Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Broadwater Activists: Advice Needed on Big Energy Project in South Texas

Our friend Sam Wells writes from South Texas:

If Broadwater is a big issue for the citizens around Long Island Sound, now the local folks in lower Texas are fighting a large Big Oil project involving 234 square miles of submerged lands and wetland. An organization to “Save Laguna Madre” is now being formed. The reason I'm telling you Long Island Sound people this is to ask for your advice.

Here’s the background. Earlier this January the state and federal regulators approved permits for a seismic survey of the Lower Laguna Madre in Cameron County, Texas. There was no notice but one day the airboats showed up and started planting over 8,000 charges in the water. Five and a half pound charges were set 80 feet into the ground and set off for the purposes of finding natural gas, oil, and condensate. Then the contractor started to literally blow up the bay.

The oil companies already know there is a lot of natural gas down here; Texaco operated some shallow-water stripper wells until the 1980’s. Thus impacts are not only the 3-D seismic testing but the high probability of having exploratory and production oil rigs in what is considered to be a unique, pristine bay. The Laguna Madre is one of only a half dozen hyper-saline water bodies in the world. In theory nothing should grow in it, but due to nitrogen-fixing blue-green algae and sea grasses, it is a major spawning and nursery area from everything from shrimp larvae to dolphins. Of course, we know what the oil company’s environmental consultant would say – the oil and gas operations have absolutely no impact on the environment.

Thanks for your consideration and comments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a resident of the Rio Grande Valley, I have seen the survey equipment that is scattered throughout large sections of the Laguna Madre. I had no idea what all of it was for until reading this post. Hopefully more attention can be created locally about the dangers of this development.

10:30 AM  

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