Poor gas drillers. All they want to do is drill miles underground to extract natural gas, inject a little dirty wastewater into the ground, smear chemical-laden drilling mud all over the landscape, destroy roads, emit a few lousy carcinogens, ruin the value of homes, and contaminate a little water. And what do those mean ol’ communities do to repay the energy companies? They pass restrictive ordinances and, in the case of Denton, ban them from drilling altogether.
Unfold your arms and turn that frown upside-down, driller types. State Sen. Konni Burton has filed a bill to block communities from banning fracking, because that would infringe on individual property rights –– never mind people’s rights to clean air, water, and land.
The Colleyville Republican filed a bill last week that says a county or municipality may not prohibit the drilling method for oil and gas wells.
“A city cannot infringe on personal property rights,” Burton told the Star-Telegram. “This is pretty black and white to me. … A governmental entity should not be able to tell you what you can or can’t do with your property.”
Burton isn’t the only Tea Party star whose kettle is boiling because of Denton’s frack attack. State Rep. Phil King, a Republican from Weatherford, filed a bill that would require any city seeking to regulate oil and gas activities to get a note prepared by the state budget board estimating the amount of tax money that school districts and other government entities would lose. The city would then have to make up the difference.
That’s a little like being charged for the amount of money a hospital would lose if you prevent someone from being stabbed.
It’s a Real Fixer-Upper
Part of the fun of shopping at second-hand stores is finding gems hiding under layers of dust or too many coats of varnish. At Junker Val’s Antiques on Bluebonnet Circle on Monday, the search would have been through concrete bits and glass shards. A motorist who gunned her car to get it out of a pothole got it out all right — and put it right through the front window of the antique shop building. Shop owner Valerie Arnett was still inventorying losses but said more than 100 small items along with furniture and art had been destroyed.
For years, until parking fees drove her out, Arnett sold from a booth at the Cattle Barn Flea Market. That building might have been a tad rough and ready, but last time we looked no one had driven a car through it. The shop was closed, so no one got hurt. On the other hand, the driver, Arnett said, was planning to go to the dentist next door to her shop, so maybe the driver figured, all told, that it wasn’t a bad exchange.