I grew up around -- like these are physically demanding, working conditions often filthy and dangerous, and the "play" in an oilfield by its very nature temporary. During the boom, though, the money runs like ... water.  That's why it's a boom-and-bust cycle, and that's why there's a "gold rush" effect. Steadier kinds of mining -- salt, coal, lead, silver, potash -- also use/destroy water. But the oil patch is a greedy consumer when it comes to water.   "Get all you can now 'cause it won't last." That's how the oilpatch works. Over the big orange gas flare for more ...

A picture with that Standard-Times article notes a nearby "freshwater sales" well is keeping right on going despite the threat to the town. Oil patch economics are like that: make all the money you can today, 'cause tomorrow there'll be nothing left.

Barnhart Fire Chief Jimmy Baker's crews are drinking bottled water. In June the reserve tank for firefighting remained full, but this is August, and it's Texas, and it's a dry summer. The Texas Tribune wrote a good piece when the news was fresh: http://www.texastribune.org/...

The residents of Barnhart are “pretty P.O.'d” about the water situation, Baker said.
Nanny said that the town was considering the possibility of getting a tank of freshwater from San Angelo, which is 50 miles away. Private wells were still supplying some water, he said.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality released a statement saying it had learned of the problem on Wednesday.  
TCEQ more than likely okayed Barnhart's using that old well until the new one comes in: there's no other source. It's not just Barnhart, either, or Spicewood Beach. Lake Meredith used to be the primary water supply for where I live. Now it's dry. That watershed may not ever come back to a point it can support Meredith and / or Lake MacKenzie.

San Angelo's Elmer Kelton's (thanks! don't know how that happened, grubber; I dislike Leonard's writing immensely, and Tommy Lee Jones did a fine movie of one of Elmer Kelton's books a few years ago besides) home range. You might've heard of him. He wrote a book called "The Time It Never Rained." That's how it is in West Texas. Year before last, where I live, we had less than six inches of rain all year long. Record dry weather for us. Last year we were back up over nine inches, and this year we're only three inches below normal. West of here's the Chihuahuan Desert, which is also South of here: New Mexico, Old Mexico, the Big Bend, and El Paso are all part of that. We get a little of the Sonoran desert's influence and a lot of the Great Plains weather trends where I live.

In the 1980s, when I went to Tech, we had a lot of students from the Middle East (and Israel was not the least-represented country there) studying effective ways to use and conserve water in arid and semi-arid lands, not just with engineering and irrigation advances through the engineering schools but in other ways being pioneered  at ICASALS. I've always thought the Israelis had something special going in their ability to "make the desert bloom" without destroying the underground water supply (something Texas' cotton-crazy ag industry, which is now growing corn, of all stupid things to plant at the intersection of deserts, demonstrably could NOT do, having destroyed Pecos' river, Fort Stockton's Comanche Springs, and Big Spring -- and threatening the ones that fill the Balmorhea cienega and pools).

If you've ever lived in an oil patch, with or without fracking -- and the kind I know is the old-school Permian Basin "injection well" kind, where they pump Hydrogen Sulfide Gas back down into the ground to force out the oil (this is a poison gas, by the way); if Fishgrease stops in, ask him about these sorts of operations -- you know that by its very nature the oil field destroys the water. Out of the tap even when you can't light it on fire, it smells like rotten eggs. The taste is worse, and it ruins anything you cook with it. It's SOP in West Texas for restaurants to advertise the use of RO water in their tea and coffee (and some convenience stores show off what water purification system they use in their soda machines -- n.b.: don't buy coffee at a gas station in Odessa just before the Interstate-20 West on-ramp. It'll taste just like sulfur). I saw RO signs in Baytown last October too ... we've got to do better, folks. Texas is the Saudi Arabia of wind energy, and even the Feds know it. Save the water: move off fossil fuels.

