Texas City Bans Fracking In Its Birthplace, Court Battles Loom


DALLAS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Voters approved a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the north Texas town of Denton on Tuesday, making it the first city in the Lone Star State to outlaw the oil and gas extraction technique behind the U.S. energy boom.

The vote in the city of 123,000 was highly symbolic because hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is widely used in Texas, the top crude producer in the United States.

Green groups said the result served as a wake-up call to the industry, but several similar measures failed in cities and counties in Ohio and California.

The Texas Oil & Gas Association, the state's energy lobby, on Wednesday quickly filed for an injunction.

"A ban on hydraulic fracturing is inconsistent with state law," Thomas Phillips, a former head of the Supreme Court of Texas who now represents the trade group, said.

Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter, the state's top energy regulator, called for the prohibition to be tossed out.

"Bans based on misinformation - instead of science and fact - potentially threaten this energy renaissance and as a result, the well-being of all Texans," he said.


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Bill Cagle | Nov. 6, 2014
The comment about hydraulic fracturing being invented in the Denton, TX area is historically highly inaccurate. Hydraulic fracturing was invented by Stanolind Oil & Gas in Tulsa, OK in the late 1940s. Stanolind later became Amoco, which was purchased by BP. U.S. Patents were filed by Stanolind in 1948 and issued in 1952 (Farris & Clark). Two fracturing specialists (Carl T. Montgomery & Michael B. Smith) estimated that there have been close to 2.5 million fracture treatments performed worldwide since Stanolind Oil introduced hydraulic fracturing in 1949. So hydraulic fracturing was not invented in Denton, TX, is not new, and is over six decades old. What is new is drilling horizontally for several thousand feet and doing multiple hydraulic fracturing treatments. This was first accomplished in the Barnett Shale in the Ft. Worth, TX (Denton, TX) area by George Mitchell/Mitchell Energy.

R. Mark Conger | Nov. 6, 2014
It boils down to the same problem northerners have with fracking. If they dont have the mineral rights, and dont have any skin in the game, then they want it stopped for selfish reasons. It has nothing to do with science or environmental protection. If these people held the mineral rights, theyd be cheering on more drilling and fracking. Its all about the money, as usual, somebody that feels left out and they want their perceived share.


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