Blog Post from Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas

In traveling the world and discussing the mess that the natural gas industry made of the small town of DISH, TX, I have met thousands of people who have also seen the negative side effects dished out by the oil and gas industry.  These folks are either trying to figure out how to deal with the heavy industrialization of their communities that shale oil and gas extraction brings, or they are hiding from the realities.  However, they all seem to agree that the way this activity is being accomplished is not in a respectful or responsible manner.  I have often wondered what would happen if all of these groups could and would speak with one voice. 


It amazes me how the abuses of this industry have brought such a diverse group of people together.  There are many who have taken an active role in this movement who certainly never considered themselves environmentalist or activist, but who know when their rights are being trampled.  Too many people who have been run over by this industry.  People have seen their constitutional rights, private property rights, and personal rights trampled by the oil and gas industry and the politicians this industry sponsors.  Our movement has certainly seen people put aside their differences for the common good and we now fully realize the importance of truly responsible energy.    


Over the past seven years there have been many moments when I was worn out and fatigued from this fight.  I work a full time job and try to be a reasonable, loving father and husband. I also try to protect my community from this destructive industry and these efforts have taken a toll.   I know that others have also felt this fatigue and some have actually given up and tried to go back to their lives.  I believe that the industry counts on us getting fatigued, becoming less effective, and/or just giving up altogether.  This has led me to wonder: what if we all to work together?  I can’t help but think that if we were all rowing in the same direction in a coordinated effort, that it would take LESS effort and be MORE effective.  


Another thing that I have seen in my travels is the divide and conquer strategy used by the natural gas industry.  They have maintained a position of strength in most areas, by dividing us.  This has resulted in the largest drilling boom that the nation has ever seen and it has completely halted the growing renewable energy markets.  It is discouraging to see! Surely there are enough good people involved in this effort that we can all come together, to make a major grassroots movement. United we can make a difference!


What would happen if everyone who is involved in this movement would come together and speak with one voice?  How many people would that be?  How loud would that voice be?  What kind of difference could that make?  If I have learned nothing else in my seven-year battle, it is that one man can make a difference and united we are an unbeatable force. We can never give up and it is time for all of us to get in the same game and speak as one.  Whether you live in Wyoming or Texas; whether you are trying to fight for stricter regulation to protect what you have left; whether you live in New York and are working day and night to prevent what happened in DISH from happening to you, we are all together, and can work as one.  I will be there for you and I hope you will be there for me.  It is time to come together and stand in solidarity.  Join me on July 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. to Stop the Frack Attack.  And never forget, together we bargain, divided we beg.  


Calvin Tillman
Former Mayor, DISH, TX 
(940) 453-3640 

“Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it”