^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

While Council Waits to Consider First Gas Drilling Site in Dallas, Plan Commission's About to Tackle XTO Energy's Second Proposal

Back on October 21, you'll recall that the City Plan Commission narrowly voted to deny XTO Energy's application to set up gas drilling along Mountain Creek Lake. The City Council's likely to have their final say sometime next month, but in the meantime, XTO's gearing up for yet another day before the Plan Commission, a week from today, when they'll make their pitch for a second drill site.

Before they do that, though, XTO representatives are going to sit down with a two-man subcommittee -- Plan Commissioners Bill Peterson and Mike Anglin -- to see if, this time around, they can't smooth out their differences in advance.

Peterson was there for Tuesday's announcement about plans to reboot Lower Greenville, and mentioned afterward that Plan Commission chair Joe Alcantar had asked him to join Anglin "to explore ways XTO might satisfy the commission."

XTO's latest proposed site, at the intersection of Camp Wisdom and Belt Line Roads, isn't far from its first application site at Hensley Field; it's farther from the city center than other drill sites leased from the city two years ago -- including Love Field and L.B. Houston Golf Course in North Dallas.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Anglin -- a Dave Neumann appointee whose district includes the drill sites -- proposed an amendment to XTO's first Specific Use Permit that would have added extra environmental safeguards. Much of the anti-drilling crowd complained his extra controls didn't amount to much extra protection, while he complained about all the concerned letters and emails he'd gotten that he said were more about opinion than fact.

XTO representatives told the commission they'd done everything the city had asked of them, but Peterson said there were plenty of concerns they hadn't addressed. It's anyone's guess what would happen if time runs out on XTO's three-year lease before the city approves any of its drilling proposals. A company spokesman told Unfair Park it's too soon to speculate about whether or not they'd sue.

The U.T. Southwestern professor of biochemistry said that he wanted to see specific safeguards put in place -- to capture leaking gases and properly handle fracking fluid -- but that he wasn't against gas drilling in principle. "I'm concerned about, do you have a leak there, where are you going to bury the stuff, and whether or not that really works," Peterson said, but that he hadn't been impressed by XTO's answers last month. In the next week, he said he and Anglin would sit down with XTO to explain what they want to see in their next presentation. "A good presentation is, you don't come in and say, 'Trust us, we're huge,'" Peterson said.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.