Voters in birthplace of fracking ban it, Denton, TX sued

If the birthplace of fracking can’t live with it, who can? How about nobody?

Marice Richter, Reuters, 5 November 2014, Texas city bans fracking in its birthplace, court battles loom,

“Denton, Texas is where hydraulic fracturing was invented,” said Bruce Baizel, Earthworks energy program director. “If this place in the heart of the oil and gas industry can’t live with fracking, then who can?”

Fracking was pioneered at the Barnett shale formation where Denton is located. Exxon Mobil’s XTO unit honed its shale expertise in the natural gas-rich Barnett.

And the Barnett Shale is one of the sources of Spectra’s fracked methane that might go through the Sabal Trail pipeline.

Elsewhere, the Ohio cities of Gates Mills, Kent and Youngstown rejected proposed fracking bans, while Athens approved one. In California, proposed fracking bans failed in Santa Barbara County but passed in Mendocino and San Benito counties, official results and local media reports said.

That any fracking bans at all passed is significant, and Denton most significant.

And of course the fossil fuel industry is having a hissy fit Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog.com, 2014-11-05, Breaking: Denton, Texas Hit with Lawsuits After Landslide Victory on Fracking Ban,

Less than 24 hours after Denton became the first Texas city to ban fracking within city limits, the city is being sued. The Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association are the first to challenge the new ordinance.

Denton voters passed the fracking ban by a 59-to-41 percent margin, becoming the first Texas city to ban fracking.

That’s a landslide against fracking, despite opponent organizers being outspent 10 to 1.

The city has over $4 million set aside to fight lawsuits. And the Denton Drilling Awareness group has been consulting lawyers every step of the way while preparing for the passage of the fracking ban.

Before the vote, [Denton Councilman Kevin] Roden told DeSmogBlog the city is ready for the inevitable lawsuits following a ban. He doesn’t believe lawsuits will bankrupt the city

“I had hoped that this vote—especially with the majority we won by—would make industry stop their bullying ways, that they would see they are doing something wrong,” McMullen told DeSmogBlog after she got word about the first two lawsuits. “They don’t care what they are doing to this community. First they will poison us and then they will try to bankrupt us.” But she doesn’t think industry will win. Her advise to them: “If you want to prevent more bans, especially in towns that know drilling best, do yourselves a favor and listen to concerned citizens.”

-jsq

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