Seriously Dallas, are you serious?
So, the City of Dallas is quite proud of itself now that it has gone to great lengths to announce the formation of a gas drilling task force. Anyone from any parts of the city can apply for a position. While the City of Dallas has not explained to the public it’s goal, it was always requested that the task force go into this process with the intention of tearing apart the current Dallas gas ordinance and rewriting that sham of rules currently in place.
It took many months of arm twisting, cajoling, emailing, mailing, pleading to get the city to this point. It started back in the middle of the summer of 2010 and has just now come to this milestone. At the April 20th city council briefing, the council was given a presentation created by Sustainable Development. CLICK HERE TO SEE IT. Theresa O’Donnell who is head of Sustainable Development along with her her staff members tried to explain in brief and simple terms as to the requirements. When the subject of costs came up, there were no answers as to how much this would cost the city. Ms. O’Donnell told the council that the City of Ft. Worth was near the end of it’s $1 million gas drilling study.
You can watch the video presentation made by the City of Fort Worth by CLICKING HERE
Why the City of Dallas continues to look to Fort Worth for inspiration and direction is beyond our understanding. The City of Fort Worth has contributed to the contamination of our dirty air with their pro active drilling stance over the past decade. Only recently did their study begin to analyze why we continue down this dirty path.
City councilman Tennell Atkins was not thrilled with cost numbers such as that and remarked that under current budget conditions that he would have a problem spending that kind of money and that the city might need to go to the private sector for funds. City councilwoman Angela Hunt remarked that given the seriousness of this issue, cost should be second to the welfare of the city’s residents. You can read the Dallas Observer’s live blogging HERE.
When city councilman Jerry Allen asked Ms. O’Donnell the length of time she felt this task force should be studying the issue, she said a ‘long time’. When pressed about this length of time, Ms. O’Donnell answered ‘probably one year’. Mr. Allen was not happy man and then said that he thought that this was too long and he wanted to just ‘git ‘er done’.
So someone in charge at Dallas City Hall has now decided that the length of time for the Dallas gas drilling task force should only live for 16 hours in total. From July to October, every Tuesday afternoon for two hours a session. The application is HERE. Why the city wants to ‘fast track’ such a serious issue is beyond our comprehension. As Ms. Hunt said on April 20th, “This is not simply an exercise in public discourse. It is a cost I believe we’l have to bear, just as we bear the cost of other public health and safety issues.”
If the City of Dallas is serious about studying the issue of urban shale gas drilling then they need to rethink the length of time that this task force should be assembled. No one ever said that this issue was going to be easy to understand, as it takes time to absorb many details that go into this subject matter. There should be no ‘rush to judgement’ since last year the City of Dallas extended the XTO lease by 30 months. The EPA study on fracking will be revealed in 2012, still within the 30 month window of time. We would like for the City of Dallas to reconsider the 16 hours that are being proposed. If the city is serious, then the length of time will be extended by months not by a few additional meetings.
Seriously Dallas, are really serious?