Mayor Mike Rawlings and CPC Chairman Joe Alcantar
The Children of North Hills Prep School
Click the image above or HERE for details
On January 5, 2012, a Chesapeake drilling rig caught fire and was destroyed near Stillwater, Oklahoma when it hit a pressurized gas pocket at a depth of about 900 feet. At the time of the accident drilling the initial hole was in progress. There was no casing pipe, cement, gas separator, blowout preventer, chokes or other suppression devices installed at the time of the blowout, though all were on-site. See the video of the burning rig HERE.
The US EPA has issued a warning due to natural gas contamination of an aquifer in Parker County, Texas, and ordered remediation by Range Productions because of imminent explosion hazards at the homes of at least two families. Read the entire story HERE.
Marcellus Shale spill contaminates water, soil
After telling us how safe their operations are XTO had a frac'ing fluid spill in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale that has contaminated a spring and a tributary to a river resulting in fish kills and other environmental problems. A valve was left open and unattended, only to be discovered by a gas well imnspector - no XTO personnel were present.
This is precisely why we oppose gas well drilling in a major metropolitan area adjacent to primary water sources. Hopefully, this will send a wake-up call to our City Council and City Plan Commission.
On Thursday, November 18, 2010, just as the Dallas City Plan Commision was about to take up the issue of the XTO permit application for FM 1382 at Camp Wisdom Road seven of the 13 members of the commission recused themselves and walked out of the meeting leaving the commission with less than a quorum. With no explanation, the chairman proceeded to conduct a public meeting that was probably illegal and which had no authority to proceed. It is also interesting that those same members walked back into the chamber and voted to postpone hearing this application request until February 17, 2011.
Now, it has come to our attention that the reason for the walk-out was because those members own ExxonMobil stock, and since ExxonMobil owns XTO Energy that creates a conflict of interest. What is really smelly about this is that those same members sat in on and voted on the first XTO permit application for Hensley field just one month earlier in obvious violation of state and federal ethics laws.
So, if they had a conflict of interest that prevented them from from participating in the discussion, they why would it be legal for them to vote on the delay? And, why was the meeting not adjourned immediately when it became apparent that a legal quorum was not present? Also, why were we who came to give testimony not advised about the reason for the recusals?
It appears that our City Plan Commission does not have the legal authority to even discuss this matter, let alone vote on it. We will be polling members of the Dallas City Council to determine how many of them also own ExxonMobil stock, and we will demand that they also recuse themselves from any participation. If this leaves the City Council without a legal quorum, then we expect these matters to be permanently tabled until such time as we have new City Plan Commissioners and City Council members who do not have a vested interest that is in direct conflict with the best interest of Dallas citizens.
As smelly as frac'ing fluids are, this city government of ours make that smell like a rose garden!
On Saturday, May 28, 2011, an explosion at a natural gas treatment center owned by TGGT Holdings LLC in Red River Parish, Louisiana killed one worker and injured another. The two men were the only ones working in the area of the explosion, the cause of which is yet to be determined. The plant is shut down. A cleanup and investigation into the cuase of the "fraccident" is under way. The injured man has been released from the hospital. No other details are currently available.
UPDATE: The CPC voted to deny the three SUPs for the L.B. Houston Sports Complex and Elm Fork Soccer Complex without prejudice.
(Or, so we thought!)
Click HERE for details.
On Thursday, December 20, the Dallas City Plan Commission will hear public comments and vote on approving or denying three SUPs for gas well drilling at Luna Vista Golf Course (Trinity East - 2 SUPs) and the adjacent Elm Fork Soccer Complex (Trinity East - 1 SUP) in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, located on the 6th Floor at 1500 Marilla Street in downtown Dallas at 1:30 PM. Each well site can have up to 20 wells and the Elm Fork Soccer Complex site will also host a compressor station just 600 feet from the brand new soccer fields where children will be playing. This dastardly attempt to sneak these SUPs in just before Christmas is par for the course (pun intended) for a City Council without integrity that constantly votes against the best interest of citizens whenever it benefits their friends and financial contributors.
After two years of pretending to listen to citizens concerns, and without even making the effort to write the new gas drilling ordinance we were promised, our city leadership is prepared to risk our health and safety, wreck our property values and cost us millions of dollars in taxes to rebuild roads and bridges damaged by overweight trucks traveling to and from frac sites on the risky bet that the city will get money out of allowing drilling when gas drilling and production is being curtailed nationwide due to a glut of gas, no markets for existing stocks, and market prices that are less than one third the breakeven cost of production. Only active citizen involvement can stem this tide of assault against us and our neighborhoods. Please get as many of your family, friends and neighbors as possible to attend this crucial hearing on December 20 and show opposition to gas well drilling within our city limits.
On Friday, July 20, 2012, a natural gas leak at an XTO Energy well site in Benbrook, Texas caught the attention of neighborhhod residents who heard a very loud noise that sounded like "what you might hear if several jets were passing over", except that the noise was constant. To read about the experiences of the neighborhood in dealing with XTO, the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Benbrook Fire Department please read this page.
February 7, 2012 - Denton, Texas
March 7, 2012 - Erie, Colorado
April 16, 2012 - Boulder County, Colorado
May 15, 2012 - Loveland, Colorado
June 18, 2012 - Longmont, Colorado
June 30, 2011 - France
November 30, 2010 - New York State
November 18, 2010 - Grand Prairie, Texas
November 16, 2010 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
June 8, 2010 - Flower Mound, Texas
DFW Municipal Actions
On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the Dallas City Council will be briefed by a gas industry representative and an environmental representative as the start of the formal process of re-writing the gas drilling ordinance. The briefing will be held at 9:00 AM in Room 6ES at Dallas City Hall (sixth floor behind the City Council Chamber). The room only seats about 60 people and standing is not permitted, so be there early if you want a seat. Overflow seating will be available in the Flag Room just outside the City Council Chamber where the briefing can be viewed on closed circuit televisions.
This is a crucial meeting, and a large attendance would be helpful. After this meeting the Council with have further briefings by the task force and city staff, then take up discussion, debate and public comment before voting on sending recommendations to the City Attorney's Office for codification probably before the end of this year.
More important than being at the August 1 briefing is contacting yuor City Council member to express your concerns about gas drilling inside Dallas City Limits. What is being sought by those opposing urban drilling are reasonable safeguards that protect our health and safety, quality of life, property values and our vital water, air and soil, as well as our public infrastructure (roads, streets and bridges.) Please help spread the word that we need supporters for these considerations to contact their city officials and be a part of our efforts to fair consideration from thsoe we elect to protect us.
Southlake, January 4, 2011, tabled XTO permit until February 1
Arlington, January 4, 2011, delayed vote on Chesapeake Truman site until at least January 18
Keller, January 11, 2011, Zoning & Planning Commission unanimously denied a request from XTO Energy to develop a gas well site less than 600 feet from two Keller residences. XTO had applied for a variance to drill up to 12 wells on 9.1 acres at 2202 Union Church Road on the site known as the Sky Creek pad site. The Keller City Council is scheduled to vote on XTO's request on February 1, 2011.
Copyright © 2010-2013, Marc W. McCord. All rights reserved. CobraGraphics is the trademark of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographic images are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission of the copyright owner under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.