Gas Drilling Activists Not Happy With Council Component of Task Force Caraway's Assembled

GasDrilling_pressconf_Crawford.jpg
Photo by Patrick Michels
Ray Crawford and his petition signed by those opposed to gas drilling in the Dallas city limuts
As we noted a couple of weeks back, Dallas City Hall's taking applications for the gas-drilling task force Angela Hunt demanded after Dave Neumann failed to make good on his promise to do ... well, anything, really. Linda Koop's chairing the thing. And Mayor-For-Now Dwaine Caraway -- the same man who put Carolyn Davis on the ad hoc ethics committee that met for the first time yesterday -- has assembled the rest of the roster. And at least two of the appointees trouble anti-gas-drilling activist Ray Crawford, who's become the public face of a coalition of groups opposed to the city allowing drilling within the city limits, at least till more studies on the impact of fracking can be finished.

Right now, according to Crawford and a City Hall higher-up with whom I spoke this morning, this is the group Caraway has assembled: Koop, Pauline Medrano, Carolyn Davis (for comic relief, no doubt), Sheffie Kadane, Ann Margolin ... and Ron Natinsky and Dave Neumann, both of whom are lame ducks. Which is but one reason why Crawford's unhappy.

He's sent two letters of complaint to City Hall -- one to Caraway, another to Koop -- in which he outlines his and the other enviro groups' frustration with the make-up of the ad hoc committee. For one thing, Crawford writes, why is Natinsky there? After all, he owns Exxon stock -- and Exxon's the parent company of XTO, which wants the permits to drill, baby, drill. And Neumann? WTF? Pardon: What's the point? Crawford says this ain't a good start in the letters that follow after the jump.
Council member Linda Koop:

Speaking on behalf of several Dallas based environmental groups, I wanted to contact you with regards to the member roster of the ad hoc committee that will be involved with the selection of the Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force.

You may have to correct me if I have bad information, but I am under the impression that council members Neumann and Natinsky have both signed on to the ad hoc committee to assist in selection of task force members.

If true, it troubles me that both council members were campaigning without knowing the outcome of either race. But now that both council members will be leaving office as of June 29th, it does give one pause as to their involvement with the selection process of the task force members in the next few weeks.

To compound the problem, in the past councilman Neumann did admit to receiving campaign donations from the gas industry which he did return, but councilman Natinsky has admitted that he owns Exxon stock which by the way is the parent company of XTO Energy. He would not have been eligible to vote on this issue in council so the question remains why he would be placed on this task force.

Up until this year council member Neumann's lack of support to study the issue until the campaign process began, was just one of the many reasons he is not returning to office. Based on public record, council members Hunt requested that the task force be created and managed in an open and transparent manner so that everyone would know exactly how this task force would operate going forward.

We would request the following:

A. Council members Neumann and Natinsky be removed from the Dallas gas drilling task force selection committee immediately.

B. A new co chair for the ad hoc committee be named by the new mayor on June 29th.

C. That the deadline for task force applicants be extended by one month to June 24th

D. That the task force study time begin on August 2 and last until February 7, 2012

Since the city council has extended the lease agreement with XTO by 30 months, there should not be a rush to gather the information needed to rewrite the current Dallas gas ordinance. As you may remember, Theresa O'Donnell at city council briefing recommended a year long study on this issue which we felt was a fair amount of time.

To go from that city staff recommendation of 1 year to just 16 hours is an embarrassment on behalf of the city. This amount of time does not allow the task force to compile enough information to make the correct recommendations. We all know that much of the research needed to rewrite the gas ordinance will come from other communitites such as Ft. Worth but there still needs to be enough time for task force members to not just 'copy and paste' something together but also 'think long term' and look beyond our immediate area. Topics such as health risk benefits, traffic studies, air quality, what the city can require of industry, and emergency responders training must be addressed.

I have been informed by Dallas Fire Department personnel that the Dallas Fire Department's haz mat unit has not been trained in emergency response techniques related to gas drilling related incidents. Topics such as this must be addressed sooner rather than later.

