The city’s Gas Drilling Task Force is taking public comments next week, Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. in room 6ES at Dallas City Hall.

Here is a message from Advocate contributor Scott Chase:

“For many years, the gas drilling industry has resisted the kind of information-gathering that this task force can accomplish. For example, the industry claims that there are no studies of the harmful effects of the dangerous chemicals and other materials, e.g., diesel fuel, that are used in fracking. However, the industry has fought hard, from city hall to Washington, D.C., to make sure no such studies were ever conducted.”

The city is considering whether to allow XTO Energy a permit to drill for gas in the Barnett Shale in the Mountain Creek area. City Council signed a mineral lease with XTO in 2008 in an effort to balance the budget. So if the city doesn’t allow XTO to drill, we must repay the $34 million lease. But some evidence shows that “fracking”, a technology used to extract gas from the shale, can release carcinogens into the air and water, among other dangers, and it is virtually unregulated.

I re-listened to an episode of “This American Life”, which aired on KERA recently, all about issues related to fracking in Pennsylvania. Listen to it when you have an hour. It’s very enlightening.

If you haven’t got an hour, check this out: