Angela Hunt Is "Pleased" With Make-Up of Council's Ad Hoc Gas Drilling Task Force

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Yesterday Leslie recounted the Dallas City Council's vote on the membership of the ad hoc gas drilling task force -- during which rookie Scott Griggs's attempt to add Mountain Creek resident Ed Meyer to the roster was met with a deafening silence. Angela Hunt has posted to her website her thoughts on the subject, including a recap of the events leading to yesterday's vote and how it went down Monday.

Let's go to the excerpt:
Councilmember Griggs had proposed adding a person from the Mountain Creek area since it is most affected by this issue due to its place above the Barnett Shale natural gas formation.

I agree with that sentiment, and wish it had been made earlier in the process so they could have been included in our original 9-member selection rather than added as a proposed 10th at the end. Unfortunately, there were not enough votes on the council to add only one person. If we had added another citizen/environmentalist, the majority of the council also wanted to add another industry representative ("for balance"). The selected taskforce is very well-balanced and isn't too industry-heavy, and if we began deviating from the selection process that the council had agreed on for several months, we risked a pro-industry taskforce.
Read the whole thing here.

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13 comments
Marc
Marc

I have no problem with what Angela Hunt said, or anything that she has done. Angela has been the one beacon in an otherwsie dark sky since this process began several years ago.

I do, however, disagree that the task force we got is fair, balanced and objective. It should never have had ANY representatives of industry. Those people should have been called to give presentations on their perspective about how to re-write the gas drilling ordinance, which was supposed to have been the purpose of the task force originally. There should have been three citizen seats, at least one of which was occupied by an actual resident of the affected area, and there should have been three seats for environmentalists.

The purpose of the gas drilling ordinance is NOT to accommodate industry. It is to protect the citizens of Dallas, our neighbors bordering where our drilling would occur and our environment so that Dallas remains a vibrant and attractive place to live and work.

In almost every other city that has formed a task force on this matter industry has not had a role in crafting the rules and regulations by which they will be governed, and it should not have happened here, either. They have a vested interest, and by that very fact they cannot possibly be objective.

I made these suggestions in public meetings before the Dallas City Council when this task force was being considered, as did several other people. Scott Griggs made his recommendations long before he was elected to represent Disctrict 3 as its councilman. Many of us recognized the importance of having fair representation, and that certainly includes having somebody on that panel from the district(s) to be affected by drilling.

From the beginning, certain members of our city council used false concerns to limit the scope and purpose of this task force. Cost was one of the primary concerns, as was how long it would function. Since the task force members are NOT being paid for their services the whole question of cost is completely irrelevant, and was a smokescreen to limit the effectiveness of the task force.

This task force is limited to only 16 hours in 8 meetings between July and October of this year. The EPA study on hydraulic fracturing will not even be completed and released until at least November, 2012. We heard certain city council members say that we did not need to spend money doing our own study because the EPA was already spending millions, and we should not waste limited resources duplicating what the EPA is already doing.

Then, that very same city council, which at that time included David Neumann (pro-drilling) and Ron Natinsky (pro-drilling AND an ExxonMobil stockholder), neither of whom is on the council now, voted to limit the task force to only 16 hours and compel its completion of work more than 13 months before the EPA study is even finished and released. That smells like a "fix" for industry to me!

I am going to remain hopeful that I will be proven wrong, but it surely does appear that the City Council has already decided to go ahead with allowing drilling regardless of the health, safety, property devaluation, or environmental impact concerns of Dallas residents. I hear all the talk from our elected leaders who always say the right things, but then I see their actions, which appear to contradict what they are saying. That causes me great concern.

Our city leadership had better know that we are going to be following everything they do carefully, and we are NOT going to allow them to sell us down the drain to false promises of "huge revenues" from gas drilling like has happened to our neighbors to the west and north.

If you are concerned, then now is the time to get off your butts and get involved! Only citizen participation can protect us from leadership hell bent on selling us out to the pollution of the oil and gas industry - the very same industry that gave us ExxonValdez and BP disasters that cost us billions of dollars while they post record profits in the billions of dollars every year!

BoPeep
BoPeep

The "task force" formation has been languishing for months. All of a sudden, the "colleagues" found it necessary to select the task force members..........BEFORE Scott Griggs could legitimately become involved in the process as a councilmember. So typical of the "control" tactics that have become standard operating procedure for City leaders.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

What's wrong with having an actual resident, who is hip(knowledgeable) to what's going on in their community? Oh. They're hip to what's going on in their community....nevermind. It just seems like there is already a good bit of pro-drillers sitting on the taskforce as of know.  

Doug in DFW
Doug in DFW

Look at the bright side.  Had Hunt spoken up at the council meeting, someone might have missed the chance to read another scintillating blog post about the process.  Blog post for the ISP worthy > public comments for the unwashed cable access channel masses anytime!  And no texting while fracking. :)

We Know
We Know

ahhhhh...Once again, it's Angela Hunt's way--or, the highway.

Griggs was absolutely correct on this call.

claytonauger
claytonauger

OK, so has anyone asked Griggs if he requested this representation beginning the day after his election, when the task force make-up was up for discussion, or did he wait until the first meeting to bring it up? Be cautious about reading anything into this vote one way or another until you know the answer.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Just as you suspected, Mr. Wilonsky.

Polly
Polly

Who cares what Angela thinks? I sure the hell dont!!!

jfpo
jfpo

Looks like she took her reasoning right from the comments of the earlier article. Am I supposed to believe that not one single council member spoke up out of concern over too much industry representation? Please.

BoPeep
BoPeep

I'm so happy that she's "pleased"........

Marc
Marc

It is not appropriate to blame this on Angela. There were 13 other voices there who could have seconded Scott's motion.

We Know
We Know

I think you're a few steps behind.  He was not a member of council until Monday.  Prior to that he was attending the meetings of the committee that selected the members.  He voiced these same requests at that time. 

I Care
I Care

Who cares what Polly thinks?

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