In closing both mayoral candidates, Rawlings and Kunkle have said that the city of Dallas must proceed slowly and with caution when it comes to gas drilling in our city. This is too important of an issue to allow the perception of impropriety to exist at the beginning. I believe that viewpoint is smart and highly recommended.

If you would like to discuss this subject in person, I and other area citizen groups representatives would welcome the opportunity to come down to your office and have a conversation.

Sincerely
Raymond Crawford
Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling

Jim Schermbeck
Downwinders at Risk

Molly Rooke
Dallas Sierra Club

Jeff Jacoby
Texas Campaign for the Environment

Sharon Wilson
Texas Oil and Gas Project/Earthworks

Cherelle Blazer
You Can't Live in the Woods

Marc McCord
FracDallas

Mayor Dwaine Caraway:

I am sending you a copy of an email that I wrote to the attention of council member Linda Koop. In this email you will see that I and several other citizen groups listed are concerned about the make up of the Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force Ad Hoc Selection Committee members. We think that it is a priority to preserve the integrity of the task force from the beginning. My understanding that both council members Neumann and Natinsky are currently listed as being on the selection committee. Since both council members will no longer be representing their districts, allowing them to remain on the selection committee sends an inappropriate message to Dallas citizens.

I have listed the reasons for my request in my email to Ms. Koop. The scope of the task force is also addressed and I would hope that such an important issue of this nature is not rushed through the process just to beat a deadline of October 26, 2011 when in fact, the city of Dallas has extended the lease agreement by 30 months. In 5 weeks. we will have a new mayor and a new council. This new team of civic leadership in Dallas should be the driving force behind the task force, and not one with some members who are leaving office with a weak or compromised track record on this subject from the beginning.

It is with hope that you once again as you have done so in the past, take a leadership role in the beginning stages of the task force to insure it's integrity. Please take a moment to read through my email to Ms. Koop and if you should have any questions, I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you regarding this matter.

Sincerely

Raymond Crawford
Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Who died and anointed Crawford  God?

Marc
Marc

A friend of mine did!

pak152
pak152

the activists will only be happy when the task force is composed solely with anti-drilling and nimbys. they don't want solutions they just want to always say nothe sad part is that the press accepts without questioning whatever the antis say while belittling those who support drilling as being in the hip pocket of the drillers. this has happened in the past just look at the alar scare, the sudden auto acceleration, climate change etc the day the press starts honestly questioning the antis will truly be the end of the world

Marc
Marc

No, we are NOT Republicans - we don't "just say no!"

We "activists" are concerned about having clean air and water. We are concerned about the health and safety of our fellow citizens. We are concerned about what heavy industrial processes such as gas well drilling, fracturing, production and delivery systems do to property values.

People like you are clueless about why you, too, should be an "activist" against frac'ing. You don't seem to understand that fresh water is in VERY short supply all over the  world, and that frac'ing uses obscene amounts of that water that can never be used by humans, animals or plants again FOR ANY PURPOSE, but that is too deep for your comprehension, so you make comments like the one above.

We DO have solutions to offer. We have been actively promoting clean, renewable and sustainable alternatives to dirty fossil fuels that are depleting at a fast rate. Some of us have been advocating for renewable and sustainable energy resources for decades while you have been sitting on the sidelines watching gasoline prices skyrocket, and bitching about it, while oil and gas companies make obscene fortunes at our expense.

You might try getting educated about this issue so that you will understand why some of us are "activists", and then join us in protecting ourselves and our environrment.

We only have one environrment - when we destroy it, then we will become as extinct as the dinosaurs, and that is a fact! Not one single person can survive without clean water and clean air!

Edgar
Edgar

Just read through this commentary.  It's getting really old how you bark at people that they need to get educated first before they are eligible to cmment on the issues posed by gas drilling.  You always do that.  It's really cheap and easy to premise your argument on, "If you understood the issue, then [you would agree with me]," or "You obviously don't know sh*t because [you don't agree with me]."  Also, cut out the conclusory vomit about how all you're interested in is protecting the air, water, environment and property values.  That's stupid.  The debate is about how we can regulate gas drilling inside city limits to protect not only those things, but also the vested private-property interests of landowners who wish to lease the mineral estates they own, and, yes, the private-property interests of oil and gas lessees.

