Lack of answers at earthquake meeting rattles Azle residents - Dallas News |

Lack of answers at earthquake meeting rattles Azle residents

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AZLE, Texas -

A lot of Azle residents became more frustrated about an earthquake problem on Thursday night, where they were hopeful that a meeting with the Railroad Commissioner and other state leaders would shed some light on the problem.

There have been 28 earthquakes in North Texas since Nov. 1, with almost all of them taking place in the Azle area.

Residents blame injection wells used in the natural gas drilling process. Drilling is going on all over Texas, and there's no scientific evidence it causes earthquakes.

However, Azle's mayor, Alan Brundrett, says the evidence is overwhelming.

"Based on the data from those new seismographs in Azle, they recalculated the epicenter and they're actually clustered into one little spot," said Brundrett. "Now, all the circles are touching each other and clustered together, and that cluster is in between two injection wells."

Mayor Brundrett asked the Railroad Commission for help, which is what prompted the meeting to be scheduled.

First up to the microphone was Jim Lasater, who says one of the epicenters of an earthquake was 200 yards from his front door.

"I was wondering how unbiased that can be, since there's so much oil and gas money that goes into the campaigns of elected officials" said Lasater.

But it was the response to Lasater that drew the loudest boos from the crowd: "Since we are on a tight timeframe, we are trying to keep it to comments only, so, we want to hear…no...we're here to listen," said one official on the panel.

Democratic State Representative Lon Burnam was in the audience. Azle isn't his district, but he sits on the House Energy Resource Committee.

"We are going to go get that gas, no question, about that…economic imperative," said Burnam. "It's time, a decade into this, to start doing it right."

After only an hour, residents began leaving the meeting, most grumbling about the same frustration as Kevin Wilson.

"I truly believe this was a dog and pony show," said Wilson.

State Representative Charles Geren was on the panel, and Azle is his district. He said he's pleased that the Railroad Commission is working with geologists to find some answers residents want.

He also said they didn't answer questions at the meeting because it would have taken too long.

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