Extraction's Oil and Gas informational neighborhood meeting at Frontier Academy drew about 70 people, and several of those were from the industry itself. The vice president of Mineral Resources, Logan Richardson, and one of his brothers were in the audience too, but they or their company now partnering with Extraction, were not mentioned a single time. See the Tribune's article on this 'strategic' alliance.
|Chief Financial Officer Rusty Kelley (left), listens to a parent.|
|Extraction President Matt Owens|
The young age of Owens, barely older than 30, should perhaps raise a red flag. He worked in the industry for three employers for a total of eight years. Is that really long enough to build the expertise necessary to start a company (founded in November, 2012) and, more importantly, taking on the job of drilling inside a city, near a school?
One of the best questions asked was by a parent who wondered if Extraction would monitor the air quality near the school on a regular basis. Owens said that "Air monitoring is not something we typically do", then handed the microphone to John Tonello for a more in depth answer. See video below.
If an oil and gas installation was to be placed near my child's school I would certainly want to know if the air near the building and playground would be safe enough to breathe on a regular basis. This recent finding by Project Playground: Cleaner Air for Active Kids is of special interest to parents with children in close proximity to wells. For instance:
"Benzene was found at all but one sampling location, and it was found at levels above the TCEQ ESLand the AMCV at three locations. This particularly noteworthy as benzene is a known carcinogen (based on evidence from studies in both people and lab animals), AND because it exceeds both the TCEQ ESL and AMCV. Benzene has been linked largely to leukemia and cancers of other blood cells. Benzene can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
TCEQ ESL: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Effects Screening Levels
AMCV: Air Monitoring Comparison Values
Source: Project Playground Report
All the more reason to monitor the air. If the company is so sure no emissions of any kind from the pad will reach the school, they should be willing to prove it, and in doing so offer parents much needed peace of mind.