DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Members of the Dallas Plan Commission boarded a convoy of tour vans, and headed to the L.B. Houston Golf and Sports Complex, to see for themselves proposed sites for natural gas drilling on city-owned land.

The tour is part of the commission’s reconsideration of issuing drilling permits to Trinity East Energy.  Trinity has contracts with the City of Dallas, and three sites are in the vicinity of the sports complex and golf course.

Opponents of natural gas drilling have accused the commission and Mayor Mike Rawlings of using under-handed political tactics.

“That’s what we’d like to know. Why are we doing this again?” Zac Trahan of Texas Campaign for the Environment wanted to know.

Trahan’s group fought against issuing drilling permits on the city land that lies near the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.  Trahan says natural gas drillers want to build a compressor station and refinery near planned soccer fields.

Last December, The Plan Commission voted against providing special use permits for the gas drilling sites.  The issue is now being reconsidered, including commissioner’s touring the sites designated for natural gas drilling.

“The chair of the City Plan Commission believed it (special use permit) needed to reconsidered,” Dallas Mayor Chief of Staff Paula Blackmon said today.

If the Plan Commission approves special use permits, the City Council would then decide whether to approve gas drilling in the sports complex area.  Currently, there are no natural gas drilling sites in the city of Dallas.

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