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Gas, Lies and Videotape

December 14, 2012

Should Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings initiate any future meetings with the Dallas media in which he wants to speak to Dallas residents on the shale gas drilling situation that remains in limbo, he might want to think back to his earlier comments.

mary-suhm-sm                                                            Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm

He might also want to refuse to make any public comment going forward and allow City Manager, Mary Suhm to conduct the media interviews. Since Suhm first crafted the secretive gas drilling deal with the gas industry, it’s been a continuing tug of war between her office and others outside of her office  to control the message. In today’s Dallas News, writer Rudy Bush was among the Dallas media to attend a hastily called meeting with the Mayor. Read an excerpt below:

Trinity East is currently scheduled for a hearing in January before the City Council to drill on three sites in the Elm Fork floodplain, near Luna Vista golf course and the Elm Fork Shooting Range.At that hearing, the company’s permits would be considered under the city’s current drilling ordinance. Many citizens consider that ordinance too weak to protect residents, businesses and the environment from drilling’s impact.

A city task force has recommended a stricter ordinance, but it’s unlikely that will become law before late summer.Rawlings said the city has two options: grant Trinity East its permits under the current ordinance or deny them the permits and risk a lawsuit.

The Mayor lied by omission to the media not mentioning that Trinity East would be before the Dallas City Planning Commission on Thursday, December 20 at 1:30. The energy company wants their special use permits to move forward with a new ordinance and to begin drilling in Dallas park lands and Trinity River floodplains. Currently, drilling is prohibited in these park lands and floodplains. Rawlings goes on to say that the new gas drilling ordinance would most likely not come to light until late Summer of 2013.

Rawlings said he would probably vote to grant Trinity East its permits in January. All council members have a calculation to make when casting their votes, he said.

You can read more of the Mayors half truths, and lies of omission in the Dallas News article that does require subscription. Until then, while the Mayor continues his role as errand boy for the City Manager, everyone is invited to attend the Dallas City Planning Commission Hearing on Thursday, December 20th at 1:30 pm in City Council Chambers. Bring your selves, your opinions, and your friends. The Mayor must decide who is his employer, the residents of Dallas, the City Manager, or the gas industry.

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