Alpine High town doesn't mind the money that comes with oil field workers

Fuel Fix:
Oil and gas men filled La Cueva de Oso at lunchtime on Monday. Nine American pickup trucks parked side-by-side out front. A side room was blocked off for a team working Apache Corp.’s Alpine High, the oil field that, at least initially, divided this small town.

Thais Zuniga, 18 and a brand-new graduate of Balmorhea High, served half the tables. She and her friends talked about the oil drilling at school, she said. One still thinks Apache is going to ruin the community.

RELATED: Balmorhea state park launches intensive monitoring as Apache drills nearby

“But the rest of us, we’re fine,” she said. “As long as they don’t mess with our water.”

Apache, a Houston oil and gas company, announced almost a year ago that it had discovered 15 billion barrels of oil and gas under 350,000 acres here in West Texas. Many worried: Visitors from near and far flock to the famous spring-fed pool at nearby Balmorhea State Park. If oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing broke into the springs and ruined the pool, what, they asked, would be come of this 500-person town, already struggling to make ends meet?

But residents now report that they, and their neighbors, have grown more accepting of Apache’s arrival. The company bought a new fire truck for the local fire department. It paid for three of four tour buses to take residents to Dallas when the high school six-man team made state. Bars, restaurants, hotels and the town grocery store all say they have enjoyed the extra business.

“In a small town like Balmorhea, we need all the help we can get,” said Joel Madrid, owner of La Cueva, who spent $150,000 to expand the restaurant by about 1,500 square feet in preparation for the oilfield workers. “Everybody’s benefiting.”
At this point, Apache Corp. looks like a better and more dependable neighbor than the anti-energy left activists who tried to stop the development.  I suspect that the community figured out pretty quickly that those trying to stop the development were just using their fear of water contamination as an excuse.

The numerous studies on the issue of fracking and water have pretty much disproved what the left has been saying.  These days it is just so much Russian propaganda fed through Russian front companies in Bahama to buck up Big Green.  Whether they know it or not the anti-energy left is playing into Putin's hands.


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