The oil patch wastes a lot of water. Slush pits. Fracking fluid. Injection wells. It also destroys people's water wells even when it doesn't suck the water straight out of them. You'll hear oil companies say seismic testing's safe. So is flying to the moon, except  when something goes wrong. That's not even touching on the collapses of wells impacted by percolation or wells that sometimes wind up swallowed by sinkholes, the saline infiltration or other leaks into the wells that result in contamination (even the seismic tests can open up subsurface inlets to things like your neighbor's septic tank), or partial collapses when the hydrostatic situation underground changes. The Permian Basin oilfield underlies a desert country anyhow, running from roughly the Edwards Plateau edges in Texas out into New Mexico.

Back to the reasons we're running out of water: the one we can't fix is the weather, because a persistent La Nina means West Texas will be dry. An El Nino will flood us. But we're in the La Nina pattern, like the one we were in during the "record drought" of the 1950s.

Fixing all the ones we can -- not just in Texas -- is really up to us. If we don't save the water, we've got nothing. Literally. It won't matter who we elect, or prosecute -- or for what -- if there's no water.

Originally posted to BlackSheep1 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 12:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great Diary (21+ / 0-)

    TXSharon used to diary here about the destruction of our ecology due to fracking.  Where we live near the Barnett Shale,(TXSharon too) there are gas wells going in everyday using unbelievable amounts of water.  Wasting water too when they "forget" to turn off spigots as we have been told by our friend who lives across the street from several wells.  They certainly act like water is an unlimited resource.  

    We have had main water line breaks in both our home and next door rental property 9 times the past two years, due to drought and quite possibly tremors which have been increasing due to fracking.

    I truly fear for our planet.

    The difference between a moment and a movement is sacrifice.

    by rlharry on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 01:26:40 PM PDT

  •  I wrote to my governor, state senator and my (16+ / 0-)

    state rep yesterday with links to the Guardian article begging that Colorado not be like Texas.  Our Democratic governor, however, got his start in oil and gas before that went bust and he had to try his brew-pub idea (which helped propel him to where he is now).  He's been out advocating for fracking and other mineral developments and he's been helping to fight cities and towns that want to ban fracking within their city limits - saying the multiple jurisdictions would make it too complicated for the oil and gas companies to extract it all.  He pretty much ignores the large renewable energy firms in the state, the potential for wind and solar energy and even federal resources like the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden as he pursues the "all of the above" approach which emphasizes coal, oil and gas extraction over renewables and preserving other Colorado resources like water that are more important in the long run.

  •  I don't understand why the oil companies... (11+ / 0-)

    ...aren't required, especially in desert areas, to reuse fracking water, rather than disposing of it. It already has their proprietary admixtures, so why can't they capture, filter, and reuse the stuff?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 02:11:23 PM PDT

  •  They want to frack England. (16+ / 0-)

    My mom and dad worked in Odessa from the late '70s to the early '90s, and the trips to "water stores", places where you'd take your rinsed out gallon jugs to get RO water, was unforgettable. I lived in PA for part of that time and you could drink the water out of the ground then but, due to fracking, not now. Then we lived in Fort Worth, and TXSharon documents what is happening there pretty thoroughly.
    So the powers that be in the UK want to bring the Bakken to a place where you can generally throw a rock and hit a house in most of the countryside. If you read shortfinal's diaries you know how lovely it is too. Thanks for the diary. I will be making considerable use of it.

    Each person stands on a shadow. Bill Reynolds

    by northsylvania on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 02:41:59 PM PDT

    •  Its a wan hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania

      but with the collapsing profits of the oil business, our single hope is that they are about to hit peak debt where they can'
      t carry any more, even at the idiotically low rates prevailing.

      Its not much, and the effect will be horrifically hard on people, but at least the relentless drive to destroy the planet will come to an end.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 11:57:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the most effective means (0+ / 0-)

        of playing Whack A Mole with pro fracking stories in the conservative newspapers like the Telegraph, is to quote various Serious People in the NYT and elsewhere calling shale fracking a ponzi scheme. It's so much fun to watch their heads explode.

