At the City Council public hearing on July 15th,
the industry representatives chose the following rhetorical strategy: “We
recognize that fracking is a problem in Denton. But we don’t need to ban it. We
promise to work with you to draft better regulations.” They are now
saying the same thing in their national op-eds about the Denton fracking
City Council members reminded them that we have worked for
years on local policy to no avail – there is still fracking less than 200 feet
from homes. Then City Council asked the industry representatives what ideas
they had for improving our bad situation. They were silent. They just promised
to help us come up with…something.
Now it is over a month later, and I’ve just heard from
several city leaders that no one from the industry has lifted a finger to
follow through on their promise. I know…it came as a shock to me too. You mean
they were only blowing smoke?! They don’t care about us?! But they said…wow.
Actually, they are not just passively neglecting their
promise; they are actively undermining it. The city has a moratorium in effect
on new drilling permits while they revise the gas well ordinance. But that puts
a crimp in the plans of Vantage Energy to get frackin’ now. So, rather than
work with us (as they promised to
do), they are going to work around us:
on August 25th, Vantage is going to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
to get an exemption from the moratorium.
So, they say they recognize the problem; they respect us and
want to help us to revise our regulations. But when the rubber hits the road
(and actual money is at stake), they have no patience for our processes and no
respect for our rules.
That’s the story of fracking in Denton. It’s an old story. I
don’t know who they think they are fooling anymore.