What do you do if you’re a gas drilling company and a key vote on whether to allow fracking in parks, near a school and soccer fields and in the Trinity River floodplain doesn’t go your way? Simple: make a back-room deal to undo the vote and get a “do-over” as if it had never happened. That’s what happened this week in Dallas when the City Plan Commission voted to reconsider the failed drilling applications in a move that was both a shame and a sham. Since three Commissioners who had previously voted against gas drilling permits could not be present, the vote to reconsider these applications passed 6-5. Oh, and no public testimony was allowed. Whatever this is, it isn’t democracy.
So now the gas company gets another opportunity to convince Dallas officials that putting a natural gas refinery a few hundred feet away from the new Elm Fork Soccer Complex is perfect safe. They get another chance to argue that fracking is done on golf courses all over DFW and there’s nothing wrong with that. They get to keep pretending that fracking on the banks of the Trinity River, in its floodplain, doesn’t pose any risk at all.
But you know what? Dallas residents get the chance to put an end to this charade once and for all. If concerned citizens come back to City Hall and make their voices heard the way they did last month and this week, the City Plan Commission just might vote to deny these drilling applications for a second time. Then the gas company would really be in trouble.
Come to City Hall on February 7th at 1:30PM to stand up for clean air, healthy water and real democracy in Dallas. Spread the word and ask others to come. Let’s finish this.