        Each person stands on a shadow. Bill Reynolds

        by northsylvania on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 03:06:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Elmer Kelton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 03:02:59 PM PDT

  •  Actually the ENSO cycle is projected neutral (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, figbash

    into Spring of 2014, according to the National Climate Prediction Center's August 9, 2013, report.

    Not that this will change frackers' destruction of the aquifers, but it does suggest a modicum of moderation in the surface drought conditions, at least for a few months.

    [ENSO = El Niño - Southern Oscillation]

    Just picking a small nit.  

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 03:05:18 PM PDT

    •  Shit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      argomd

      In NZ we had our worst drought in 70 years last summer. Drought here is usually associated with La Nina but last summer it was neutral, which, to my poorly educated meteorological ears sounds like "baseline". If its going to be neutral again, I better think about unloading some cattle.

      THEN the question is whether to send them straight to the kill, which would be a sudden end to an otherwise pretty good life, or unload them on some rube who thinks he can feed them this year because "we couldn't have two like that in a row".

      Double shit.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:01:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so sorry. But -- (0+ / 0-)

        As I'm sure you know by now, the ENSO cycle is much like a see-saw, with one set of symptoms in the east Pacific (the El Niño half) and roughly the opposite in your west Pacific (the original Southern Oscillation).  Then there are ranges of conditions depending on how far south you are from the main Monsoon track.  

        And the see-saw sort of flips every 3-7 years or so.  Wow.  Love that specificity, don't you?

        Your position in your gloriously beautiful New Zealand puts you in a less-well-studied and statistically less well understood part of the science.  We self-absorbed folks in the US tend to forget that.  We see ENSO droughts or heavier rains or warmer or cooler, and then we forget that it's literally a planet-wide variation.

        There actually is global info available on the US Climate Prediction Center website  (Click here for more global info.)

        What you're experiencing sounds less like an ENSO-attributable phenomenon and more like just the southern hemisphere extreme version of Global Warming -- which is also devastating your larger neighbor to the west.  That said, I can't imagine the very painful decisions you have to make as a cattle raiser.  It's an awfully uncertain life, and I don't envy you that part of it.  Still....

        I'm too poor and old to imagine actually doing anything on my "bucket list", but one of the most haunting dreams I have is seeing and touching young New Zealand geology before I die.  Please enjoy it for a few moments on my behalf, will you?

        tx --bc/hv

        (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

        by argomd on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:04:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks argo (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          argomd, BlackSheep1

          I contacted our NIWA and they are not even predicting more than 3 months out. Right now we are getting plenty of rain but temps are too high for this time of year by about 3 degrees C.

          The assumptions have been that, at least till the latter stages, the southern hemisphere will have fewer direct effects from GW, although Australia will take a kicking.

          Our property start at about 175m above mean sea level and the house is at 200m. I have a little place on the edge of the house pad that I call the jetty, waiting for the waters to rise that far.

          I'm hoping that it will still be after I'm gone, but even a metre will screw our economy, like yours.

          I'll pat a rock (and a cow) for you in the morning.

          Take care.

          Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

          by Deep Dark on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:30:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Egads! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Icicle68, BlackSheep1

            Last summer here (Southern Maryland, US) was about 1°C above average, with reduced rainfall, and my personal vegetable gardening completely failed.  This last winter was mild enough for me to limit house heating of roughly 100h over three months.

            I simply cannot imagine living with an increase of 3°C, even in a southern hemisphere winter.  You've described some of the impacts on your situation.  I feel for you, because yours are problems not addressed by an extra sweater but by the death of livestock and perhaps full loss of your way of life.  I do feel for you!

