Mayor leaving Texas town over gas drilling worries

AP News
Posted: Feb 22, 2011 8:31 PM
Mayor leaving Texas town over gas drilling worries

The mayor of a tiny rural town at the heart of Texas' natural gas drilling controversy says he's leaving over concerns about his children's health problems.

Dish Mayor Calvin Tillman said he will keep fighting _ although not as a politician _ to make sure energy companies follow state and federal air quality regulations. Town commissioners can remove Tillman if he moves away from Dish before the May election, when his term expires.

Dish has about 200 residents. It's in the Barnett Shale, a 5,000-square-mile underground rock formation packed with natural gas. The shale spans about two dozen North Texas counties.

Dish residents have complained about noise, odors and health problems that include nosebleeds, pain and circulation loss.

Energy companies say they're operating in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.