San Augustine Co. woman thinks oil boom is a bust for her

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Jena Johnson - email

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - Natural gas pipeline construction is booming in East Texas. For some it's good news, but for one San Augustine woman it spells big problems for her show goats.

Dawn Odom takes care of more than 70 show goats every day. She knows them all by name.

She says life's been good, until a natural gas company came knocking at her door. She doesn't own the mineral rights, so Odom signed over the property for a few thousand dollars.

"They told us that we could either accept the money that they offered or they would take us to court, have our land condemned and we could possibly come out with nothing," Odom said.

In mid-May, pipeline construction began and so did her problems. She says the gas company knocked down her old fence and put up this flimsy one. Ten of her goats got out over the weekend.

Odom says six baby goats not much older than this one died after getting out of the temporary fence put up by the gas company.

"Evidently they got into something out in the grass or the ditch," Odom said. "It may have been hydraulic fluid from one of the machines, but they were all dead by Monday."

A devastating discovery. Even worse, Odom says the construction has confined her goats to her backyard.

"I mean my feed bill has anywhere from doubled to tripled per weekly basis," Odom said. "I can't put my goats in the back pasture to browse, which is a problem because there's no grass left here."

For how much longer this will go on, she's not sure.

"Every time you ask them it's 30 days and when that 30 days is up, it's another 30 days," she said.

The Pumpco are manager Adam Nitche says this is only the second complaint. But for Odom, her problems leave her feeling helpless.

"Right now it's justice for the people with money," Odom said. "There's no justice for us except we go without."

Nitche says there's currently 48 miles of pipeline construction across three East Texas counties.

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