28 Questions for Mike Moncrief
1. Do you think that your personal relationship with executives from Four Sevens Oil/Gas Co. and possibly other such firms sends the wrong message to Fort Worth citizens who expect you to make unbiased decisions on their behalf? Do you see it as a conflict of interest? Should you recuse yourself from any City Council decisions regarding that firm or any others seeking gas drilling business in Fort Worth?
2. Will you please provide an exact date for when the gas drilling Task Force will convene to revisit the drilling ordinance as was announced months ago? Why has the city continued to issue drilling permits during the same time period without offering citizen input? Why does the Task Force consist of an inordinate number of lawyers for the gas drilling interests and developers? Shouldn't this committee be made up exclusively of concerned citizens?
3. Will you institute an immediate moratorium on drilling permits until the Task Force has adequate time to research and discuss this complicated issue that can have severely detrimental effects on our health, property values and safety? Will you make that moratorium retroactive for any permits issued that are yet to be operational?
4. Why has the city yet to announce a formal evacuation plan near existing drill sites in the event of a catastrophic accident?
5. What is the blast radius of a typical gas well drilled inside the city limits?
6. How does Fort Worth compare with other cities of similar size in the number of acres of green space? How many acres of existing green space will be lost within the city limits if drilling continues as currently allowed? How does this relate to the fact that Fort Worth is one of the only cities in Texas without a tree protection ordinance?
7. Are the effects of gas drilling in Fort Worth considered when making plans to clean up the air quality in Fort Worth? Considering that we had a significant increase in high ozone days this past summer (2005) and that the weather patterns will tend to be the same or worse in coming years, is it prudent to allow another substantial pollution source to be added to this serious health problem?
8. Since it is a known fact that gas drilling has a negative impact on property values and marketability and that even Tarrant County Commissioner, J.D. Johnson, among many others, has suffered great loss to his property due to gas drilling, why isn¹t more done to notify citizens of these facts and change the ordinance to minimize or eliminate such damages? Why wasn¹t this announced before the ordinance was in place? Are you concerned that perhaps the city and private mineral rights owners may be sued for damages to their property values and for other reasons?
9. Do you agree that allowing such an industry-friendly ordinance to be in place is an example of misplaced priorities?
10. Were the negative impacts of long term use of heavy duty, industrial gas drilling vehicles on city streets considered when the ordinance was written?
11. How do you respond to Fort Worth police officer, Augustus Green, NPO, who has written that gas drilling in neighborhoods is a crime magnet, a noise and dust nuisance, and increases traffic congestion?
12. Are you concerned with the multi-millions of gallons of clean Fort Worth water that is used in drilling each gas well while we remain in a prolonged drought with no foreseeable end and an ever increasing population?
13. What is your reaction to the many reports of illegal dumping of oil and polluted water by gas drilling companies working in our area? How do you feel about the various criminal indictments against oil/gas executives nationwide?
14. Do you agree that gas drilling in Fort Worth will have a negative effect on the city of Fort Worth's image around the country and the world? Do you anticipate a decrease in convention and tourism dollars as a result? Do you think a city that allows gas drilling in it¹s neighborhoods fits the criteria of one of America's Most Livable Cities?
15. Are you aware that HUD (Federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) reports that operating and abandoned gas wells pose potential hazards to housing, including potential fire, explosion, spray and other pollution? Why was this information not made public to Fort Worth citizens before the gas drilling ordinance was in place?
16. Is it true that the gas drilling companies, developers, their lawyers and JP-Morgan Chase had major roles in writing of the present ordinance? Do you think that might have the appearance of a conflict of interest to the average citizen?
17. What is a "tubingless" production well? Why are they considered so dangerous? Will they be allowed in Fort Worth? Can our inspectors adequately monitor their use?
18. What is a "sour gas" well? Does Fort Worth have any? Do we have a guarantee? Why are they so dangerous and what is the city doing to prevent their drilling? What are the negative health effects associated with such wells?
19. Do you think the statement, "The USA needs the gas so we must do our part," is an example of misplaced priorities? Wouldn¹t it be more prudent to improve conservation measures?
20. Are you aware that the process of gas well "fracturing" is known to pollute ground water, permanently polluting clean water sources? Did you know this exact problem occurred on the property of Tarrant County Commissioner, J.D. Johnson and that he had no recourse against the gas drilling company?
21. Do you think it's important to announce to the public that there is no such thing as "free money" from gas drilling under city owned property and that the negative effects may result in a net loss for taxpayers in the long run? Are you willing to pass this burden on to future generations?
22. Do you think that, all things considered, it has served the higher good of our city our neighborhoods and citizens to allow gas drilling under the present ordinance? In you opinion, has it enhanced or reduced our "quality of life"?
23. Do you agree that the city has bent over backwards to assist drilling companies while passing a white-washed ordinance with little to no protection for Fort Worth residents and their interests?
24. Are you aware that the noise from compressors and other equipment long after a well is completed has forced some residents to sell their property or endure unending noise?
25. Do you consider it unethical that gas drilling representatives fanned out to Fort Worth's various neighborhood groups to gain support for their activities without fully explaining the negative effects of such activities?
26. Will you please explain why there is not a viable forum for logging citizens complaints regarding gas drilling? Are you aware that city supervisor, David Lunsford, reports that there have been no citizen complaints about noise from drilling rigs, despite dozens of citizen reports to the contrary? Are you aware that the city attorney has advised calling 911 to lodge complaints?
27. Are you aware that the many problems associated with gas drilling are happening all across the country and are well documented in many cases by federal agencies such as the BLM and HUD as well as other trusted sources such as National Geographic? In spite of this you have allowed an industry friendly ordinance to be in place in Fort Worth. Do you regret you decision to allow this to happen and what, if anything, will you do to reverse it before more damage is done?
28. Considering all the above, would you be willing to live within 300' or even 3,000' of a gas well or a major pipeline? If not, why would expect anyone else to? Dear Mayor Moncrief: There are rumors circulating that the Task Force to revisit the gas drilling ordinance has been intentionally stacked with citizens who are pro drilling. It has been said that the reason the initial Task Force was canceled at the last minute was to keep citizens against gas drilling off the committee and allow council members to hand pick the committee. If this is true, doesn't that mean the Task Force is nothing more than a farce and that no meaningful changes to the ordinance can occur? At the very least, isn't this an unethical way of approaching this urgent and important public issue? Are you willing to make public record the mineral rights holdings of yourself and council members within Fort Worth?
Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Ordinance