After years of Dallas officials playing hot potato with three permits that would allow fracking within city limits for the first time, the City Council finally rejected the permits today. A city commission is still working on a new gas-drilling ordinance, but at least for now, Dallas is closed to fracking.
It seems the waiting game might finally be over in Dallas. After years of city government lollygagging, residents appear to be closer to an answer on whether the city will be open to fracking. On Thursday the City Plan Commission rejected natural gas producer Trinity East’s drilling permits, which have been the center of contention in Dallas’ fight over fracking. The final decision ultimately rests in the hands of the City Council, but it would take a supermajority of 12 of its 15 members to override the commission’s vote.
So about that fracking fight in Dallas … Things just got real.
This morning a letter surfaced revealing a secret deal between Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm and natural gas producer Trinity East. In the letter, Suhm essentially agrees to help Trinity drill on city parkland, writing that her staff was “reasonably confident” that the company would get permission to drill. Around the same time, however, Suhm was telling Dallas City Council that Trinity wouldn’t be allowed to do so. The letter is dated August 15, 2008—two months after the park board had prohibited drilling in city parks and five days before the City Council passed a resolution banning the same thing.