Final Chapter? You’re the Author

This could be it: the final vote on our hard-fought and long-awaited gas drilling ordinance update has been set for December 11th. That means we need you to come testify at City Hall that day, possibly for the last time. Dallas residents and organizations have been working to get this ordinance done for several years – but as close as it seems now, we aren’t at all certain whether it will actually pass! Public participation and testimony has been critical in this effort so far, so please come speak now or forever hold your peace. In the meantime, you can contact your elected officials and urge them to support the new gas ordinance.

December 11th, 2013
Dallas City Council Chambers
1500 Marilla, 75201, 6th Floor
Email Mayor Rawlings here

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, in his own words:“I will never vote to put neighborhoods at risk because of money.”

“There is a place for everything under heaven, and I don’t think the place for drilling is in Dallas.”

“I will be supporting the efforts of our [City Plan Commission] on new gas drilling ordinances, to make sure the standards are such to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

After the last City Council briefing, things have become fairly clear: the outcome will probably boil down to the vote of Mayor Mike Rawlings. Mayor Rawlings has repeatedly and publicly expressed his personal reservations with urban gas drilling, and at the Trinity East permit vote in August he even went so far as to state unequivocally that he would support the work of the City Plan Commission to pass this new ordinance. Whether or not the ordinance actually passes in its current form will come down to whether or not Rawlings does what he said he would do. We think it really is that simple. There are only two other “undecided” council members, and we believe they will follow his lead.

The city attorneys are raising the threat-of-lawsuit red flags, as always. City staff is attempting to steer this conversation back to the 2-year-old, obsolete Gas Drilling Task Force recommendations, as usual. But this is clearly a legacy vote for Mayor Rawlings. It could be the final chapter of what has been a long drama full of crazy twists and turns for years. It’s not just another hearing, just another debate, just another vote – we hope you will come help see this through to the end.

The alternative, should the industry lobbyists prevail, is to go back to weaker, older gas drilling rules as proposed two years ago by the Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force. This bad proposal was strongly opposed by a coalition of environmental, neighborhood and civic groups. The new City Plan Commission ordinance is far better in many important ways, and although it still has major flaws, this same coalition has endorsed its passage. To see the key differences and improvements, see this page.

Dallas residents have won several important victories since this saga began, but this last vote will be the real legacy of all of our work. We can’t overstate its importance. Please help spread the word!

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2 Comments

Filed under City Council debate, take action

2 responses to “Final Chapter? You’re the Author

  1. Bravo to Dallas Residents at Risk. Job well done. A 1,500 Foot Setback was accomplished. Just short of banning it from city limits…this is good.

    From the Texas Tribune:

    http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/11/dallas-city-council-tightens-gas-drilling-ordinanc/Texas Tribune.

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