Chesapeake Energy has been trying to force East Side residents to allow massive gas pipelines to be buried in their yards on Carter Avenue for about two years now.
Needless to say, some residents don’t want potentially dangerous gas lines next to their homes. They encouraged Chesapeake to put its gas lines in already existing rights of way near I-30. When Chesapeake showed no interest in changing their plans, some residents fought back.
Fighting Big Oil is kind of like fighting City Hall — it allegedly can’t be done.
Chesapeake responded with threats of taking the property using eminent domain, which was designed for public utilities but often exploited by profit-seeking gas drillers.
It looked like another David and Goliath battle, except when Big Oil is involved, David usually gets his slingshot shoved up his nose.
The Fort Worth City Council, led by gas loving Mayor Mike Moncrief, routinely greases the wheels for drillers in this town. However, Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks has increasingly bucked the council line. She took a stand on the Carter Avenue pipeline and pressured Chesapeake and Texas Department of Transportation to allow the pipelines near I-30.
So today Hickman was thrilled that TxDOT issued a permit for the installation of the gas line near the highway, potentially sparing Carter Avenue residents.
“For two years, I joined concerned residents in just saying no to this proposed pipeline,” she said. “Today’s news is truly a victory for the neighborhoods and I thank TxDOT and Chesapeake. Most of all I thank Carter Avenue residents who have waited patiently for this day. With this victory for Carter Avenue, I expect other neighborhoods to utilize this victory in their own efforts.”
Last year, Sen. Wendy Davis sought legislation to allow such an arrangement, although it was eventually vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry. She too was happy to see Chesapeake and TxDOT considering moving the pipeline away from the homes.
“Now that the state has approved Chesapeake’s permit to run this pipeline through TxDOT right of way, I would hope the company relinquishes its claim to property of Carter Avenue residents,” Davis said.