Friday, April 26, 2013

It Is Election Season and We Haven’t Forgotten!

We had planned to stay quiet this election season until we saw Mike Walker accuse his opponent Joy Bowen of being pro drilling. Seriously, are you kidding?

No matter how you feel about gas drilling, the Flower Mound Oil and Gas ordinance must be followed. That is why we fought so hard to make it stronger. If a pad site meets the criteria in the ordinance, it will be approved.  Of course Mr. Walker and his supporters twisted Joy Bowen's statements in an attempt to take attention away from his own gas drilling history.

We asked Joy Bowen for her stance on drilling. Here is what she told us. Joy Bowen supports our extremely protective and nationally recognized drilling ordinance. Joy Bowen has stated to us that she would never vote to weaken the ordinance and would always be open to making it even stronger as new technology presents itself. Joy Bowen has never signed a gas lease. Joy Bowen has never supported putting wells near homes, schools, parks, and hospitals.  In 2010 Joy Bowen, along with 6000 other residents, signed the Flower Mound Cares Petition to stop the Centralized Collection Facility.  We can’t say the same about her opponent.

Mike Walker was appointed to the Oil and Gas Board of Appeals in 2006. During his service, he voted to grant many variances. The most disturbing vote was in mid-2008 when he was the only member to vote for all variance requests at the Riverwalk property. This is the property where our new hospital sits. One of the variances on which he voted YES would have allowed a pad site 695 feet from a day care center and 312 feet from a public park. Click here and go to page 151 to read the variances and how Mr. Walker voted.
In 2008, as a board member on the Bridlewood HOA, he participated in meetings with Williams Production. The purpose of these meetings was to explore putting gas wells on Bridlewood Golf Course in the middle of homes and schools. The meetings were conducted secretly without input or notification of residents and despite Bridlewood's HOA documents defining Bridlewood as a non-drilling community. Outraged Bridlewood residents voted to recall Mr. Walker in 2008. Even with 62% of the voting members in favor of recalling him, he refused to step down based on a technicality. For documentation, click here, here, here, here and here. Mr. Walker continued to serve on the Oil and Gas Board of Appeals. His service on the board was to vote for granting or denying variance requests, exactly what Williams would need to drill in Bridlewood. Yet, he met with the gas drilling company anyway? His tenure on his HOA Board and the Oil and Gas Board of Appeals is marred by his record of poor judgment, lack of transparency and appearance of conflict of interest. All the above links to documents came from the blog, Bridlewood Quality of Life Coalition.

UPDATE: We found this map of the proposed wells on Bridlewood Golf Course.

We can’t forget Jean Levenick’s gas drilling record. Mrs. Levenick and her husband signed a gas lease with Williams back in February 2009. In January 2010, she refused to recuse herself from discussions and voted to amend the ordinance to allow for the zoning of a Centralized Collection Facility. Why recuse herself? The only company advocating for a CCF at the time was Williams! The same company she signed a gas lease with. Here are her comments from the meeting minutes
“Mayor Pro Tem Levenick stated that the process tonight would lay the groundwork to process a future application. She stated there had been so many emails and so much information. She read a portion of an email about leukemia clusters, and asked people to stop sending out false information.”

In spring of 2010, after 6000 residents signed the Flower Mound Cares Moratorium and CCF petition, it was presented to the Town Council. Mrs. Levenick voted NOT to accept the petition. The no vote would forced the town to hold a special election. The no vote would delay the moratorium from going into effect and could have allowed a company, most likely Williams, to put in an application for a CCF. Click here for meeting minutes. Read pages 17 through 20.

As fate would have it, there was some controversy and Jean Levenick decided not to run for office again. A new council majority was elected and they immediately accepted the petition.
This open letter written by one of our local journalist said it all.  
Click here to read previous posts on this blog about Mrs. Levenick.

We met Tami Ryan and asked her how she feels about gas drilling and our protective ordinance. Here are her answers. Tami Ryan also signed the Flower Mound Cares Petition in 2010. Tami Ryan is opposed to weakening the ordinance and is committed to protecting the health, safety, and quality of life of our residents.
With the industry pushing for LNG exports, we need to make sure we have the right people in office to assure our community will always have the best protections in place. Here are a few paragraphs from a recent article that sum up the LNG export issue.

Eben Burnham-Snyder, a spokesman for House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Rep. Edward Markey said “Sending more of our natural gas resources abroad, instead of keeping more of it here for consumers and manufacturers and providing a diverse energy supply, is not a policy to make us more energy secure…[it] makes us less independent, not more.”

Berman added, “These companies have stupidly, imprudently overproduced their own product to the point they can’t make money at the price they’ve created themselves. So now they’re looking for a solution to that problem, and they’ve managed to convince a number of idiots in Congress that this is a good idea.”

Tad Patzek, chairman of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas said “We are at that stage right now and it’s only going to get worse,” he said. “We will be encroaching more and more on where people live.”

People of Flower Mound, we cannot afford to vote for candidates that have failed us in the past when it comes to gas drilling. Do your research before voting.
Here is the candidate slate for 2013.

Place 1
Joy Bowen

Place 3 (Uncontested Race)

Mark Wise

Place 5
Tami Ryan

Flower Mound don’t take a gamble on protecting the Oil and Gas ordinance and the health, safety and quality of life of all in our wonderful community.

Early Voting - April 29, 2013 through May 4, 2013, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. May 6-7, 2013, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Election Day - May 11, 2013, 7:00  a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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