HOUSTON, Texas–Denton, a Texas city north of Dallas, is known as a gas city. Gas fields there have reportedly produced a billion dollars in mineral wealth and allowed the city to prosper. But now, the Denton City Council is considering a ban on fracking.
If the City Council rejects the ban, it will go to voters in November, according to the Associated Press (AP).
While the ban is being considered, leaders in the city have instead a temporary “halt” fracking in the meantime. The ordinance, if passed, would have a significant impact on the area; there are currently almost 300 active gas wells there.
“The willingness to reject fracking in the heart of oil and gas country reflects a broader shift in thinking,” the AP reported. “In place of gas drills, some of Denton’s 120,000 residents envision a future in which their city is known for environmentally friendly commerce and the nation’s largest community garden. They’ve even embarked on a campaign to persuade the maker of Sriracha hot sauce to expand its massive pepper-grinding business here — a prospect that appeals to the local farm-to-table culture.”
Denton will become the first city in Texas to ban fracking if the ordinance is ultimately passed. To many, such a ban would seem more typical of a California city. Indeed, in May Santa Cruz County in California voted unanimously to ban fracking.
While those against fracking cite environmental concerns, there is an obvious benefit to the high-tech method, which includes blasting water, sand, and other chemicals. Fracking lowers the cost of natural gas and could help make the U.S. energy independent.
Fox Business Network’s John Stossel–an advocate of fracking–also pointed out that “for those concerned about global warming, burning gas instead of oil and coal helps reduce CO2 emissions.”
The gas an oil industry has allowed Texas to thrive and become an economic powerhouse. Many have ditched California and its anti-business policies in favor of Texas, where young people are getting rich in gas and oil. New drilling technology has shifted the focus of the oil industry, and provided an ideal opportunity for millenials to enter the scene. According to Bloomberg News, “conventional drilling” is likely to retire with baby boomers, since the technological breaking through and the new generation of oilmen are grabbing hold of the industry simultaneously.
The exploding industry has created a job market where millenials can put a variety of skill sets to use.
“Oil and gas is driving our economy,” Sarah Higgins, a spokeswoman for the West Texas town Midland–another area with strong ties to the industry–told Breitbart Texas.
It is easy to imagine that a fracking ban in Denton could have a negative impact on the city economy, and may even have an affect on the larger state economy.
Breitbart Texas made multiple attempts to reach out to Denton City Council members, who did not immediately return calls.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.