A Texas jury awarded $2.9 million to a family living in what sounds like fracking heaven (or hell):
According to the lawsuit, Aruba Petroleum had 22 natural gas wells within a 2-mile radius of the Parrs’ property, with three wells in close proximity to their Texas home. The closest was 791 feet away.
As a result of poor management and lack of emission controls, Aruba Petroleum created a “private nuisance” to the Parr family by producing harmful air pollution and exposing them to harmful emissions of volatile organic compounds, toxic air pollutants and diesel exhaust, the lawsuit said.
Tests showed that the mother had 22 different chemicals in her body, the 11 year-old daughter suffered from nosebleeds, and so on. The story quotes some energy company attorneys saying it was a “knee-jerk” reaction, but the real question is how this stone loser made it to a jury, since it sounds like the other companies involved made the wise decision to settle out of court.
One of the benefits of living in a blue state is that New York doesn’t allow fracking, yet. I assume it will happen someday after the lessons learned in states like Texas and Pennsylvania are incorporated into tough environmental regulations. Unless there’s some kind of seepage in natural gas fracking and Pennsylvania drinks our milkshake, the billions of cubic feet of gas trapped in New York’s Marcellus Shale isn’t going anywhere. Of course, the gas in those other states wasn’t going anywhere either, but the free market dictated that families needed to be poisoned in the unnecessary, unregulated rush to extract it as quickly as humanly possible. Money will still be made in New York, but with any luck we’ll skip the poisoning.
(via Violet in the comments)