3-6. That was the final score on June 9th when Arlington City Council denied TEP Barnett’s request to amend a specific use permit to establish a drill zone to sink three additional gas wells near Pioneer Parkway and State Highway 360. For the first time in over a decade the citizens prevailed against an oil and gas giant. Public opinion about fracking has shifted significantly in recent years, and e-mails of opposition poured in to the city for this case.
So, what caused council to suddenly do a 180? Did they experience an epiphany? Were they punch drunk from taking repeated blows from citizens railing against these bad neighbors over the past decade? With the City of Arlington facing budgetary shortfalls during this time of COVID19, would they go out on an economic limb and risk an expensive law suit to openly defy HB40 ~ legislation which stripped municipalities of local control related to oil and gas activity? The short answer is no, and it is unlikely that this bill will be overturned any time soon due to the current political climate in Texas. Fixing the problem of gas drilling inside neighborhoods would require a workaround. Thankfully, Arlington citizens elected a Mayor skilled in the art of the deal. All bets are on that there will be new development coming soon which won’t include any new gas wells. Of course this is purely speculation.
For now, enjoy a cold drink during this fracking intermission and stay with us until it is game over for the oil and gas industry in Arlington.
If you missed the public hearing on June 9th, click here for that link.