            But even if there were a global average increase of 3°C, no models I've seen show your altitude of 175m anywhere near the danger point.  I watch those models carefully, because I'm just off the Chesapeake Bay at an altitude of ~25m.  Absent a major tsunami from a landslide in the Cape Verde Islands, my home should be alright.   Not so my neighbors, whose septic systems are already unusable, whose wells have been infiltrated by saline waters.  (We're undergoing some regional post-glacial subsidence, too, enhancing sea level rise.)

            Even if you are old enough to be my grandchild (~25yo), I would think your current altitude safe.  Then again, I'm not aware of any NZ regional tsunami stats (though watching the NIWA clip about Kaikoura's tsunami threat was sobering), so I could be wrong.  But sea level rise from global warning >100m is probably not in your future.  

            Greatly appreciate hearing from you and back from you.  I'm taking a deep dive on the NIWA website and will look elsewhere for more data.  You've triggered my curiosity, which might be a dangerous thing. ;-)

            Thanks for patting any and all rocks on my behalf.

            (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

            by argomd on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 10:28:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not quite as bad (0+ / 0-)

              as you imagine. While local temps are higher, they are not baseline temps, its part of the usual fluctuations, we also had big dumps of early snow this year in the far south and roads closed by higher than normal snows in the mid northern latitudes.

              I'm really not young enough to be your grandchild, 62 at last count. I call it the jetty to screw with the visitors' minds.

              The NIWA siute is very useful, I check these maps most days to see how we are faring.

              While our soil moisture is good, our rainfall has been really variable, VERY wet May and early June, then dry as a bone till this week.

              Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

              by Deep Dark on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:37:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  How long before we see Gov. Perry (6+ / 0-)

    pray for clean water?

    Politics is like driving.... (D) forward, (R) reverse.

    by Tribecastan on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 03:19:23 PM PDT

  •  Brawndo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, figbash

    It's got electrolytes.  It's what plants crave.

    Who knew that Mike Judge was prescient?

    There, I said it.  

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 06:18:58 PM PDT

  •  Maybe lack of water will wake Texans up. I was (5+ / 0-)

    talking to my brother in Austin recently about Lake Travis, which is down over 50 feet and about to break the record low set in the 50's.  Most of the chain of Highland Lakes are really hurting, because of the contracts the river authority has with rice farmers down river...just maybe growing rice in Texas isn't a really good idea.  

    •  I doubt it. I watched over the last few years as (6+ / 0-)

      Lake Travis and Canyon Lake fluctuated (Canyon actually has had flood conditions sometimes too), as I made trips there.
      Drove through the growth areas of west Austin
      (CoT hwy, Westlake, etc.) and the high dollar 'hoods look like tropical paradises. Reminded me of a tod in Californii around '80. National news had been covering a 'serious drought' in SOCAL, got out there and the sprinklers were running like crazy, water just running down the streets, sheesh.

      It was awesome to see Travis just dry up, huge volume of water lost. I had been shopping for a boat over several years, prices kept falling, sellers were getting desperate, but could never make the logistics work. Have absolutely no interest in lake sailing, and hauling out and transporting a 10,000-30,000 pound vessel to the Gulf Coast wasn't ever going to be cost effective, unless somebody about gave it away.
      The marinas were having to literally move their docks out into deeper water if possible, it was like climbing a mountain to get from water level up to 'shore' where everything like parking is.

      Local SA teevee news just had a segment on the Guadalupe River going dry now, not good for tourism around New Braunfels.

      We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

      by Bluefin on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  's not the rice (5+ / 0-)

      's the upstream corn ... what idjit thought corn needed to grow on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, in fuel industry quantities?

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great post.....we are practically neighbors... (5+ / 0-)

    I too paid my dues in the Permian Basin....Midland is now in the process of recycling sewage water for drinking...but that is a whole nuther story.

    Any interest in starting a Kos Group?  I have had the idea out there for almost a year and no interest at this point.  It was supposed to be the Big Bend region and El Paso, but Lubbock fits right in with all its water woes.

