Property Rights and Fracking Near Fort Worth, TX – Sharon Wilson’s Story

FEATURE_11After drilling began in her area, the value of Sharon Wilson’s home dropped $80,000. Anticipating the health and environmental impacts she’d witnessed in other areas living cheek by jowl with oil and gas development, she sold her land at a loss and moved out of the gas patch. Since then, she has become one of the leading activists attempting to preserve communities from the impacts of fracking. Here’s her story:

A native Texan raised in Fort Worth, Sharon bought 42 acres adjacent to the LBJ National Grasslands to raise her son, and horses. An employee of the oil and gas industry, when drilling first moved into her area, she welcomed it as a potential financial boon. But the more she looked into the issue, the more scared she became.

Although she owned the surface rights to her property, another party owned half the mineral rights. When they leased to Braden Exploration, Sharon had two options — sign a lease herself which would allow a modicum of control, or refuse to sign a lease — in which case the company would drill under her land anyway and she wouldn’t benefit at all.

Sharon ended up signing the lease on an attorney’s advice, but continued her investigation into oil and gas development.  Eventually she started a blog about the subject, and became one of the country’s foremost activists on behalf of fracking-impacted communities.  “Any problems the gas industry has, they brought on themselves. They’re lousy business partners and awful neighbors.”

 

Join us this Wednesday, May 22nd at the People’s Forum and hear Sharon’s powerful tale on her fight against fracking.

12-2pm, United Methodist Building