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Oklahomans crying victory after company withdraws Lake Hefner drilling proposal

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.- City officials announced Friday that there will be no drilling at Lake Hefner.

Pedestal Oil has decided to withdraw their proposal after public outcry.

NewsChannel 4 first broke the story two weeks ago about an initial public meeting announced in an email.

Hundreds of citizens showed up to that meeting in protest. So the company has said no to drilling, and the public is crying victory.

"I'm proud, I'm proud they actually listened!" Flora Dillman, an Oklahoma woman said.

"The company did the right thing for the people," Mario Zamarron, another Oklahoman said.

There were words of praise and relief, after the city announced Pedestal Oil would leave Lake Hefner alone.

"Based on the public engagement that we've had recently, [Pedestal] has decided to withdraw the proposal and is no longer pursuing drilling at Lake Hefner," Jim Couch, Oklahoma City manager said.

News first came of Pedestal's drilling back in 2011, but didn't resurface until one week before Christmas in 2014. An email from the city's Utility's Director said "Administratively an agreement for contract terms including compensation has been developed."

The city however, assures that they were only in the very preliminary stages of a proposal.

"We had a proposal that did provide some benefits to the city and we took it through the public process; that's what government is about," Couch said.

A process was one in which hundreds of people made their voices known loud and clear.

"Too many times the public hears about it after it's happened, it's just not right. So at least this time, the oil company did the right thing," Kenneth Kehlet, a frequent lake user said.

"This is our drinking water, this is our main source, and I don't want to spoil it, there's plenty of others places to drill," Dillman says.

We tried to reach Pedestal Oil for comment, they have not returned our requests as of this time.

The city manager assures this proposal will not come up again.

 

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