To the leaders of Dallas:Choose your future
On Wednesday, January 12th at 1pm, the Dallas city council will make a historical choice that will affect everyone in the DFW metroplex for years to come. This choice will affect our environment, our health, our property values, and the city budget. Since 2007, when the city of Dallas first entertained the thought of shale gas drilling(we don’t use the word “natural” anymore, since there isn’t anything natural about it) there have been secret negotiations, $34 million down payment, lack of communication to the citizens, bulldozing meetings, and industry “counseling” within the confines of city hall. What seemed to be a slam dunk of a deal between the city and XTO only came to light back in the late Spring of 2010. If it wasn’t for a heads up email from a city hall employee warning us about the upcoming city planning hearing with XTO, we would never have known anything about it.
If this deal had gone through as planned by the city manager/mayor, Dallas would now be a contributer to the dirtiest state in the United States, and we’re not only talking about the environment. Because of a lack of federal regulations, state wide corruption, and a governor who chooses to continue the polluted process of leadership, the state of Texas is in a precarious position. The shale gas industry knows this and enjoys the open door policy of influence and polluting our state. Any city staff who knows how to read, would never recommend approval of gas drilling within the confines of any city. But the city staff of Dallas has done that. It is obvious to us that because of the current economic situation, they have to keep a paycheck so therefore they do what both mayors Suhm and Leppert ask them to do- recommend approval.
There is one hopeful sign to this awful situation. District 3 city council member Dave Neumann has seen the writing on the wall for his political future hopes for 2011 . Mr. Neumann has stated in the media and has told citizens of Dallas that he has a plan to defuse this situation. Neumann has plans to call for a moratorium, propose an extension to the XTO lease for a period of time(we hope a year) and create a task force to study how drills and people can coexist. We already know that under current federal and state regulations, that coexistence will never happen in a safe and healthy manner. If you read all of the news that has been in the media for the last two years regarding gas drilling, none of it is good. There are reports of a boom in drilling and there are reports of flaming faucets, spills and leaks, contaminated water, and residents with toxins in their blood. Those same stories will be presented at the city council meeting on the 12th. Mr. Neumann has stated he only wants to deal with the facts and not the hysteria. There is a hysteria because it’s all based on fact, Mr. Neumann.
So in closing we invite City Manager Suhm, Mayor Leppert, and the entire city council to think long and hard about their choice next week and even later in the year when it comes time to choose between a healthy and safer Dallas and a polluted, corrupt Dallas. If they choose to give approval of this application by XTO, they will have that legacy of pollution and hints of corruption on their name for the remainder of their careers. For those who choose to deny this application, they will have a legacy of strong leadership because they chose a healthier and safer Dallas for everyone based on fact.
When you know better, you do better-Maya Angelou
Choose your future.
Dallas City Council Hearing to approve XTO’s application to install 14 wells at Hensley Field
Wednesday, January 12, 2010
City Hall Chambers
Public comments are welcomed in a three minute format
All citizens from Dallas are encouraged to attend.
No parking underground, all parking is now on street and lots.