Marc
Marc

Edgar, the truth hurts, doesn't it? If you, or anybody else, can exercise your mineral rights without damaging the water, air or soil that belongs to other people, then have at it. I get sick and tired of hearing arguments like yours that are based in greed and self-interest, and that don't give a damn about how much harm is caused to the lives and property of others, or to the natural environment.

I will NOT cut out my opposition, and I certainly will not be silenced by people like you who are either too illiterate about this issue, or else just too unconcerned about the damage a heavy industrial activity does in a residential area. The City of Dallas has zoning laws that specifically bar industry from operating in areas zoned commercial or residential. That is why drilling requires zoning changes when it encroaches on residential neighborhoods.

Whether or not you like it, that's the way it is, and that is the way it is going to stay. There is no place for drilling in a residential area. It is dangerous and dirty. It disrupts the lives and property values of others. And, if you had half a brain then you would already know that there ain't no viable flow of gas to be gotten from the Dallas area. Last year, Grand Priarie received a whopping $140,000 from ALL the gas wells in the city combined! And, if you would do any real study of this issue, then you would find that few residents are getting ANY royalties, so your argument about "private-property interests" is void of any credible consideration.

Let me put it to you this way - in the City of Dallas you cannot use your own private property to run a strip club, liquor store or any of several other types of businesses within 1,000 feet of a school, church, child care facility or residence. Those exact same rules should and do apply to gas drilling. It has no place in a residential neighborhood regardless of whether or not YOU get to exercise your mineral rights. There is no such thing as absolute rights.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

Dave and Ron are just preparing for their post--Council XTO careers.  Any odds takers on that?  They already have F'ed Dallas on their resume, might as well fill in the blank with rac.

"If you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with."

Gangy
Gangy

All these committee members were on the Leppert side of the Trinity Toll Road, except Ann Margolin.  I expect complete endorsement of the gas and drilling companies, and I wonder why Ann is on this team.  

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

good call. say that again so that more can hear.

Clayton Auger
Clayton Auger

Look, Neumann just got dis-elected specifically because of his reluctance to form a Task Force after promising to do so, as well as his perceived coziness with industry. Why in hell would you let him anywhere near this process now - especially in helping to pick the members? Likewise, Natinkshy's Exxon/XTO stock should automatically rule out his participation as well. Allow time for Scott Griggs to be involved on behalf of his district. Let the selection process reflect the new, post-election reality at City Hall. That's why people voted. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

Since we're all supposed to die tomorrow anyway (I sure as hell ain't planning on being raptured naked up to heaven to see babyjeebus), who gives a frack?

Susanne
Susanne

Because tomorrow during The Rapture, they will be fracking all over America and in the Barnett Shale which is in your nearby air and water space. We have noted that this industry actually drills and fracks during holidays and special events. Tomorrow may end up being a Lollapalooza!!

Max
Max

 Just another school of herring following a red herring. Y'all ought to check out John Stossil's take on Gasland but then again. It's much fun to be irrational than rational.

Susanne
Susanne

John Stossil?  Give me a break. Watch FOX News, too? Thought so. Have you seen Gasland?  Thought so.

Max
Max

Damn Honey- Hit a nerve did I. Just suggested that Y'all take a gander at how the real old school Jurnos work. I've also noticed that those proposed for this kangaroo court are nothing but light weight hacks from the advocacy movement. If y'all were serious you'd try grab somebody from the Huffington School of Earth Sciences at SMU cuz Gene Herrin's ol' secretary is better versed in geo-physics than any member of this panel.   And no honey, Al Armendarez couldn't even get in the front door there. 

Susanne
Susanne

Why are you calling me Honey? Have you seen "Gasland"?  I find that people who make such statements as yours have not seen the documentary. So, admit it. You haven't seen it, have you?  It can be purchased for $12.99 on Amazon. I betcha you can spring for that. Now, there's your homework.

http://www.amazon.com/Gasland-...

And stop with calling it "crap." Not sure why you have to be so hateful with your statement about Dallas, either. "Gasland" is about more than science. It is a film about people experiencing drilling and slick water, horizontal, hydraulic fracturing of shale gas wells. You brought up "Gasland," no one else did. That says more about you.

