Senator Cornyn climbs Nacogdoches Co. drilling rig

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES CO., TX (KTRE) - Senator John Cornyn is often confronted with critical questions about fracking deposits and other environmental concerns surrounding natural gas exploration

"Since those issues are popping in Washington and particularly with the EPA, I would be interested (in your opinion)," addressed Cornyn to representatives of the drilling industry.

The senator visited a drilling site in the Haynesville Shale, located near Melrose. The rig represents the latest in horizontal drilling technology and is being used to tap into a natural gas play that has the potential to serve as a significant source of clean energy for our nation, while also providing revenue and jobs for the local economy, reported a Cornyn press release.

Prior to climbing onto the rig, Cornyn brought the subject of environmental concerns up to industry representatives.

"They all have costs. They all have risks", said Ernest LaFlure, vice president and general manager of eog resources. "But we think the balance in natural gas is tremendous."

Industry leaders pointed out the strict regulations and the benefits to their company for following them.

Right now the EPA and Texas Railroad Commission disagree on whether or not gas drilling activities contaminated water in Fort Worth. Today, Cornyn gives credit to the industry's self regulation. To him, safeguards are in place.

"I don't think we are going to need to have micro-management either by the federal government or by the state government," said Cornyn. "I think the inspection regime is adequate to protect the public."

During the senator's visit he addressed other issues, including Libya.

"The President seems to have treated Congress as just of, sort of, an after thought," said Cornyn. The senator would have preferred the president seek Congressional approval before ordering air attacks.

Cornyn stops short of suggesting impeachment, as some of his colleagues are doing. "We don't know how this will turn out. We hope it turns out well, but it's solely in the President's hand," said Cornyn.

Cornyn questions just how many places can the U.S. send its military. "Our military is stretched very thin, now in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world and we have an all voluntary military that I'm concerned about what his plans are."

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