In the Dallas / Fort Worth area there are many issues that are of continuing interest: clean air, clean water, energy issues, and water conservation. Several of these issues are of special concern at the present time.
Drilling for natural gas in the Barnett Shale is among the top issues. Over the past 10 years, there has been a large increase in wells. The method of hydraulic fracturing used to extract gas from the Barnett Shale makes it easier to drill in urban areas. However, there are contamination issues found with this method. More cities around the Metroplex are raising concerns over whether to grant permits. Additionally high volumes of water--often millions of gallons--are used.
Coal plants are a concern to many. There is the continuing battle to restrict the number of coal plants being built. There is nothing clean about coal. Coal plants use enormous amounts of water and spew mercury, NOx (nitrogen oxides), Sox (sulfur oxides), and particulates into the atmosphere. The demand for coal also results in mountain top removals. Texas leads the country in wind power and has the capacity for solar and other renewables. The question being raised is do we really need more coal plants?
Water conservation and the sources of the water supply for the region gather many interested in the preservation of the environment. As the population in the DFW area continues to grow over the next few decades, there will be increased demand for water. How will this demand be met? The approach of municipal water suppliers has been to request more reservoirs. However, reservoirs negatively impact local habitats and also take potentially productive land out of use permanently. Is it really necessary to build so many reservoirs when--with the exception of a few cities--our region lags behind others in conservation practices?