FORTWORTH - A group of activists have announced they have united their powers to focus on their Barnett Shale drilling concerns.

For the past few years, many activists along the Barnett Shale have expressed their criticism when it comes to pipelines, noise and safety issues. Now, those voices have joined to form the North Central Texas Communities Alliance.

There would be this issue or that issue and individuals or various municipalities would deal with it, but what we came to realize is this is an area-wide problem in the Barnett Shale and we felt there was power in bringing people together, said Deborah McElfish, an organizer with the group.

Tuesday night, McElfish and other organizers are meeting at the Trinity Inn and Suites in Fort Worth.

What we're looking at area wide is to really call a halt to things for a while with a moratorium so we have a chance to address these problems because it's been coming at us more quickly, McElfish said.

She said activists have been heartened by recent successes on well-publicized fights, including the proposed pipeline under Carter Avenue yards and the now-defeated plan to put a community center and school across the street from a natural gas well.

Gas drilling has become our new hobby, McElfish said. We've had to do our homework and really learn a lot about this, so in coming together we feel like we can learn from each other and in coming together there's strength in numbers.

A motto, together we bargain, divided we fail, has already been proposed by DISH Mayor Calvin Tillman, who expressed concern about natural gas facilities emissions in his town.


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