Every now and then the little guy wins.
It doesn’t matter who you are pulling for in the Super Bowl, some Bee Countians are already celebrating a major upset that has been recorded much closer to home.
The small but tenacious Pawnee Indians and Redwings defeated a team of “giants” represented by Republic Services, an industry leader in U.S. recycling and solid waste disposal.
After about 17 months, the company has formally withdrawn its application for an oil field waste dump which was to be located less than two miles south of the Pawnee school and community.
Laura Davidson Craig, one of the citizens opposing the dump, knew their chances were slim to prevent the company from being granted the permit by the Texas Railroad Commission.
“When we went in, we knew we had less than a 50 percent chance of beating them,” she said. “For them to pull their application was really unexpected.
“There have been people working on fighting it this whole time,” she said. “We have never stopped.”
Craig said her biggest concerns were about the water that drains into Lake Corpus Christi, “which is our drinking water.” She added that they had scientists doing research and an attorney working on their opposition efforts.
Several interested persons, including County Commissioner Dennis DeWitt, were ecstatic after receiving letters Friday from the commission that Republic was withdrawing its application for the waste disposal facility.
A year ago, DeWitt said, “Everyone is throwing everything they can into this to affect the placement of this facility in Pawnee. We don’t want it, and we are going to do everything we possibly can to ensure it doesn’t go in.”
He added then that they had the absolute best “A” team working for them, including our State Rep. J.M. Lozano, who was named chairman of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation, and longtime Sen. Judith Zaffirini.
After Friday’s announcement, DeWitt offered his appreciation to numerous groups and citizens, including this newspaper which documented many of their concerns including air quality for the Pawnee students downwind of the facility and the water running off the property.
Pawnee ISD Superintendent Michelle Hartmann shared that the school board had created an account, with an initial contribution of $10,000, at Prosperity Bank, for contributors wishing to oppose the dump.
For now, the Pawnee residents and supporters remain cautiously optimistic. Craig hopes Republic will simply sell or donate the land to the school.
Many Bee Countians were vocally or silently rooting for the “long shot” in this modern-day David vs. Goliath tale. So congratulations to these determined Pawnee folks.
Now we’re left wondering whether these underdog winners are favoring the Chiefs or 49ers on Sunday... If they’ve reached a consensus, their secret’s safe with us and our readers.