All through the town council meeting on Monday night one after the other, those in support of the “Flower Mound Petition Group’s” petition went to the podium and said we are not against drilling, we just want to take a look at the CCF regulations. Like mind numbed robots, one after the other the same thing, we are not against drilling. This petition will not have any effect on drilling operations on-going. There is also not a moratorium against gas well permits, they would say. They even appeared to be genuine in their arguments.
Melissa Northern, Al Filidoro, and Steve Lyda all have stated that they were for the petition and the moratorium but that they were not against drilling.
The question is were they in on the little lie that the petition group has been telling residents since the middle of Feb 2010 when they started their group. The little lie they have been telling everyone including the people who signed the petition was that the petition would not affect gas well permits, or drilling activity in Flower Mound. Well guess what? Their petition would indeed have a serious affect on Gas Well Permits, Drilling Operations, and the value of leases of those who own their mineral rights, but have not yet leased them. And here is how it was all to work:
FACTS: Yes, you could still get a Gas Well Permit under their petitions’ moratorium. However; without a pipeline permit your gas well is useless because you cannot get the gas from the well to the transport pipeline in order to bring the gas to market and sell it.
HERES HOW IT WAS GOING TO WORK:
1. The petition that was being considered called for a 180 day moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications for any permit for an oil and gas pipeline to be issued pursuant to Section 34-454(a).
SECTION 2 (of the petition ordinance) had it passed.
(a) The acceptance and processing of application for OIL AND GAS AND/OR PRODUCED WATER pipeline permits pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 34-454 of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Flower Mound are hereby temporarily suspended, effective immediately upon passage of this Ordinance.
NEXT FROM THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF FLOWE MOUND
Town of Flower Mound Article VIII Oil & Gas Pipeline Standards
Sec. 34-454. General requirements and minimum design standards.
(a) An oil and gas pipeline permit is required as follows:
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person, acting either for himself or as an agent, employee, independent contractor or servant of any other person, to commence to construct, install, operate or reconstruct a pipeline or any section of a pipeline or to operate any pipeline or to assist in the construction, installation, operation or reconstruction of a pipeline if a lawful oil and gas pipeline permit has not been obtained.
(2) Any applications to construct, lay, rework, wrap or otherwise lower or replace existing pipelines or install monitoring or recovery wells shall be submitted to the town in a form prescribed by the town.
(3) Each application for an oil and gas pipeline permit shall be accompanied by five sets of plans showing the dimensions and locations of the pipelines and related items or facilities within the subject right-of-way or easement, as well as all proposed lift stations, pumps or other services structures related to such pipeline and the location, type and size of all existing utilities, drainage, right-of-way and roadway improvements.
(4) Within 15 days after the date of filing of said application and plans, the town shall send notice to the applicant as to whether the application will be accepted for processing and the total charge due. If the application is rejected, reasons for rejection of the application shall be provided in writing.
So, as you can clearly see, the petition if enacted would have stopped drilling activities in Flower Mound. Sure a company could have applied for and received a "Drilling Permit", but who is going to invest in a drilling permit without being able to get a pipeline permit to pipe the gas from the well head to the transport pipeline in order to bring the gas to market. And thus, no company would invest in drilling activities until they were able to get a pipeline permit.
The permits are separate. You apply for one permit to drill, and another for pipelines. And clearly in the petition it listed "Oil & Gas Pipelines Permits". Even though a company has an permitted pad site, and 1 or 2 gas well permits and oil and gas pipeline permits, if the petition had passed, when the company went to get it’s next 2 gas well permits, that would not have been a problem. However; the next 2 pipeline permits would have been included in the moratorium and would not be issued. In addition; an existing well requiring a new or upgrade pipeline would also be denied because of the moratorium. In the oil and gas business you cannot conduct business without pipelines. As a matter of fact, one of the very first gas wells drilled in Flower Mound way back in 1995 by Llano, had to be shut-in because they were not able to get a pipeline to the Atmos pipeline connection and went unused until Williams bought it from them sometime around 2003 or 2004.
It’s clear that this was a back door attempt to stop drilling in Flower Mound. The question is did they know and who was behind the whole scam? I wonder if any of the local media with pick up this and start asking questions. I hope they do because I for one would like to know.