Just 10 days after a contentious public hearing with state officials, residents in Reno and Azle gathered Monday night to try and make sense of the swarm of earthquakes that keep rocking their part of North Texas. The latest quake hit just hours before the public meeting.
Several hundred people listened to a panel of speakers that included the former mayor of Dish, Calvin Tillman.
“I’m not some rocket scientist,” Tillman told the crowd. “Just a normal guy, who moved to the country, who got pissed off by the oil and gas industry, just like you.”
Tillman is working with environmental groups like Earthworks Action and the North Central Texas Communities Alliance to seek tougher restrictions and regulations on the oil and gas industry. Some point to gas drilling wastewater injection wells as the culprit of the quakes. No industry representatives spoke Monday night.
Azle residents Tracy Strickland and Tom Converse echoed Tillman’s message. They moved to Azle this past summer, from East Texas, and now live in the epicenter of the quake activity.
Converse says his main concern is his property value.
“Is it going to decrease our property [value]?” he asked. “You buy it for an investment. And now you don’t know where we stand 10 years from now. If the earthquakes are going to affect us.”
Strickland says it’s good to have this guidance to know what residents can do “to try to change things and make a difference.”
It’s encouraging, both said, especially since they keep experiencing the shakes.
“We’re sitting there, and 11:40, it rumbled right on through the house,” Strickland said. “It feels like a truck hits the back of the house, and the whole house just shakes. So, it’s something.”
Michael Loggains and his wife live just 10 miles north of Azle, near the Trinity River.
“I just built a home out here, and it’s being shaken,” he says. “Just called two weeks ago, when we put earthquake insurance on our house, that was an extra 100 dollars a year, that you shouldn’t need in Texas! I mean, California, maybe, but in Texas, no.