Concerned Dallas Residents Talk Drilling

By Omar Villafranca
|  Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 PM CDT
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Dallas Residents Delve Into Drilling Possibilities

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Before "Drill, baby, drill," some Dallas residents want to know, "Can we talk?"

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Dallas Residents Delve Into Drilling Possibilities

The city is considering natural gas drilling permits for the first time.
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Before "Drill, baby, drill," some Dallas residents want to know, "Can we talk?"

The Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling hosted a meeting in Oak Cliff on Wednesday to talk about two proposed gas well drilling sites in Dallas.

"There's a lot of questions," said Raymond Crawford, the meeting organizer. "There's health, environmental, waste disposal. There's the water issue."

Crawford invited several speakers to talk at the event about drilling. Representatives from gas companies were not invited.

"A lot of people are wondering if we're against drilling," Crawford said. "We are not against drilling. We're against irresponsible drilling. We're for responsible drilling."

XTO Energy has two permit requests in front of the Dallas City Council. Both locations are on land owned by the city, meaning the city could earn money from the wells. One location is near the old Dallas Naval Air Station, adjacent to Mountain Creek Lake. The other is near the intersection of Camp Wisdom Road and Beltline.

Crawford said he has a few questions about the site near Mountain Creek Lake.

"We are for getting the gas to create revenue for the city, but it has to be done in a safe manner," he said. "And currently, it's 300 feet from a residence, and that's not going to work."

According to the Dallas gas ordinance, "No well may be drilled closer than 300 feet from any protected use such as a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital, school or public park."

An energy representative familiar with the site who was not allowed to go on the record said the Mountain Creek Parkway location is more than 300 feet from any residence. The representative also said the energy company will host its own information session with residents near the proposed sites in about a month.

Crawford said the organization has been watching media reports on drilling disputes across North Texas and hopes to learn from other cities.

"We can learn from other communities mistakes, and some of the good things they've done and maybe even improve on those things," he said.

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