Denton repeals fracking ban (TX)

Denton. Another Texas college town wishing it was Austin.

From Watchdog Arena:

The Denton City Council voted 6-1 early Wednesday morning to “strategically repeal” the city’s hydraulic fracturing ban just seven months after it was approved by what some headlines proclaimed as a “landslide” victory.

Citing the ban as “unenforceable” due to a new state law, the council, in a statement, explained “it is in the overall interest of the Denton taxpayers to strategically repeal the ordinance.”

Denton, just north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, has long appeared to have aspirations of growing up to be like Austin. A liberal vibe emanates from this college town with, per 2013 United States Census estimates, a population of 123,000. It is home to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University.

Denton’s fracking ban – a first of its kind in Texas – was cheered by environmentalists and other liberal activists, and seemed in keeping with Austin’s slogan to “Keep Austin Weird.”

The ban, however, had its problems. First, in response to Denton’s action, the state of Texas used its recent legislative session to pass and immediately implement House Bill 40, a measure that reasserts the state’s exclusive jurisdiction to regulate oil and gas operations in the state and expressly precludes local governments’ regulation of such operations.

But even before this new law, the city faced legal challenges as immediately after the ban’s ballot victory, the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association both filed lawsuits.

Read more at Watchdog Arena.

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