Word has leaked out today from within the gas industry, that organized plans to “overwhelm” Dallas City Hall are being made for Thursday afternoon, August 22 at the 1 PM Dallas City Planning Commission. Insiders have revealed that the shale gas industry is rapidly making plans to have a very large showing of shale gas friends to pressure the City Planning Commission to lower the proposed set back distance of 1500 feet to the original 300 feet that is currently on the books.
The insider today told us that the gas industry feels “threatened” by this potential 1500 set back distance as a deal breaker that would prohibit any and all shale gas drilling in the City of Dallas. Gas industry representative Dallas Cothurm, a Dallas resident has stated numerous times in public that any distance above 600 feet is a “deal breaker” for his client. To date, every time that the shale gas industry has appeared before the Dallas Planning Commission, they have lost every battle.
Two years ago, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told a large public audience that he would “not put any neighborhood at risk because of money.” Since making that statement, Rawlings has backed off his attitude of protection for Dallas residents and has now taken an attitude of silence. City leaders continued to be pressured by father and son team of Dallas and Willie Cothrum who represent the shale gas industry’s efforts to drill within the city. Willie Cothrum, former city councilman and his son Dallas are at Dallas City Hall on a daily basis working as lobbyists.
There are conspiracy questions/theories floating around Dallas as to why XTO/EXXON would walk away from their lease fight last year. The much smaller, Trinity East Energy continues to fight to drill and build a refinery next door to the new, under construction Elm Fork Soccer Complex. Some have theorized that XTO/EXXON and Trinity East Energy have agreed that if Trinity East Energy wins their battle that immediately after, they would sell their holdings to XTO/EXXON making them the ultimate winner in the Dallas shale play.
The City of Dallas never has admitted to the drilling disaster in 2009 whereupon, Trinity East Energy had a casing failure at The University of Dallas campus that sits on the border of The City of Irving and The City of Dallas. The incident happened during drilling operations but the amount of contamination is not known. A few records show some details of the incident, but most of the information is not known.
Thursday’s City Planning Commission public hearing highlights the continuing process of writing a new gas ordinance for The City of Dallas that is scheduled to be turned over to the Dallas city council in September.