Will a Council Member with a perfect record of voting YES on fracking vote for it in their district?
In early November 2021, well before Arlington residents had a chance to weigh in on new drilling permits near a preschool, District 1 Council Member Helen Moise sent an email to Total about the permit.
Her message to Total? She told them she supported their plan to drill next to a playground:
The public hearing wouldn’t happen for another 20 days, on November 30th. And yet, Council Member Moise believed that she didn’t need to hear the views of parents and workers from the preschool or members of the Arlington community before telling Total that she planned to vote for their permit application.
As elected representatives, council members are expected to consider the views of the public before making a major decision, especially one that significantly impacts public health.
Otherwise, what value is there in a public hearing?
Unsurprisingly, Council Member Moise voted in favor of the drilling permits on November 30th and again on January 4th, 2022. The application was denied in a 5-4 vote by the council on January 4. She also voted in favor of these same permits in June 2020, when Total’s first application was defeated by a 6-3 vote.
You won't be surprised to hear that Moise has a perfect record of voting YES to fracking—but those votes have always been for gas wells in other council districts, not her own.
Now, Total is coming to drill 6 new gas wells in the district Council Member Moise represents.
The drill site is just a block away from two major Arlington ISD complexes: the Arlington ISD Center for Visual and Performing Arts and the Arlington ISD Arts and Athletics Complex.
Will she vote to expose her own constituents to the same health risks that she has long been willing to let Arlington residents in other districts deal with?
A vote on the new permits has yet to be scheduled, and likely won’t happen until after the upcoming city elections.