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Council's Look at XTO Gas Drilling Application May Be Delayed at Residents' Request

All those energy companies with gas drilling permits before the Dallas City Council on December 8, take one step forward. Not so fast, XTO.

The Fort Worth-based energy company had been slated to bring its appeal of the City Plan Commission's specific use permit denial before the council a week from Wednesday, during the final council meeting of 2010. But two residents near their proposed drilling site at Mountain Creek Lake appear to have bumped it back a month by requesting a postponement with the city's office of Sustainable Development and Construction.

The letter, posted after the jump, is signed by Frederick Allen and Irvin Hawkins, both of whom live in the thousand-foot notification zone -- but activist Raymond Crawford was the one who delivered it to Dallas City Hall before its Wednesday shutdown, he says, to ensure the council has at least another 30 days to research the effects of gas drilling before making any decision on the application. "They're moving too quick. I can't believe they're doing a lot more good technical research between now and December 8," Crawford says.

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Of course, Dave Neumann's already proposed extending XTO's leases long enough to have a panel of experts study the proposed drilling sites and report back to the council, but Crawford says he wanted the postponement as a kind of safety net. "That's a good thing," he says of Neumann's proposal or a six-month delay, "but we can't depend on that to happen."

City officials are out till Monday. But should the item get moved off the December 8 agenda, January 5 would be the soonest it could reappear.

XTO Application Postponement Letter

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