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Texas: Denton Votes to Ban Fracking

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Anti-fracking activists claimed victory in Denton after residents voted in favor of an ordinance to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city. The measure passed with nearly 59 percent of voters supporting the ban. Immediately following the election results, the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA) and the Texas General Land Office filed separate lawsuits challenging the rule. Both entities have stated the ban is not constitutional with Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson seeking a permanent injunction against the ban. Approximately 270 natural gas wells are within Denton city limits. A majority of these wells utilize hydraulic fracturing.  Thomas Phillips, an attorney representing TXOGA, stated the ban denies many mineral interest owners the right to gain value from their property. Denton Mayor Chris Watts has pledged to fight any challenges to the city’s ban. Texas Railroad Commission Chair Christi Craddick stated the agency will continue to issue permits for companies wanting to drill within Denton.