The Town in Search of Truth

Photo by John Campbell (Verizon Camera phone) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by John Campbell (Verizon Camera phone) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

In our previous post, When Science And Politics Collide, Corporations Win,” we talked about Azle, Texas experiencing an alarming increase in earthquake activity following fracking operations near the community. Since that report, the good citizens of Azle and their determined mayor, Alan Brundrett, are not sitting idly by, waiting for the ground to shake.

They have decided to do their own ground shaking. Over 100 people boarded buses and drove the “Earthquake Express” trip to the state capital in Austin to attempt to get some answers and resolution to the increasing problem. But meetings aren’t enough, and seldom result in immediate action from the state.

Knowing no action will be taken until science has been proven, Azle has hired a USGS seismologist to conduct studies of the earthquake activity. The scientist has been working on site for nearly a month. The research results will be instrumental in the small community’s attempt to defend the safety of the community against the interests of stakeholders in the big gas and oil industry. The community’s website keeps all citizens informed and up to date with the situation.

On 1-7, the Texas Railroad Commission, the regulatory body in the state that oversees the oil and gas industry, issued a press release in which they announce their intention to hire an in-house seismologist. Among other duties, the seismologist is to “lead efforts to conduct research as well as internally integrate oil and gas science with seismic science; coordinate communications and information gathering with stakeholders…” There is no indication of how long their nation-wide search will take to fill the position, nor how long the studies will be conducted before the Commission will take any action at all. They seemed focused on finding someone willing to work with the “stakeholders” of gas and oil companies.

Occupy World Writes salutes the town of Azle, Mayor Alan Brundrett, and those in the Texas area of Azle that insist on facts and action, not wink-wink, nudge-nudge politics that place the interests of corporations over the safety of people. We believe all people should be empowered to take action when government fails to address concerns affecting them.

When it comes to the natural resources of a state or country (water, oil, gas, wind, mineral deposits, etc), it is the PEOPLE who are the stakeholders. Maybe that’s why the SCOTUS decision in Citizen’s United attempts to make corporations people too…

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