Max
Max

Suzanne- No reply key available, but Honey you're correct. My comment was on the Gasland crap which is just that, a red herring. There are no subsurface problems but the surface problems are a real mess. And boy do I understand y'all's problem with that. But please keep to the real problems and not the imagined. I was borne and raised in Bid D but left as soon as I could. Good luck but try to keep it rational. Max 

Susanne
Susanne

Oh, Darlin', if you had shale gas drilling in your neighborhood, I doubt you would be so mordant. Seeing it in operation is a whole lot different than hearing or reading about it. There are so many other issues than the science...property issues, leasing issues, force majeure issues, royalty issues, Rule 37 Issues, well log reporting issues, permitting issues, regulation issues, pooled unit issues, eminent domain issues, pipeline placement issues, more regulation issues. All the things that regular "citizens" can and should know and understand. The problems with shale gas drilling are vast. Turning neighborhoods into industrial zones...understanding how that can happen doesn't require a Ph.D. in Geophysics.

Paul S
Paul S

 Stossel is just a second rate Geraldo Rivera. He has an agenda that is anything but journalistic.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 I loved that part where the guy up in Pennsylvania filled a glass with flaming water from the tap.Free hot water!

Susanne
Susanne

I doubt you would "like" it if this were your water.  It's not fiction that people have lost access to their water.  And that in some communities, they have continued to drink contaminated water after being told it was a-ok. Depending on their immune systems, they can expect certain forms of cancer to develop at some point in their lives. Sometimes things like this seem so far fetched and could never happen in our America. Welcome to shale gas drilling. It's a nightmare.

Whodunit
Whodunit

The last desperate (and despicable) acts of two men.........what a disgrace!

Paul S
Paul S

I never understood why it was important to bring the foxes into the conversation about the best way to protect the hen house. Oh wait these foxes have money! I know we should have members of Al-Qaeda in the Office Homeland Security just so we know its fair.

alfredo
alfredo

 It appears that Mr Crawford is unhappy that the committee isn't stacked with members who are opposed to drilling.

Marc
Marc

Alfredo, if you understood this issue, and if you understood the purpose of the task force, then you would not make such comments.

We are not trying to stack any deck. In fact, we don't even have a voice in the make-up of the task force other than as citizen input, and we have every right to voice our opposition to anybody selected to be on that task force.

Just so that you will know, as the task force is currently proposed there will be three seats for industry representatives, three seats for citizens and environmentalists, three seats for academia and two more seats representing the City of Dallas.

We oppose having people with a vested interest sitting on the task force, and we oppose people with a vested interest sitting on the ad hoc committee that will appoint that task force. We want it to be completely objective so that it can fairly and evenly consider ALL the opposing points of view and the science to determine how best to re-write the City of Dallas gas drilling ordinance.

Everything you say about this matter reeks of personal and financial interest in the outcome. You really shouls get to know the issue before commenting publicly. For now, it appears that you either do not understand the issue, or else you understand it and are using propaganda and disinformation to make your patently false claims. I can assure you that those of us who oppose gas drilling inside dallas City Limits have ZERO financial stake in this issue. Our concerns are for public health and safety, protection of our water, air and soil, and protection of property values.

If that bothers you, then tought shit. Find fifty cents and call somebody who gives a damn what you think. 

Susanne
Susanne

Maybe this commission deserves to be "stacked" with people who give a sh** about the problems with shale gas drilling. It requires a lot of study. And unless someone is willing to study it themselves, the shale gas reps are perfectly happy to provide the incentives for listening to their views, only.

Julianfernandez
Julianfernandez

Better that it should be stacked with industry shills and bagmen?

There is nothing unreasonable in demanding that the formation of this task force be an open and balanced process.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

You got it wrong. It just needs to have members who are not tainted as these two are. What's the problem with that Al?

alfredo
alfredo

There is no legal reason they cannot serve, would Mr. Crawford like cheese with his whine 

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

 From The other Point of VIEW.    Not mine.

He has the  committee he wanted and still he complains? I guess there is just no pleasing him !

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...