MATT DAMON (flickr photo by bucajak)

How far has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram fallen? About as far as former Arlington city councilman Mel LeBlanc, who left the council last year after buying methamphetamine from prostitutes, drinking too much, and fighting with his wife.

So what’s Leblanc doing now?

Writing a Star-Telegram Tuesday column that lambasts the new Matt Damon movie about natural gas drilling.

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I haven’t seen Promised Land but I’ve read that it describes questionable methods used by industry landmen to convince residents to sign away mineral rights.

Many North Texans over the years have described bad experiences with shifty landmen who say or do whatever to get signatures on contracts.

LeBlanc attempts to debunk that stereotype by criticizing the movie. He uses “insidious,” “juvenile,” “tired anti-industry cliches,” and “no-holds barred bashing of the natural gas industry” to describe his feelings.

LeBlanc is managing partner of Shale Play Advisors, LLC., which “promotes responsible urban drilling.”

That description sounds like a watchdog group keeping the industry in check.

Don’t bet on it. Industry shills often present themselves as watchdogs. Look no further than the Texas Railroad Commission.

LeBlanc fumbles by calling land contamination arguments “bogus” and by saying that “studies show fracking is highly monitored, safe, and a cleaner energy source.”

Fort Worth Weekly‘s intense coverage of Barnett Shale natural gas exploration during the past eight years has shown that state and federal regulatory agencies are more interested in protecting the industry rather than regulating it, and the process has shown to be unsafe in many instances.

He ends his article by saying “may the truth prevail.”

Now that I agree with.



  1. LeBlanc is a ruthless and despicable waste of DNA! He had the audacity to judge others and make their lives a living hell, all the while he himself was falling from grace! You’re a hypocrite and an evil man! You now rise from the ashes and work at defending the gas drilling liars? Well at least you’re sticking to what you are good at…LYING! All for your profit! I guess your wife either cut you off, or better, divorced your ass, so know you hit the gas drilling biz to ensure you still have money to support your habit! Go away Mel your time was up way before the news of your dirty laundry hit the papers!

  2. Is it really fair to stereotype all landmen as shifty and immoral? I am a landman and I have NEVER used fear tactics. I understand some people are against urban drilling and I respect their position. I dont pressure them or threaten them. I dont appreciate Jeff taking isolated incidents of a few bad apples to vilify all landmen as corrupt and shady.