So the City Plan Commission decided to toss the live grenade–two gas drilling applications in parklands and floodplains and one gas processing plant / compressor station near the Elm Fork Soccer Complex–back into the lap of Mayor Rawlings and the City Council. The City Plan Commission has told Rawlings and the Council to address the controversial proposals to change the parkland and floodplain ordinances before expecting a decision from them on the actual gas drilling applications. That’s a very good decision. But it means everyone’s attention must turn to Mayor Rawlings and the City Council. Now.
When will they hold their vote? Well…..they had scheduled a vote on Jan. 23rd. Then it was Feb. 13th. Not it may be Feb. 27th. Will it change again? We’ll find out soon.
What are they voting on first, exactly? Authorization to allow fracking on city-owned parkland. Sounds like a bad idea, right, so why would we want to do this? That’s a great question for our City Manager, Mary Suhm.
Documents released yesterday evening by the city reveal that Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm signed a side deal with a gas-drilling company five years ago to help the company win drilling rights on city parkland, even though she had assured the City Council and park board that drilling on parkland would be banned.
Whatever this is, it isn’t democracy. Downwinders at Risk has a great summary here. As if that weren’t bad enough, the City Plan Commission may have crossed a legal line to get “reconsideration” vote through. The Dallas Business Journal has the story here. Again, this isn’t how our government is supposed to work for us. That’s why we need you to keep the pressure on City Hall, but turn it on Mayor Rawlings and the City Council. Do you have a relationship with your Council member? Call, email and meet with them to make it crystal clear you don’t want drilling rigs on our public parklands. Tell them you don’t want the city’s tenth largest source of hazardous air pollution to be built next to the city’s largest outdoor recreation area. Now’s your chance. Now’s our chance.