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Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Fracking Conundrum *Update*

This blog post is late coming out because, quite honestly, we do not know what to think or say about our City or Enervest, or the October 28th Arlington, TX City Council meeting.

It was a busy week in the gas patch due to many fracking-related events taking place across the metroplex.  On Monday Phelim McAleer, creator of FrackNation debated Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of Dish, TX at Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch.  On Tuesday Enervest received unanimous approval from City Council for a zoning change.  On Wednesday Dr. Anne Epstein came to Mansfield with her presentation, "A Medical Perspective on Gas Drilling."  Finally, Wendy Davis visited with the neighbors in Southwest Arlington on Saturday.  And let's not forget Election Day when Denton residents get to vote on on a fracking ban

And now we learn that Enervest scheduled another Town Hall at 6:30 pm at the Bob Duncan Recreation Center for the Fannin Farms Drill Site on Election Day.  How Patriotic is that?  Don't they realize that some citizens are involved in the political process??  So thoughtless on their part, or perhaps strategic.  

We think it's strategic because Enervest contributed a TON of money to "Denton Taxpayers for a Strong Economy" a group opposed to the fracking ban.  According to campaign finance records the Denton Record Chronicle reports that Enervest gave $195,000 towards this cause.  We wonder if they would be as liberal with their money when it comes down to protecting the public by installing safer control technologies such as vapor recovery systems and a FLIR Gas finder camera to detect emissions which cannot be seen with the naked human eye.

Enervest also scheduled their town hall on the SAME NIGHT as the Arlington City Council meeting where the Perr Drill Site zoning change appears on the Consent Agenda.  Unbelievable.  Enervest's behavor is starting to make Chesapeake look good.

The consent agenda, by the way, is a tool used to streamline meeting procedures by collecting routine, non-controversial items into a group whereby all are passed with a single motion and vote.  Since when has drilling in an earthquake zone become routine business?  And let's not forget Enervest's history of gross violations in other states and the fact that they happened to be working over a well in close proximity to the epicenter of two earthquakes in September.

So, in getting back to Tuesday night's controversial council meeting, it is curious that three councilmen were missing in action ~ Charlie Parker, Robert Shepard, and Robert Rivera.  Does anyone know where they were?  Word has it they may have gone to Vegas, but what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. 

On September 17th the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of EnerVest's request to amend the SUP to establish a drill zone for the Perr Drill Site located on South Cooper Street.

The Arlington City Council ignored their recommendation.

On October 28th eight citizens spoke in opposition at the city council public hearing providing solid reasons as to why the City should deny this case.

The Arlington City Council ignored their recommendations.

Not one person from the community spoke in favor of this item on the agenda except for Shea Kirkman, the applicant.

City Council approved Enervest's request by a vote of 5-0-1 (Kathryn Wileman abstained.)

You must watch this public hearing for yourself to understand how the democratic process works in Arlington:

It is a fracking conundrum!
Arlington, TX Public Hearing for the Perr Drill Site 10-28-2014 
Click here for the link if video won't play.

In case you missed it, here is how Enervest operates in Denton.  Coming to Arlington soon...

Attribution:  Sharon Wilson, Earthworks

By the way, this is the video that the City prohibited to be shown at the October 28th City Council meeting.  Other cities allow their citizens to present audio/visual material, but in Arlington only the applicant is permitted to do so.  It's also a challenge to do or say much in two minutes.  Citizens in adjacent cities are allowed to speak for five minutes.  

If you haven't voted yet, remember to Vote this Election Day.  If you want an advocate for the people to regulate oil & gas rather than another industry insider, vote for Steve Brown for Railroad Commissioner of Texas.  He has spent countless hours speaking with folks in our community and is aware of the myriad of problems associated with fracking inside residential communities.  He has proposed real solutions to our issues.  

Mark your calendar for these important dates.  Enervest will request a zoning amendment to establish the drill zone for the Fannin Farms Drill Site located at 2322 Eden Road, Arlington, TX.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 6:30 (Bob Duncan Rec Ctr)
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 6:30 (City Council)
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 5:30  (Planning & Zoning)
Tuesday, Decembr 16, 2014 at 6:30  (City Council)

Click here for more details.

Stay tuned, folks.  There's more to come...