Monday, June 28, 2010

WHO's paying attention?

Gas drillers blaming city for rejecting its drilling plans.  WHY would they be rejected?  Maybe because they weren't what they were cracked up to be?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Chesapeake says it will invoke a contract provision that will give the company another year to resolve permit issues without additional compensation for mineral rights, the residents said.

Residents also say Chesapeake is ignoring a verbal commitment to drill in a less-populated area north of the highway. That promise was made by another gas company that drew up the leases three years ago and sold them to Chesapeake, residents said. They said they weren't aware that Rush Creek was the target site until Chesapeake told them in April.

"If they had gone to the site that was originally promised, they wouldn't have this problem right now," said Cathy Meachum, chairwoman of United Neighbors, a coalition of a dozen neighborhoods and 1,100-plus homes that signed leases but opposed the new site. "The concerns that are there now will still be there in a year."

Chesapeake officials did not return several phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment on their drilling plans.

"They waited until the 11th hour knowing this lease was going to expire this fall, thinking they could ramrod this thing through and nobody would have anything to stop them with," said Bill Campbell, a member of United Neighbors' leadership committee. "I guess they thought this was in the bag."

"That's part of the problem," Cluck said. "If they drill one well, they don't have to drill again for several years."

Chesapeake told residents after the council vote that it would send them letters invoking " force majeure" -- French for "major force." Historically, this provision is a legal defense inserted into contracts because of major, unforeseen events such as acts of God, war, riots and labor disputes.

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