Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Industry Responds to Denton, Texas Fracking Ban

Energy
Industry Responds to Denton, Texas Fracking Ban

This may be the shortest blog I’ve ever written. On Election Day, voters in a number of cities and counties voted on whether to severely restrict or ban oil and gas development—the oil industry poured millions of dollars in an effort to avoid these restrictions. In Richmond, California Chevron spent $3 million to gain control of the city council; this overreach backfired and Chevron’s slate was trounced. In San Benito County, $2 million wasn’t enough to stop a ban on fracking and other intensive oil extraction technologies. Mendocino County also said “no.” But in Santa Barbara a $5 million oil industry campaign did prevail, as a similar fracking ban was blocked. Drilling bans in three of four Ohio towns voting on the issue also failed.

On election day, Denton, Texas voted to ban fracking inside its city limits, in the heart of the oil patch. Photo credit: Frack Free Denton

But the most interesting result may have been Denton, Texas, which voted to ban fracking inside its city limits, in the heart of the oil patch. Oil industry reactions varied.

The CEO of Chesapeake Energy warned his colleagues, “At least some of the oil companies that drilled the 272 active wells in Denton seemingly turned a deaf ear to community concerns about traffic, well location, and other issues not specifically related to fracking. Cathy McMullen, a nurse who headed an anti-fracking group and got the issue on the ballot said, ‘It [the ban] says that industry can’t come in and do whatever they want to do to people. They can’t drill a well 300 feet from a park anymore.’ Oil companies would do well to take McMullen’s words to heart: ‘If you want to prevent more bans, do yourselves a favor and listen to concerned citizens. Because if you don’t you may wind up reaping what you’ve sown.’”

But this common sense message didn’t resonate with much of the industry. The Texas Railroad Commission blithely declared it would simply continue giving permits in Denton because it didn’t recognize the right of local officials to regulate oil and gas.

And Chris Faulkner, the CEO of Breitling Energy, emailed me this absolutely stunning message:

"The citizens of Denton, Texas have voted themselves into what will most definitely end up as the legal equivalent of a field of quicksand. The ground-rumbling they will hear won't be earthquakes, but the stampede of lawyers running to the area to join in the plethora of lawsuits

"The real losers here are the citizens of Denton who … now face a future of nothing on their land but tumbleweeds and crickets.”

The next time you read a glossy Chevron Ad, you might remember that Chevron and Breitling are on the same team.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Why Fossil Fuels Are Dirty Politics as Well as Dirty Energy

Denton, Texas Fracking Ban Under Attack by Bush Family Inner Circle

John Oliver and Bill Nye Put the Climate Change Debate to Rest

A seagull flies in front of the Rampion offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Neil / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

A key part of the United States' clean energy transition has started to take shape, but you may need to squint to see it. About 2,000 wind turbines could be built far offshore, in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast, in the next 10 years. And more are expected.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less
Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less