As you probably know, the Denton City Council denied a petition signed by several thousand citizens to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. The denial sent the question to the November 4 general election ballot. Here is the proposition, its legalese in full bloom:
SHALL AN ORDINANCE BE ENACTED PROHIBITING, WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF DENTON, TEXAS, HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, A WELL STIMULATION PROCESS INVOLVING THE USE OF WATER, SAND AND/OR CHEMICAL ADDITIVES PUMPED UNDER HIGH PRESSURE TO FRACTURE SUBSURFACE NON-POROUS ROCK FORMATIONS SUCH AS SHALE TO IMPROVE THE FLOW OF NATURAL GAS, OIL, OR OTHER HYDROCARBONS INTO THE WELL, WITH SUBSEQUENT HIGH RATE, EXTENDED FLOWBACK TO EXPEL FRACTURE FLUIDS AND SOLIDS
Supporters and detractors of the ban are divided into two predictable groups: Local and national environmentalists on the one hand and producers and local royalty owners on the other. Who’s who and what they say can be seen from their websites:
In support of the ban you have FrackFree Denton.
Against the ban you have Denton Taxpayers for a Strong Economy.
Dig a little deeper, say into campaign finance filings, and you can see whose money is behind the campaigns. Here is the local Denton Record Chronicle on where the bulk of the money is coming from on both sides.
In the news
Want news on the election? The Denton Record Chronicle evaluates the claims of both sides.
Here is a report from StateImpact, a publication of National Public Radio member stations.
And a comprehensive and pretty fair article from the New York Times.
There is no shortage of opinions
Here is one from the Dallas Morning News.
In another, Eagle Ridge Energy presents a forceful case for the benefits of hydraulic fracturing. They have every reason to have an opinion. Eagle Ridge has been the target of litigation by homeowners and opprobrium by bloggers for their operations in the city limits.
Here is one from Energy in Depth, a non-local group with an interest in fracking everywhere.
The Texas Railroad Commission also has an opinion.
In the spirit of open debate, on these web sites you can read about the “evils” of fracking. I’m not of this mindset, but it’s helpful to know what the uninitiated are hearing.
One from “Texas Sharon“.
And from the environmental group Earthworks, which is working hard in Denton and worldwide to pass the ban. (Disclaimer: The photo is Earthwork-like in its extremism, but it is not from Denton.)
Let’s have a live debate?
A debate is scheduled in Denton between FrackNation Producer Phelim McAleer and environmental activist Calvin Tillman on Monday, October 27. Here is the link.
What does it mean?
If the ban passes, litigation.
Failure would be a retreat from overreaction, and maybe a debate about whether Denton needs more neighborhood-friendly drilling oversight.
In the spirit of universal suffrage …
Today’s musical interlude has nothing to do with the topic, unless it’s divine guidance you are seeking (in which case, why are you reading this blog?). We all get to vote. How do you like your Amazing Grace, … Celtic, … African, … or Country?
Special thanks to Tricia Davis of the Texas Royalty Council for her help on this post.