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 07:37:21 PM PDT

  •  I used to commute through Big Spring, late '90's- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, figbash, cotterperson

     '00's, usually fueled up at the HEB pumps. It had that hard scrabble look to it, bigger than La Mesa and lots of others though (traveled from the Valley/SA to Ama/Panhandle).
    Was always happy to see Happy in the southbound rearview mirror, sad to leave I-10 at Junction on the way north.
    Dang weather up your way just sucks. And that West Texas country can't afford to lose any water at all, saw some ferocious dust storms. Once even witnessed a big chunk of WT red dirt get deposited on the Coastal Bend in Corpus, that was a Norther (actually the wind was mostly from the ENE, weird WX that weekend)!

    I remember the bust in '88 in Big Spring.

    We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

    by Bluefin on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:44:48 PM PDT

  •  I'm going to HEB once a month for groceries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    figbash, cotterperson, Bluefin

    and the gas is always more affordable there than in Lubbock. Only place in BIg Spring ...

    Did you go thru Lamesa everytime, or ever hit 82 and come up through Brownfield / Meadow / Wolfforth?

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 08:50:42 PM PDT

    •  Almost always stayed on 87 from Eden on up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      through San Angelo, Sterling City, etc., to where it becomes I-27 in Lubbock, prior to that coming from down South it was 83, from Eden, to Junction (I-10) to SA etc.
      Those gas stops on the southeast corner of Lubbock on 87 sure were ripoff joints. Think their big thing was selling 'evil drink' mainly, I guess Lubbock was dry then.

      Used SWA a lot too. for those long/short weekend commutes. I wasn't doin' no tourist stuff up there usually, just wanted to get the hell out of Dodge when I got time off.
      Once or twice I took a scenic bypass around La Mesa to the East, like FM 1054?; from just North of BSpg to around Tahoka, going over the Colorado headwaters. Very interesting 'old West' terrain, and lots of farm/ranchland too. Sort of like a mini Palo Duro out of Canyon.
      Like you I get hacked off at some of the DK'ers here badmouthing Texas, it's so damned huge and varied you can find almost anything.
      If it weren't for all the damned RWingnuts on the loose...

      I think HEB had just started their BSpg gas pumps back then. Their very first gas pump sales trial was at the then brand-new New Braunfels HEB store on Walnut St., where I was one of the first customers, heh (worked and 'lived' there too).
      My little town just got an HEB store a couple years ago, then a giant Wally, and now a McCoys lumberyard, lots of other bizs, holy caow!

      I'm in the Eagle Ford play area  (  Brush Country  ), it has fraccing changed the whole region like nothing I have never seen before in 65+ years of crawling the primordial swamp.
       Everything is changed. I'm just waiting for the really bad shit to hit the fan. Fortunately I have my escape pod getting ready down on the coast. If that 'thing' cooking up out in the western Carribean leaves it alone:  NHC, yikes! Erin you beeotch, go'way...

      We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

      by Bluefin on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 12:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And I'm out .... Thunderstorms here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    figbash, cotterperson

    Power flickering, smells like rain outside ...

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 10:49:32 PM PDT

  •  I'm the one who's not in the oil industry (4+ / 0-)

    in my family--the black sheep as it were....

    My brothers and nephews tell me that in many areas where they're using fracking (like the Eagleford), they're not even producing the gas because the price is "too low".  So they're using the fracking only to produce oil.

    I ask them, well wouldn't a carbon tax make sense then to make the gas economical to produce and shift consumption to gas to thereby lower carbon emissions?
    Answer - it would, but once you let them tax something they'll never quit.

    What made me the saddest was that we started talking about buying some land together, the three of us brothers, to have a place to get away, to camp, to hunt, and to pass down to our kids.  There were great prices on land in the Eagelford Shale area, but both brothers said they'd never buy land there because the oil companies were effing it up so bad.
    My brothers, that's YOU!!!

    ai yi yi......

