A coalition of neighborhood and environmental groups is preparing a last-ditch effort to stop energy companies from developing a natural gas field that borders the western city limits of Dallas.
“All of you today are our last, best hope to get an ordinance that is not only going to protect lives, protect water, protect air — but is going to hold drillers accountable,” Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs told a coalition meeting Tuesday.
According to the Dallas Morning News
, the groups, organized as Dallas Residents at Risk, are trying to block drilling on thousands of acres already leased by energy companies.
Those companies are waiting for the city to sign off on new drilling laws before they begin an extraction process known as fracking, in which water and chemicals are blasted thousands of feet underground to force out the gas. A vote could come this summer.
Earlier this month a task force proposed a set of laws to keep drilling sites a certain distance away from residential properties and to help monitor contamination and deal with other environmental issues, the News reported.
But those proposals failed to satisfy the coalition that met Tuesday. City residents were visibly taken aback as they were presented a slideshow depicting what could happen to communities without tough drilling and environmental laws in place.
“Everybody was in love with the wells and in love with the royalty checks,” Fort Worth attorney Jim Bradbury told the group about a drilling ordinance passed in that city several years ago that apparently was not tough enough. “What no one realized is to sell that oil they need pipelines. We had to level houses.”
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