Angela Hunt and Scott Griggs Want a Vote On Trinity East Drillsites in 30 Days

Categories: City Hall

HuntGrigs.jpg
Before term limits and elections change the complexion of the Dallas City Council in unknowable ways, Scott Griggs and Angela Hunt want an up-or-down vote on proposed natural gas wells along the Trinity River.

Last month, the Dallas Plan Commission voted down the permits for drilling outfit Trinity East, which so far has paid the city $19 million for the rights to thousands of acres in northwest Dallas -- and who-knows-how-many millions more to lease up neighboring acreage on private property in Dallas County. With a rejection at the Plan Commission, supporters on the council need a supermajority to approve the permits. The opposition, on the other hand, needs only four votes to scuttle them.

Trinity East's big bet on fracking the easternmost edge of the Barnett Shale has been caught up in controversy over the locations of the proposed drill sites -- two of which are sited on city parkland and the Trinity River floodplain. To drill on a floodplain requires only an exemption to city code, but on parkland in particular it seems to fly in the face of years of policy, according to opponents. Mayor Rawlings has said publicly that he's concerned about a potential lawsuit from the company over a "deal that was cut."

But with stalwart drilling opponents like Angela Hunt term-limited out, and Scott Griggs facing Delia Jasso for the same Oak Cliff district, the post-election vote gets tougher to count and possibly more favorable for Trinity East.

A memo, signed solely by Hunt and Griggs last week and sent to Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Manager Mary Suhm and their fellow council members, asked for a vote before the current council within 30 days. But if the lack of interest in signing the memo is any indication, they might not get it until after the elections. "We invited our colleagues to sign this memo along with us," Hunt tells Unfair Park.

"It's very clear what's going on," she said. "This matter needs to be heard. It's been drawn out and we need to move forward. The citizens of Dallas deserve an answer. And they deserve to know who on the council supports gas drilling in parks and who doesn't.

"It's clear council members don't want to take a stand until after the election."

Says Trinity East's representative before the council, Dallas Cothrum of Masterplan: "We appealed the plan commission's hearing and remain optimistic that our partner, the City of Dallas, will determine that gas drilling is as appropriate today as it was when the partners executed the lease several years ago. We will trust the council to act at the appropriate time so that we can fulfill the obligations of the lease."

(h/t Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling)


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16 comments
schermbeck
schermbeck

If you're so inclined you can send an e-mail message to the Mayor and Council asking them to have the courage of their convictions and vote before the elections: 

http://www.downwindersatrisk.org/?p=2853

That can also link you to a post that lists the answers of all candidates to the question on Dallas drilling that the DMN published as part of its Council questionnaire.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

As it appears Hunt and Griggs are being stymied on their request, this will likely be decided by the new Council seated after the election.

The voters need to push each City Council candidate to state his or her position on drilling on Dallas park land. We deserve to know how they view this issue and what we can expect from them should they be on the council.

This Thursday night Gates and Burk are scheduled to be at Withers Elementary for a Q&A. I have an e mail response from Burk's campaign stating, without qualification, that Burk is opposed to any drilling. Gates campaign did not reply to my e mail asking her position.

I hope the forum on Thursday allows for the voters in this district to hear exactly how the 2 candidates view the issue, and will press for a clear statement from each of them.

Put your candidates on the record folks, this is an important issue that I believe can affect how the election is decided.

if6were9
if6were9

I love Angela's hair wisping in the wind like that.........please, more of those photos. 

rubbercow
rubbercow

I was at the "forum" last night in Oak Cliff where Ms. Jasso and Mr. Griggs answered questions put to them by voters.

It was actually comical to watch Ms. Jasso tap dance around this question.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

With the way documents involved in this situation seem to find places to hide and surface just in time , Maybe they need to search the city Managers desk/wall-safe for Paper work  to see the if she ( In the Name of the City) has already granted irrevocable approval for the drilling to begin ?

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@mavdog

It doesn't take a lot of votes to swing some of the District elections. I am surprised the anti fracking crew isn't using a get out the vote ground game.

WylieH
WylieH

@rubbercow Jasso is an order-taker; couldn't give a rip about the people she purports to represent.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@primi_timpano Maybe this IS their "get out the vote ground game."  Indicating that most folks are apathetic or welcome such drilling. 


brantley.hargrove1
brantley.hargrove1

@WylieH @rubbercow Jasso, by the way, was on the Park Board in 2008, I believe, when she put forward a resolution to ban all drilling on the surface of park land.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@roo_ster

using that falacious logic the fact that there isn't a "get out the vote ground game" FOR drilling indicates that most folks oppose such drilling.

wow. inane doesn't go far enough,

brantley.hargrove1
brantley.hargrove1

@rubbercow I wasn't there. So she wouldn't even address the question because of the specter of a lawsuit that hasn't been filed? Interesting.

rubbercow
rubbercow

@brantley.hargrove1 @WylieH @rubbercow Brantley, were you there last night? Ms. Jasso claimed that she was unable to comment on the issue because of the possibility of litigation relating to the deal. I am no lawyer, but a public servant being gagged under a litigation hold sounds a little fishy to me.

If she has no problem with it, why did she spend several minutes dodging and twisting?

rubbercow
rubbercow

@brantley.hargrove1 @WylieH Brantley, were you there last night? Ms. Jasso claimed that she was unable to comment on the issue because of the possibility of litigation relating to the deal. I am no lawyer, but a public servant being gagged under a litigation hold sounds a little fishy to me. If she has no problem with it, why did she spend several minutes dodging and twisting?

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