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:17:49 AM PDT

    •  Land prices around here (Eagle Ford territory) (0+ / 0-)

      started picking up 3-4 years ago.
      The people who knew what was coming, the real insiders, started running innocent ads looking to buy up ranch and farm lands
      (cheaply of course).
      Then the (oil company) landmen descended upon us and screwed the early leasors pretty effen good.

      I have kinfolk in the oil biz too.
      It's fascinating to watch the drilling rig downhole telemetry displayed on screens (remotely), as all that pipe and smart guided bit gnaw down thousands of feet and turn course under all that geology.
      A huge technical feat that I can appreciate, but it sure is effen things up topside for sure.
      Of course they're all wingnuts, despite the degrees/credentials.

      We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

      by Bluefin on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:14:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Texas' development has already sucked most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    of the available water from the midwestern aquifers. This will only add to the damage. We have needed better water management in that region for a long time. It is not likely to happen anytime soon. Much to the distress of several other states.

    There is already serious talk about how to shut off Texas use of the aquifers, but given the nature of aquifiers it is difficult and expensive.

    “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

    by shigeru on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:23:06 PM PDT

  •  i'd rec this diary 1000 times if i could. (0+ / 0-)

    thanks for putting it all together, blacksheep1.  hope you got some good rain last night.  it's been sliding around austin, getting close enough to smell, then disappearing before it gets here.  an awful tease.

    i'm hotlisting this diary.  lotsa good info here.  thanks again.

    "Racism doesn't have a geography, it only lives in the human heart." anotherdemocrat 7/15/13

    by politik on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 06:12:48 PM PDT

    •  we got 3/4 of an inch over (0+ / 0-)

      a three-day period hereabouts. Good luck with it in the South, politik.
      I hear El Paso's flooding...

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:01:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Texas Trib author (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    Is Kate Galbraith, co-author of new book on Wind power in Texas, just want to give a good reporter a shout-out, especially a Galbraith.

    We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

    by Urban Owl on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:56:18 PM PDT

  •  Fossil fuel folly or solar energy salvation? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    Sharing a message I just posted to a DK petition query that chides President Obama's cognitive dissonance about energy policy and his continued support of hydraulic fracturing:  "Fracking: drains precious watersheds throughout the drought-parched US Southwest triggering legal 'water wars' between states,  poisons the aquifers and rivers, dumps radioactive drilling cuttings like terrorists, kills livestock, devalues properties, destroys oxygen-rich forests, and causes earthquakes. For what? To enrich the fossil fuel industry as they sell this methane overseas and then hides their profits off-shore to evade taxes? Which side are you on,
    Mr. President? "

    Germany, Spain and even Dubai see the wisdom of massive solar installations. Even Christie's New Jersey is making the solar switch: installing solar arrays atop previously-unusable "brown fields" ( irretrievably polluted former business  zones) so that now, those solar arrays generate energy and bloom instead of fester, and they contribute to the community AND the local revenue stream.

    PS. Ahem.. Just yesterday, we all read that now, the White House sports solar panels, again?! Hello? Cognitive dissonance much? Recalling this AP photographer Carolyn Kaster's pic: http://nymag.com/...  

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..." ~John Lennon

    by Bleuz00m on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 08:00:18 AM PDT

  •  Water Wars (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smileycreek, Icicle68, BlackSheep1

    The largest supply of potable fresh water lies just north of the U.S. border in Canada.  I know that several states have already been eyeing the Great Lakes for their needs, but there has been a treaty in effect for around a hundred years that neither side can tap the lakes for personal, industrial, or agricultural uses.  I will bet my pension, however, on the fact that when Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan or others run out or pollute their own water irreparably, we'll see huge pipelines being constructed for that purpose.

    If so, THERE WILL BE WAR.  We beat your pants off you in 1812 and can do it again.

    Last year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to sell fresh water to China in a secret deal.  Parliament found out and there was almost a recall election until he backed off.

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