Drilling For Oil In Houston Parks: Five Things To Consider

City Council will consider this week a proposal to let Southern Star Exploration drill for oil and gas in Houston parks.

Specifically, Herman Brown Park, Brock Park, parts of Maxey Park, and Public Works McCarty Road Service Center. (The last isn't a park per se, but it's a very, very bucolic service center, we're sure.)

None of the locations is especially noteworthy -- the parks are all on the northwest northeast side and don't exactly have the cachet of Memorial Park or Hermann Park -- and the drillers say their equipment will be located mostly out of sight.

Which is a shame. If we're gonna drill in Houston parks, let's drill, baby, drill, as a noted stateswoman once said.

Five things to be considered by council:

1. Drill in the Heights
They used to drill for oil in the Heights, you might not realize. But that was back in the day, way before the neighborhood became classy enough to house Walmarts. Still, if the Heights can man the barricades in a NIMBY batter to keep out a Walmart, we can only imagine what they'd do to keep nasty, dirty, oil drillers out. On the other hand, residents could then brag that they use "only local" oil and gas, unlike those benighted people living in the suburbs.

2. Don't use these pansy-ass modern rigs.
Go for the full Spindletop, Houston Oiler-helmet derrick. Make it a tourist attraction. Spurt fake oil out of the top every hour. Rip off property owners while you steal their mineral rights.

3. The Derrick Dolls will return!!
Not quite the well-loved NFL cheerleaders of the `70s and `80s, these modern-day Derrick Dolls will provide certain...let's say services to the hard-working drilling crews in their off hours, as they seek to spur the local economy.

4. Make sure the rigs in the parks are safe.
We suggest those rubber mats that seem to be ubiquitous these days, in the never-ending crusade against having a kid scratch a knee or something. And use brightly colored metal!! (Note: If the budget allows, put up a sign telling kids not to stick their hands in the nice machinery. But only if the budget allows.

5. Don't just drill in the parks. Refine in the parks.
Why leave all the idyllic lifestyle of refinery living to Pasadena and Deer Park? If Houston is going to jump into the oil and gas business, go whole hog. A refinery in Discovery Green could generate revenue, and smells, that would brand Houston as unique.

We're not ashamed of how we make our money, are we?

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