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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dog and Pony Show Comes to the Arlington, Texas Convention Center! *Update

Dog and Pony Show comes to the Arlington Convention Center!
Parking is Free
Fracking Fun for the Entire Family
 Date:  Saturday, August 1, 2015
Time:  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon  11:30 a.m. 
 Where:  1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX
Rooms 5, 6, 7, and 8
Topic:  Gas Well Education Forum
Urban Drilling Educational Forum
(Click HERE for the City's press release which came out the day after our announcement.) 

Vantage Energy's blowout on April 11, 2015 at the Lake Arlington Baptist Church Drill Site gushed tens of thousands of gallons of fracking fluid into neighborhood storm drains and creeks.  This industrial accident forced dozens of families to evacuate their homes and the church to move Sunday worship service to a nearby high school auditorium.  What is even worse is that the City ~ upon completion of an investigation finding several violations ($2,000 each) ~ gave Vantage the green light to re-open their gates on June 25th to resume fracking operations.   Shameful.

Now the City, along with the Railroad Commission of Texas, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), plans to sponsor a Gas Well Educational Forum to teach us about gas drilling and the regulatory roles of local and state government.  A Three Ring Circus.

Citizens asked for equal speaking time.  Our request was denied.  We asked for a microphone so that citizens may comment or ask questions.  Our request was denied.  We asked about the room setup.  The Convention Center would not answer that question stating that all inquires must go through Collin Gregory, Gas Well Coordinator.  We are waiting for Collin to call us back.   

(We appreciate Mr. Gregory's speedy response and are glad to hear about the movable walls that will allow all citizens to be in one room together.) 

The City will announce the rules of decorum.  We are to sit in the audience like a bunch of obedient schoolchildren.  The authorities will teach us.  We get to write a question on an index card.  At the end of the meeting, they will select which questions the emcee will read which, in turn, will be answered by a panelist representing one of these three governmental entities.  And that's all folks.  

We regret to inform you that Railroad Commissioners, Christi Craddick and Ryan Sitton are unable to attend this event.  Gaye McElwain, Director of Communications of the RRC, will speak on their behalf.  She did not respond to our question concerning the LABC blowout.  Perhaps we should ask her the same question in person next Saturday.  

*UPDATE:  Ms. McElwain responded to our question from five weeks ago regarding the LABC blowout the morning following the publication of this blog post.  So now the question becomes why was the Railroad Commission so slow to respond to a citizen's question? 

Refreshments will not be provided.  


  1. They could at least provide some cotton candy and popcorn. Everyone looks for those treats when going to a 3-Ring Circus under the Big Top. Maybe even a snow cone.

    1. Providing refreshments draws a bigger crowd, but it is doubtful these performers want a large audience. It's been a while since they've come up with a new routine.

    2. Maybe the host will pass out vouchers for a free pizza.

    3. Giving them the benefit of the doubt insofar as a new routine...rumor has it that they plan to offer .00000001% interest in one of the biggest production wells in Arlington to anybody who agrees to have their youngest child shot out of a cannon...pre-registration required. Drew Darby will thrill everyone when he shows up to present the big prize. ~ "Suburban Gas Drilling 101"

    4. Sounds like the Greatest Show on Earth! Maybe Darby can fit in the back seat of the clown car. Carpooling helps to reduce emissions.

  2. originally I believe this started out of the forum to discuss HB40 which is a moot point for Arlington. When we DID have local control, Arlington council was on the industry side on their votes to industrialize HB40 gives them a new finger point if people complain....they will say "it is out of our hands now because of HB40"...the only real law in place with urban drilling is the International Fire Code stipulating a combustible unit (storage tanks) must be 100 ft from a structure...lovely!

    1. Actually, HB40 is a forward thinking "put on the brakes" bill written by the industry. Meaning: "If we don't stop them they'll not only be banning fracking but they'll be banning extraction in all the cities where we've already got the wells producing the supernatural gas and oil." ♫♫ Lions, and tigers and bears, Oh, My. ♫♫ Earthquakes and dams and injection wells...Oh, Sh**. ♫♫♫♫♫♫.

    2. Cities may think that HB40 is great cover as they get to tell disgruntled citizens to take it up with the State, and they should enjoy this temporary cover while it lasts. Drew Darby, one of the ringleaders of HB40, is about to enjoy his retirement as he announced he would not seek re-election, but many of the others who voted in favor of this terrible bill will eventually experience the fallout when they get voted out next election cycle.

      The fact of the matter is that HB40 was a knee-jerk reaction to Denton's fracking ban but also due to loud public outcry against a clear injustice. Impulsive actions do not usually play out very well ~ particularly with complex issues like this one.

      One role of government is public safety, and Texas is doing a terrible job of this. They seem to be more in the business of making money, and when developers pull out because they are afraid to invest in earthquake zones, change will happen.

      The force of an earthquake is more powerful than a thousand citizens.

      We might do ourselves a world of good to enjoy some shade under a majestic oak and read a good summer novel with a tall glass of lemonade by our side.

    3. CORRECTION: State Rep, Jim Keffer ~ not Drew Darby ~ has announced that he will not seek re-election. Sorry about that Freudian Slip!