Dallas Groups Question Drilling Task Force Recommendations

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Community and environmental groups in Dallas are banding together to oppose the recommendations of the city’s natural gas drilling task force.

Over an eight-month period task force members considered how to best regulate drilling within city limits. Their final recommendations, made last month, left some community members like Ed Meyer far from satisfied.

“It was a sad day for Dallas. It really was,” said Meyer, president of the Fox Hollow HOA.

Meyer is now part of a group, Dallas Residents At Risk, made up of various community and environmental organizations. Group members are hoping to rile up Dallas residents in opposition to the proposed rules.

The drilling task force made recommendations for everything from landscaping, to permits and plans.

Among the recommendations: a 1,000 ft. buffer zone from any homes or offices. The city council could lower that requirement to 500 ft., depending on the circumstance, but the change could only come abut with two thirds of council voting for it.

Drilling sites must also be at least 200 ft. from any fresh water well, but the recommendations don’t touch the sensitive issue of water use during fracking.

Finally, the recommendations would allow drilling on city park land, but only if the land is not currently being used as a public park or playground.

Drilling supporters tell CBS 11 News the restrictions seem fair and balanced, but opposition groups say they don’t go far enough.

Meyers believes if enough voters complain the city council will listen. “When this goes to city council, we need to fill that chamber,” he said.

One task force member told CBS 11 he felt he was getting equal criticism from both sides of the debate and that was a good sign to him that the task force had found a good middle ground.

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One Comment

  1. Marc says:

    The Task Force was a Task Farce! It reached concensus on setbacks, continuing the current ban on drilling in parks and floodplains and several other major issues, then on the last day reveresed themselves to recommend weakening the current ordinance as they catered to the oil and gas industry.

    There is a major glut of natural gas in the pipelines already. natural gas is selling for less than one third its breakeven cost. Companies are building terminals on the west and gulf coasts to liquify and export our natural gas to Europe and Asia while claiming that more drilling will “free us from foreign energy dependency.”

    Many wells are now being drilled and then shut in because the wellhead price is too low for profitability, which means that no royalty income is being derived by mineral owners. Signing bonus money is now a fraction of what it was just two years ago. The whole economic plan of natural gas production is a fraud meant to lure investors and sell companies before the buyers become aware of how badly they got duped by their own greed.

    To quote Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, “I can assure you that buying leases for x and selling them for 5x or 10x is a lot more profitable than trying to produce gas at $5 or $6 per million cubic feet.” Actually, gas sells in units of THOUSAND cubit feet, not million cubic feet. One would think the head of the second largest gas company in America would know that!

  2. Gary Hogan says:

    It appears that the City of Dallas Task Force is much like Fort Worth’s past Ordinance Task Forces cow towing to Industry demands for variances and reduced setbacks. I presented to this TF early on with a clear measage to NOT write and Orsinance that resembles Fort Worth’s. We still DO NOT HAVE IT RIGHT. In fact Cowtown Cow Towed to BIG gas operators and will suffer it’s due fate. BTW note Fort WOrth has already decreased it’s potential revenue from all this by almost 40 % . 1.3 billion over 20 years is now estimated at 667 million. As city estimates usually are and knowing our city’s perchance for not speaking out in any way to deter this activity that loss of revenue is probably underestimated also. Where is the balance? The total estimated revenue is not enough to even repair the already damaged streets in Fort Worth never mind what we will face in 20 years of Gas Industrialization. Dallas I apeal to your judgement. IT IS JUST NOT WORTH IT ! DO NOT copy the Fort Worth Way .

    1. Marc says:

      Gary, many of us deeply appreciate all the work you have done on this issue over the years, as well as your effort to steer our Task Force in the proper direction. Unfortunately, our Task Force was more easily swayed by false promises of gas company money than they were concerned about citizens’ health and safety, property values and the environment.

      As we approach influencing the City Council we hope that you will continue working with us as we try to redirect the Task Force recommendations toward something resembling reasonable.

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