The annual Fort Worth Weekly Turkey Awards are out, and the Barnett Shale was the big thread that ran through several of the awards.
First, the basis for the awards, according to FWWeekly: "How to recognize Turkeys when they are picking your pocket, stealing your future, and generally leaving their droppings all over the civic landscape."
Some of this year's award winners:
David Williams (we guess this is the former sheriff) Memorial Big Bird: Urban gas drilling. The FWWeekly takes us through a fictional dialogue between homeowners Ethyl and Tex, in which they announce their signing bonus paid for a radio and porch swing, and their monthly royalty checks "ought to buy a new spittoon and...armadillo-shaped wind chime." Then, to their surprise, a "40-foot tall mutant mosquito carrying a giant straw descends from the sky and heads directly for Tex and Ethyl. Behind it are more swarms just like it." Tex: "My gawd! This ain't want we bargained for!" Ethyl: "Call the Texas Railroad Commission! The environmental commission! The Fort Worth City Council!" Laugh track, laugh track, laugh track.
Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, for his handling of a citizens committee formed to make recommendations to the city on what to do with the big money it's making off the Barnett Shale.
Fort Worth City Councilman Danny Scarth, for serving on the committee that wrote the city's gas drilling ordinance and also accepting campaign contributions from gas interests in his first campaign. FWWeekly also took issue with Scarth's late payment of property taxes.
Star-Telegram and gas drilling. "The city's daily newspaper has celebrated gas drilling from the outset of the Barnett Shale phenomenon," FWWeekly says, citing "nauseating" and "gushing" editorials, and Bud Kennedy's column on the Trinity Trees dispute. The FWWeekly also suggests the S-T's news coverage might be colored by "how much Barnett Shale money is making its way to the Star-T's bank account, either through advertisements or from drilling royalties from its properties." FWWeekly says the S-T has acted as an "uncritical apologist" for the gas industry. "Recently, however," FWWeekly says, "the newspaper has begun offering a little more balance in its coverage and on its blog site devoted to the Barnett. So, in the spirit of the day, we give thanks for small wonders."
Leonard Briscoe Sr. and "Questionable Deals" through his Glencrest Resources.
Mayor Moncrief II. The mayor has substantial energy investments, and his most recently reported earnings included income from Chesapeake Energy. He says he doesn't view his investments as a conflict of interest. The FWWeekly says it is a conflict.
(Photo: S-T of a turkey)