"Texas Town Welcomed Drilling, Now Fears Pollution"

"DISH, Texas -- Like thousands of other Texans living atop one of the country's most productive natural gas fields, folks in this tiny town were giddy when drillers started offering up the fat checks.

The mayor likened it to the Gold Rush, and many of the 200 residents of a town that once sold its name to a satellite television company were hoping to be next in a long line of landowners to strike it rich by drilling into the Texas earth. ...

By the time state regulators started testing the air around Dish, there were 15 wells inside the town limits and more than 12,000 spread across the massive shale. Results of those tests, released late last year, found elevated levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene near Dish, spooking residents who now fear that what once looked like found money could end up harming their health."

John McFarland reports for the Associated Press January 12, 2010.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010