Dallas, TX – A Fort Worth citizens group is taking their call for a gas drilling moratorium to City Hall. They want a hold placed on new permits until safety regulations are in place.
Outside a meeting of the city's gas drilling task force members of a newly formed group carried placards and chanted Just Say Whoa. The Coalition for a Reformed Drilling Ordinance, CREDO, is demanding the city place a moratorium on Barnett Shale drilling permits until safety and environmental ordinances are in place.
Former council member Cathy Hirt helped organize the rally.
Hirt: We want issues dealing with pipeline safety these are pipes carrying unodorized gas crisscrossing through Fort Worth. We are talking about water use conservation, air quality, zoning issues all of these need to be considered before they jump in and approve potentially 7,000 wells.
At the head of the task force table, Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief tried to reassure citizens the city will implement safeguards. But he said city lawyers have advised against a moratorium.
Moncrief: If we were to put a moratorium in place we'd be sued by parties left and right we'd be sued by those who have leased their minerals who are expecting those wells to be drilled we'd be sued by the drillers we'd be sued by all parties
If council members don't heed the call to put a hold on permits, CREDO says it will consider other measures. Its members are discussing a ballot referendum that would get drilling out of neighborhoods. And they say efforts to recall unresponsive council members are not out of the question.