On Tuesday, Denton became the first town in North Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing. Nearly 59 percent of voters in Denton agree with the decision to ban this form of oil and gas extraction.
It means we don’t have to worry about what our kids are breathing at city playgrounds,” Cathy McMullen, a nurse and president of Frack Free Denton, a grassroots group that pushed the ban, said in a statement. “It means we don’t have to worry about our property value taking a nose dive because frackers set up shop 200 feet away.”
The passage of the ban will most likely trigger litigation as several state lawmakers have already promised to fight this law in Austin. With over 270 gas wells across Denton, this is one of the few cities that have tried to ban fracking. The possibility of going through with the ban is low due to the fact that Texas is a state primarily built on oil and gas.
As the senior energy regulator in Texas, I am disappointed that Denton voters fell prey to scare tactics and mischaracterizations of the truth in passing the hydraulic fracturing ban,” Railroad Commissioner David Porter, a Republican, said Tuesday night in a statement. “Bans based on misinformation — instead of science and fact — potentially threaten this energy renaissance and as a result, the well-being of all Texans.”
Opponents of the ban believe it will make gas extraction less profitable.The Denton Record-Chronicle also called it the most costly campaign in the town’s history.The ban’s opponents (mostly from large companies) raised $700,000 a week ahead of the election which is ten times more than what supporters raised with the help of non-profit organizations. It is now anticipated that the oil and gas industry will sue.
Read more here – “Denton Bans Fracking, But Challenges Almost Certain,” (Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune).