When first formed back in June, the city council-appointed Gas Drilling Task Force had hoped to turn into council by November its list of recommendations for an ordinance regulating drilling in the city limits. Time, after all, is of the essence as companies who paid the city millions for leases wait to see whether the city will allow them to drill, baby, drill -- or not, and run the risk of being sued. But the task force has been off for a couple of weeks and isn't set to return to City Hall till February 21; council shouldn't expect recommendations till March, after which they can decide to start all over again if they don't dig what they see. So this is far from over.
That said, the gas-drilling activists' unofficial task force, to which we were introduced in Octoberthat includes reps Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling, Downwinders at Risk and the Dallas Sierra Club, has dispatched to the task force its own list of recommendations consisting of their top five most important concerns. Among them: "Minimum 3,000 foot setback to protect Dallas homeowners and residents where they live, work, worship and play" -- this, after XTO and Trinity East's reps told the task force that 1,000-foot setback were too big and a "deal-killer." The group also wants to "disallow exporting water for drilling operations outside Dallas, and charge gas companies more for the hundreds of millions of gallons of water they permanently contaminate."
Each point it fleshed out at great length in the missive sent to the task force, which begins:
From our perspective you've gotten many things right in living up to your charge and Mayor Rawling's vow never to put any neighborhood at risk because of money. But we also know that the chronicling of hazards associated with fracking of natural gas is a moving target and new information can make rules that have not even been codified yet obsolete overnight.
As always both docs are below.
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