The city of Denton is still in the process of re-writing phase 2 of it’s drilling ordinances. The city is currently encouraging public input and takes public comments at it’s planning and zoning meetings.
I heard it through the grapevine:
On 10/24/2012 one Denton resident attended the first session of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z). At this session, Darren Groth, presented the exceedingly weak proposed revisions to phase 2 of the drilling ordinance.
The Denton citizens had one present at this session but Devon Energy brought two large white Suburbans packed full of representatives for their side.
- The industry is already over-regulated,
- The industry safety record is excellent,
- They deserve a 600 ft setback because of their safety record,
- They are major job creators in the area. (Who in Denton besides Darren Groth works for industry? /sarcasm),
- They walk on water,
- If stricter regulations are enacted in Denton there will be unintended consequences. (usual threat)
Here is what they didn’t mention:
- The known environmental impacts,
- The thousands of complaints of tainted water including this one,
- The severe illnesses reported around the globe in fracking areas,
- The livestock death and fish kills,
- The trillions of gallons of water forever lost to the active hydrological cycle,
- The trillions of gallons of water used to process the frack sand,
- The earthquakes,
- Property value declines,
- Fracking industries externalizing costs,
- Toxic emission from leaks, venting, flaring, allowed releases, emergencies/accidents,
- The polluter loopholes that allow industry to operate in ways that would be illegal for other industries.
The next P&Z meeting was set for 11/14/2012. Public input would again be allowed and Groth would present any ordinance revisions based on input from the city councils’ work session.
The citizens of Denton, despite their busy lives and familial duties, showed up at the 11/14/12 meeting determined not to be outnumbered by industry this time. But there was not one single representative from Devon present! The citizens were ready to Tango but their dance partners stood them up.
Suddenly it all becomes clear:
It was announced that there were no revisions to the new ordinance. Groth would not be making a presentation. Since there were no changes, public input was not necessary but, because so many showed up they were allowed to comment anyway.
Raise your hand if you think Devon is clairvoyant so they knew there was no need to show up .
Raise your hand if you think someone at the city tipped them off that it was not necessary for them to show up.
Raise your hand if you would also like to be tipped off.
To make things worse:
Don Butler is one of the consultants who is re-writing Denton’s new ordinances. Now, you might remember Mr. Don Butler because it caused such a stink when he was placed on the “unofficial” official drilling task force. The same “unofficial” official drilling task force that was stacked with industry insiders to consistently produce a 3 to 2 vote for industry favored regulation on every proposed change to Phase 2 of the drilling ordinance.
Buter works for New Tech Global whose client list includes:
- Range Resources,
- EOG Resources,
The rumor is that Butler might be getting paid for “helping” to re-write the Denton ordinances.