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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.